Via email at 3:53 p.m. yesterday, J writes:
When your blog is about food at an office where you do a lot of talking about food, you often get requests to blog about something you are talking about. I’m truthfully not sure if the people who make these requests are actually interested in the topic or if they just want me to shut up and go back to my desk.
I tend to pre-eat before business lunches and dinners. I do this because I’m a big eater and I don’t like to talk with my mouthful. If this is a lunch or dinner where I have to be “on,” that is either lead the conversation or make a presentation, I’m not going to get a lot of eating done. So I eat before I go.
There’s also the issue of I may not like the food being served. This was the case when I went to Nabu in Las Vegas with a couple of clients for my job at the time. Nabu was a nice restaurant (Ivanka Trump was sitting two tables away; no I didn’t get her phone number), but it serves sushi. I normally don’t like sushi, so I ate some nachos alone in my hotel room before we went out. Ironically, I actually enjoyed the sushi so I went home feeling quite full despite the fact that I had to do a lot of talking. It has basically ruined sushi for me since, as you might imagine, any restaurant that caters to a Trump has much higher quality food than my favorite Chinese buffet that serves all you can eat sushi, among other items, for $10.95.
Frankly, a lot of restaurants are not designed for eating. Some serve heavy hor dourves, which are nice, but always leave me wanting more, which is supposed to be the purpose of hour d vors. They are not supposed to be a meal.
Or Tapas. God help me but if I never see a Tapas restaurant again I’ll be just fine. Tapas is just a fancy word for expensive food on little plates and leaving hungry. There has to be a lot of sharing. Again, if I have to do a lot of talking, those who are less required to do talking will wind up taking my food. Or maybe they won’t, but they could, so the risk is there and so I pre-eat.
Ironically, food is our main social venue, but it also inhibits conversation. Seriously, notice it the next time you go out. Conversation will be lively until the food arrives at which point everyone will start eating. Then someone will make a funny comment about how we’re all hungry and the food must be good or something like that and then the conversation will start again, but it won’t be as lively as before because people will be alternating between food and conversation. If I don’t have to eat, I can still talk. So I eat before I go.
It’s actually a good idea. Try it sometime.