A job interview had me going through Midtown Manhattan the other day. It was sunny, warm and beautiful and the streets were packed with Yuppies hunting for their lunch. Falafel vendors were busy falafeling, Chop't was busy chopting and street cafes were packed with patrons dressed like ice cream cones.
It had been three years since I roamed the lunch hour of Midtown Manhattan and of all the changes I noticed the one thing that really stuck out was how skinny women are these days. I thought I was looking at a scene straight out of the tabloids with anorexic actresses. Everywhere I turned there was a broomstick in three-inch heels. Is every woman trying to be like Sarah Jessica Parker or something?
I passed by two women perched on the side of a water fountain, opening a snack sized tupperware containing their pasta salad. Is that all they're having for lunch? No wonder they're so skinny. As I waited for the light to turn green, I checked to see if they perhaps had a duffel bag on the side containing a whole turkey or something more substantial but no - they each held a little clutch bag in their laps, which suggested the bird feed portion of pasta salad is all they brought. Now that's sad.
Ever since I became a full time mom, I haven't had a proper lunch break. As a matter of fact, the six years prior to that - working full time as a manager - I hadn't had a regular lunch break. That's about ten years of lunchlessness. If I had the luxury of having an hour, even forty minutes of undisturbed noshing in the middle of the day - I would fix myself a banquet. Everyday. And if I blew up like Ann Wilson of Heart, so be it. At least I'm enjoying my lunch break.
I do miss the city lunch dates. My favorite was one I had with my dad at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. We sat at the counter and had a bowl of New England clam chowder and an ice cold Bud draft in frosty mugs. Okay, we had two beers each but they were small by our standards. I can't tell you how many calories that must've cost, probably the same amount "bird-feed-pasta-girl" eats in a week but it's a lunch date I'll never forget and that's what dining in the city should be about.