I work in the city centre of Glasgow, so when it comes to lunch times there’s an absolute plethora of eateries to choose from. Do you want a sandwich a bit fancier than a Tesco pre-packaged one? There’s a whole host of places to try and decide between, a veritable army of combinations from the simple to the more adventurous.
If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, then don’t worry, the options are limitless. You could get a takeaway from a fish and chip shop, or a noodle bar, or choose a healthier salad bar type option. Or if all else fails, a cheeky Mickey Ds. People in my office are constantly coming back in to the office with fancy, droolworthy meals, and I’m almost always incredibly jealous. SO. MUCH. CHOICE.
The world should be my oyster, but in actuality, I’m overwhelmed and it seems like even ordering an oyster isn’t as simple as just saying – “can I have some oysters please?” I still need to make another twenty decisions about how my oysters are presented to me, and therein, I think lies one of my problems.
Is lunchtime anxiety a thing? I’m not sure, but it certainly feels that way to me. The actual idea of having to actually order even just a simple sandwich is something I find so stressful. Is that just me? I can only deal with the familiar, and even then I can barely deal with that.
For example, let’s take a simple Subway. Now, I always order exactly the same thing when I go to Subway. Every time without fail. I stand in the inevitable queue and I rehearse it in my head over and over. (If you’re ever with me when I go to Subway, you will find me strangely uncommunicative, and this is why.) “6 inch meatball marinara on Italian herbs and cheese. 6 inch meatball marinara on Italian herbs and cheese. 6 inch meatball mariana on . . .” There is no veering off that route. If I went in to Subway and they’d changed the names of the bread I’d probably turn around and leave. I then very much rely on them asking if I want it with cheese and toasted, because the initial part of the order is my limit and takes it out of me. And then I always ask for red onion when it comes to the salad bit, purely because I feel like I’m judged if I don’t add anything at all. (Which I’m sure I’m not but you can’t really help how you feel.) I always feel like my meatball sub is very well deserved at the end of this “ordeal”.
I only really do well with ordering food when it’s really straight forward. So I can go to Da Vincis and order a mac and cheese with chips (drool) with a lot more ease than the aforementioned Subway because it’s so many less words to remember. (Although I will have anxious thoughts that they might have ran out, and then I will be irrationally humiliated). Or I can go to Greggs and order a steak bake, because I’m familiar with their products and it doesn’t require too much interaction with another person to request such a simple (yet tasty) product.
Put me in a place I don’t know with too many options and I feel completely out of my depth. Even worse, put me in a place where the sandwiches all have weird names that are in no way related to their contents and I feel like someone is actually having a joke with me, they’ve written down all these names especially to mess with my head, and once I say the weird name out loud Ashton Kutcher is going to pop out and tell me I’ve been Punk’d.
Is it really any wonder I tend to bring a packed lunch? It’s not for the sake of my bank balance (although that’s a consideration too, to be honest), it’s for the sake of my poor stressed-out brain...
Is it just me? Does anyone else also have this issue? Please tell me I'm not alone . . .