Lunch at The Smith, NYC
It is 1:30 pm on a Monday and The Smith is absolutely mobbed. It’s the first official day of summer and everyone is in a grand mood.

Business has been great lately, (knock wood) so I treat myself to a much needed lunch break at a fancy restaurant.

I stop to think. How lucky am I to be able to stop and actually sit and enjoy lunch? How many people are stuck in dead-end, soul sucking jobs; where eating a granola bar on the subway during rush hour constitutes breakfast and pounding down bad take-out from the local deli, while staring blankly at a computer screen, is lunch.

Did you know that “the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career?” according to: About Careers. That’s really bad news for those job seekers who are not comfortable marketing themselves and building up their network of contacts. That means a lot more granola bars and questionable “salad by the pound” over the course of your working life, for most people.

“Where do you want to be in FIVE years?” I always called that the Miss America question when an interviewer asked me. (As in, it’s as hard for most people to answer that question as it is for some of the beauty pageant contestants to answer their questions.)

If you’d asked me on 9/10/01 where I’d be in five years, the answer would have been a hell of a lot different than if you asked me on 9/12/01. No one could have imagined how ONE day could have changed everything. Let along five years.

The young women next to me have large format black and white composition notebooks and are scribbling away. I gather they work in musical theater, in some capacity, and are collaborating on a script. I guess this because they SING every other sentence. Normally, this would get tedious very quickly, but they are so EXCITED about what they are working on that I can’t help but toast them silently with my prosecco. Clink.

Lucky, to get to work on something they love.

The topic of conversation changes. One of the women is talking about how she got frustrated because she could not get the pancakes she likes while traveling. So frustrated, in fact, that she created a patented solution. Are you serious?! You like PANCAKES enough to make them while you travel? How is that even possible? This. I have to hear.

Now, they are arguing about who has the cutest haircut. I have a strong opinion, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing it.

Questionable KetchupOne big downer. I remember this ketchup from the last time I came here. It was so bad that I had to look up the ingredients online to see what it was missing. (Spoiler alert: It was High Fructose Corn Syrup.) You might argue that it is better for me to have no ketchup at all, than to have ketchup that is not Heinz; and you’d be right.

Travel PILLOW. Not travel PANCAKES. That does make a lot more sense, but is much less interesting. I’m sure there’s a niche out there for the pancake connoisseur, who could never find it in his (or her) heart to visit a Denny’s, while on the road. (For the record, I love Denny’s.) But that’s a story for another day.

Every person who walks past us looks over with a combination of disdain and longing. HOW do these people have time to chill out and eat lunch in the middle of the day?!

We’re lucky. Except for the ketchup.

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