Why I hate going to lunch.

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One of the banes of my existence is lunch. Not that I dislike eating it, but I tend to use my lunch break to go to the gym and then eat something (usually) healthy at my desk afterwards. It isn’t just having my routine interrupted that bothers me, though. Nor is it only that my calorie intake will be seriously screwed for the day, although that is part of it.

Typically when I get asked to go to lunch it is to celebrate a birthday, someone’s last day, or some other such momentous event. These lunches usually involve going to a decent place, including the closest brewpub where the food is crafted to match their beer. While there is no official policy where I work that prohibits having a beer or a glass of wine with lunch, no one does. It is just a given that it would be frowned upon.

I remember the three martini lunch and fully understand why that is frowned upon these days, but why does that preclude anyone having an adult beverage at lunch? For me, food is enhanced by wine and beer. There are compounds in food that are release by alcohol. That means that flavors are lost unless combined with a glass of something that sets them free. I have no desire to get half lit and then go sit at my desk all bleary eyed and useless, but having a more enjoyable break in the middle of the day now and then sure would make the afternoon happier.

I have been told that most other civilized countries consider a drink with lunch to be routine. How did it come to be that something so normal and healthy is so frowned upon in this country? Do we carry some sort of whack job puritan residue in our DNA? Does “The Man” just not want us to have any fun? Are we a nation of old ladies? Who knows? Just don’t ask me to lunch.