Lunch time is a Big Deal.
Where you go, who you eat with - when I was in high school, people got nervous if it got to be fourth period and they hadn't nailed down their lunch plans yet. It said a lot about your social standing: Did you know an upperclassman with a car who could drive you to the pizza place near the university? Did you have a regular group of friends who always went to the same restaurant? Or were you stuck in the cafeteria with the weird people and the freshman who didn't know people with cars?
Serious stress, folks. I'm getting heartburn just thinking about it.
That’s why my favorite way to spend lunch was often in the choir room or in my English teacher mom’s classroom with a good book. I would drive out to McDonald’s or Subway and then bring my lunch back to enjoy it by myself.
I know it might sound kind of sad, but it really wasn’t, because I rarely had to deal with lunch stress! See, more often than not, I had a lunch period that was different from my friends’. So rather than let lunchtime cause me angst, I used it as a time to get a much-needed break. There were times, when I was in the school musical or our show choir had a lot of performances, where I spent most of my waking hours with other people, so that half-hour by myself was precious. Plus, while everybody else was scrambling to decide where to go and with whom, I always knew my little chair in the choir room was waiting just for me.
You’ll notice I opened this post by saying lunchtime is a big deal. Because I’m not talking purely past tense here. Lunchtime still is a big deal for teens, as illustrated in the book I’m currently reading, WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green and David Levithan, which contains a few good lunchroom scenes. And to be honest, lunch remains a big deal when you trade school for a job in an office. It sucks to see the cubicle clique walk past your desk on their way out for sandwiches, knowing they didn’t invite you. And nobody wants to be that sad person who sits in the break room, staring at a plate of Lean Cuisine.
Having lunch plans, whether it’s a regular group of friends to sit with or just knowing you’ve got a quiet, relaxing spot to escape to, gives us a sense of security.
What about you? If you’re a teen, what’s your most enjoyable way to spend lunch? If you’re older, what do you remember about lunchtime from your high school years?