During the summer months, my company does Friday bbq. There’s usually grilled chicken and veggies I can do but it all ends around Labor Day. And then it’s back to everybody doing their own thing. Well, almost everybody.
Last spring a Five Guys opened up near work. Big greasy burgers and home cuts french fries. Instantly popular in the office. So popular the office now has what’s called Five Guys Friday. Every Friday they take orders and bring back Five Guys. And being that my office/desk is around the corner from the kitchen, I smell it all the time. I know when it’s here. The entire office chows down on monster sized burgers and greasy, salty fries.
So how many times have I been a part of Five Guys Friday?
Not a one.
It’s not easy. God, it’s REALLY not easy.
Sometimes I’m having my little healthy meal while I’m surrounded by those a part of the Friday ritual. I look at my chicken, smell the burgers, and mentally sigh. My favorite is when some try to “guilt” this group while I eat my healthy meal. Really it hits me more mentally than any of them. The worse part is I’ve romaticizied Five Guys now. Having fought this long, now look at it like a guilty pleasure that one day I’ll be able to have. I’ve thought about just going there one day and getting it out of my system but resisted so far.
Perhaps the hardest part is the peer pressure. Everybody is having Five Guys Friday but I can’t. It makes me flashback to those days as kid when you weren’t considered social normal. When maybe you got stuck wearing the plaid shirts, Buster Brown shoes, and corduroy pants. Or you had the brace facial gear? Or maybe you were the kid who opened your lunch and had all the uncool food compared to the other kids?
Now nobody is dunking my head in the toliet (note: NOBODY ever did that. I weighed too much. They couldn’t lift me to do it anyway) or laughing at me but when everybody else is eating Five Guys and I’m eating a salad with very little dressing…well, you can imagine how you might flashback to those kid moments. The ones when you didn’t fit in. When you didn’t feel comfortable.
I’m not asking my office to give up Five Guys Friday. It wouldn’t be fair to them. This is my issue, problem, and fight. And while all of them support me and these efforts, they’re free to eat whatever they want. As they should be. Unfortunately it sometimes results in me wondering why I can’t have Five Guys like everybody else.
And there lies the issue.
So often we all want to be “like everybody else” following the social norms or being accepted. Yes we all want to be individuals but we all look to fit in somewhere. And that will happen once more as we get closer to Memorial Day. When Five Guys Friday gives way to BBQ. But until then Friday’s at noon surrounded by Five Guys food is just another obstacle on my countdown.