One of the many life skills that everyone but me has mastered is eating. Mostly I screw it up by forgetting to eat. This sounds really convenient, like I’m going to tell you the secret to magically losing ten pounds, but mostly it just means that I don’t realize I am hungry, while I start to realize that everyone around me is extremely annoying. And stupid. And that I can’t concentrate. And that the last time I thought everyone around me was super annoying, it meant that I’d forgotten to feed myself.
Also I will realize that it’s time to eat, and do about an hour of one-more-thing, just finish this quickly, etc., before I go to eat.
This was fine in New York, where there are about a thousand food options at any time of the day. I could have a sandwich or a salad or a diner meal whenever I felt hungry, even if it wasn’t a proper meal time. (Also, when I was in Manhattan, I worked with Chip a lot, so only one of us had to remember that food is essential.) Actually, if you want dumplings or curry or fried chicken at any time, you can get it in Manhattan.
North Carolina, though, isn’t really into 24-hour access to anything. (One of the nail salons near me is open nine to five, which blows my mind every single time I try to go there and find it’s closed. Is there really no overlap between people who visit a salon, and people who have jobs?)
Hungry at 3:30? Should have thought of that last night, and packed a snack! That’s 3:30 PM, by the way, I’m complaining about my inability to get a late lunch, not wishing for a midnight meal. It’s easy to forget that human bodies require nutrition, but I never forget that I’m not in the city anymore.
Around Harold’s office, there’s a collection of lovely breakfast and brunch places, which are all closed by 3. There’s also a collection of bars, which seem to open around 6. Which means if you are looking for something to eat before meeting Harold after work, YOU CAN NOT EAT.
It’s not the end of the world, of course, I’m capable of packing an apple or a granola bar, and I’m sure if I keep looking, there’s someplace I can drive to where I can get a three o’clock sandwich. But looking hungrily at a half a dozen closed restaurants is a pretty clear object lesson in how I simply don’t get it here, how I want things no one else wants, and how I’m overall just Doing It Wrong.