People, stop commenting on my food at work.  I am dead serious – give it a rest.  Maybe you don’t think my eating habits are normal, or they are at least unfamiliar to you.  That does not give you the right to a running commentary every time I fork something into my mouth.

 Sometimes, I eat cold pizza for breakfast.  As unfamiliar a concept as this may be to you, it is perfectly normal for a vast number of people without sticks in their asses.  When I’m feeling particularly extreme, I might even have some leftover Chinese.  Is it possible for me to quietly heat up my General Tso’s in the microwave and munch on it at my desk without three people expressing their distaste about my foodstuff?  Apparently so!  We all eat at our desks – it’s far from my preferred practice, but that’s what we do because we have a tiny kitchen in a small office, and we all have a lot of work to do.  Work that you are neglecting, I might add, by lingering in my office space for the singular purpose of offering up your criticisms of my chosen nourishment.

You know what?  I think cereal is disgusting.  I do.  Personally, it’s not something of which I wish to partake.  And yet, never in a million years would I look at your bowl of sugar/milk/flake SHIT and remark that I personally find it distasteful and am incredulous that you are putting it into your body.  Same goes for mac and cheese.  Why?  Because it is disrespectful.  I would not look at your lunch and loudly announce that it a) smells bad b) looks like a waste product or c) is terribly unhealthy.  You think my American eating habits are odd?  Guess what, UK?  I think your mince pies are pretty gross, your “bacon rolls” are bland beyond boredom, and that tatties are peasant food.  Also, your sausages suck.  Yeah, that’s right.  It’s like a condom rolled over baby food and it is NASTY.

But this is irrelevant.  With the exception of the guy who eats tuna out of a tin every day and subjects everyone in a one-mile distance to the odor, what someone else is or isn’t eating is not my concern.  Unless you are eating something particularly scrumptious and I want to tell you how delicious it appears, I am not going to comment, excepting if it is something I haven’t seen before, in which case I might politely inquire as to what it is.

Now reading this, you may be thinking, Tailfeather must eat some pretty unrighteous food to attract this kind of comment, right?  At the very least, she must be stinking up the kitchen and bothering everyone with unpleasant odors.  Wrong

Pasta.  Kebabs.  Salad.  Sandwiches.  Cupcakes.  Fruit.  Whatever I’m eating, it garners a commentary, ranging from “that’s so disgusting” to “how can you eat that for breakfast/lunch” to “you’re always eating!”

Additionally, I get, “but you’re so skinny!”  Not even implied but stated is that I appear to be eating constantly, yet remain miraculously not obese.  This is a compliment couched in an insult wrapped in ignorance.  I snack on fruit and nuts for a lot of the day, because I turn raging bitch when my blood sugar gets low and I feel terrible.  I substitute these things for my natural salt and sugar cravings, which I do indulge regularly, but if I sat on my ass eating potato chips (crisps) and cookies all the time, I would be in dire condition.  Thank god I don’t have an eating disorder, because if I did, this would veer from irritating into provocative.

Unhelpful comments from male colleagues run along the lines of:

(Tailfeather is eating a chicken and pasta dish) – “That doesn’t look very healthy.”  Implication:  Watch your ever-growing ass.

(Tailfeather is eating a yogurt mid-afternoon) – “You’re eating again?  Make sure you don’t get fat.”  Implication:  None, that was clear enough.  Asshole.

From female colleagues:

(Tailfeather is eating a cheese sandwich) – “I don’t know where you put it!  You’ve lost so much weight!”  Implication:  You’re thin, and I possibly hate you for it?

(Tailfeather is eating a slice of cake) – “Didn’t you have a piece earlier too?  That’s a lot, isn’t it?”  Implication:  Watch your ever-growing ass.

Any unfamiliar foodstuff is generally viewed with deep suspicion. For example, the majority of people in my office have never tried sushi (and many would be amenable to it, but I’m going to illustrate something here).  If it’s not for you, fine, but here is another exchange, from a female colleague I like very much:

Tailfeather:  “I’m so excited to go home for Christmas.  I’m especially looking forward to some Mexican, some Vietnamese, and some sushi.”

Colleague:  (Visibly gagging).  “Sushi!  That is so disgusting, it makes me sick even to think about.”

Tailfeather:  “Oh no!  You must have had a bad experience with it.  What did you eat?”

Colleague:  “Oh, God, I’ve never tried it!  That’s awful, I would never.” 

Okay, what?  I’ve tried blood sausage, haggis, and spotted dick, and your rhubarb and your toffee.  Spotted dick, people, which sounds even less appealing after safe sex week, as you can imagine.  I tried it!  And even if I didn’t like it, I’m not going to make faces at it if you decide to bring it in and eat it for your lunch.  I am not going to comment.  I will smile, say something friendly, and eat my spring rolls.  So step the hell off my lunch and if you don’t have anything nice to say, stuff your own face. 

P.S. – If you asked me to pick up lunch for you, you lose double points for being a dick about my meal.  Shut up and eat your terrible food.