My tenure in the catering industry has been brief. I would never deny that, or feign a level of awareness I have yet to attain. But being brand new, training wheels in tow, creates a nature similar to that of a sponge. Concepts are novel, every moment a teachable one, each experience potentially formative. While sometimes discouraging, to know so little, seeing things for the first time is also enlivening. Engaged and bright eyed, the new chapter is full of promise. Humbling too.
Before we as rational beings have a chance to develop adequate know-how, we are more likely to believe what we are told by authority figures. We lack a benchmark to compare our recent knowledge against, and cannot draw from prior experiences necessarily. If a concept is reinforced enough, we may draw conclusions. Such conclusions aren't always accurate though, and generalizations can be damaging, paving the way for prejudices. One such idea that has been reinforced time and time again at work has to do with what women eat.
On more than one occasion, to be accurate on more occasions than I can count on two hands, people have described their female dinner guests as unlikely to desire anything more than a salad or a light option.
"We are mostly ladies, so nothing too heavy. We are all watching our figures...Can we swap out that Tenderloin for something like fish? I don't think the ladies will like something so substantial."
I am intrigued by this assumption that a woman shouldn't want a bountiful or hearty option. That I as a woman, might be denied the chance to sink my teeth into a burger topped with a fried egg, the yolk dripping down the corners of my mouth. That a man need not watch his figure the same way I am supposed to. And can't a dude be vegetarian too?
Despite our advances as a gender over time, there is still a lingering belief in some factions that ladies will not eat the same way men will. Portions should be small, options light, and varieties few. I say, eat what works best for your body. If a vegan lifestyle is your truth, then by all means seek it. Pescetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free, or "I only eat pork on days that begin with T". All of these options are valid. Food is truly our life force and should be treated with such reverence. What we put in our bodies defines how we feel, how we view ourselves, and how we view the world around us.
Of course, there are some dramatics here, and I myself am presenting a mere correlation between gender and food selection in a narrow segment of the population. I still find it worth mentioning as somewhere in the deep recesses of our minds, woman should be eating a certain way. We have done away with little white gloves, but still order a salad on the first date so the partner across the table from us believes we treat our bodies well. Or hey, we just like salad, and that is just fine as well. I think there is a grain of truth here though, and grains grow into bigger concepts.
I'll have the short ribs with a grain salad on the side. And a milk shake, but only on Sundays. What will you be having?