Unity brought about by food
Upon starting my new job, it was perplexing to me how often they feed us at this place. I mean, I’m not complaining. But seriously, I get at least two meals a week provided, sometimes more.
Good food too, full meals, like chicken and potatoes, cheese tortellini with salad, lavish Mexican buffet, a full course Vietnamese meal, and more.
This was especially peculiar to me, since, at my former employer, I usually ate my lunch by myself at my desk. A friend and I would walk over to the cafeteria, get food, walk back and go our separate ways. Clean. Sterile. Boring.
Now that I’ve been at the new gig 90 days, and having just stuffed myself silly at the potluck to end all potlucks (yum), I realized that this habit of sharing meals together is a bit of brilliance.
Really, how more primal can you get than breaking bread with other people? It creates connections.
Earlier today, I looked around the room at all these people I’ve come to know. Over a plate of homemade food (that’s our pot luck rule, it must be actually homemade), I found an easy camaraderie.
I know that one lady’s young daughter loves red velvet cake, and when she heard another lady at work was making it for our potluck, begged her mom to bring some home.
I know that the lady who sits right next to me was raised in the Philippines, and her homemade lumpia is worth weeping over. (I had three)
I discovered that the guy on the next row who identifies himself as Asian actually has a Mexican mother, who was kind enough to make flan for our potluck. Really, really good flan, too.
The reason for our potluck was to “Share the Love” for Valentine’s Day. As we all ate and complimented each other and asked for recipes, yes, there was love, and connection and a diligence to work together and believe in each other and do our best to get through the obstacles.
All because we got out some paper plates and plastic forks and brought out food that represents a little of ourselves. We’re all taking in a bit of each other and blending into something that much better.
I think that kind of connection is rarely found at work, and has to be part of the reason why this group I work with and for manages to get along so damn well. That’s the kind of “corporate goodwill” you just can’t force.
By the way, the contribution that represented me was a kickin’ bowl of guacamole. I make *really* good guac and today I earned some new fans.
Bet you never knew that guacamole tastes really good on lumpia!
Bringing cultures and oddball coworkers together, one delicious meal at a time…
On this same topic, I am fortunate enough to be able to make a trip to Southern New Mexico this weekend. I’ll be with my best friend of twenty years, and when we settled the date for a visit, one of the first things she said was, “we have to plan the menu”.
Food, for us, is family, is bonding, is life, is earth, is the heart of who we are. Nourishing both body and soul.
I can hardly wait for her homemade rellenos. Right then, I just did a little jump and clicked my heels.
New Mexico, here I come!