Friday, March 13, 2015

Never Let Them See You Sweat

So I work at a private club/restaurant that is not only very vegan un-friendly, it is not for the health minded. I'm talking deep fried everything, instant mashed potatoes, everything canned or frozen. The "chef" is an actual chef. He went to the culinary institute in Pittsburg, or Philadelphia. But there is not one thing on the menu that is homemade. It's very sad. It always makes me imagine what Gordon Ramsey would say. Sometimes that fantasy is all I have to help me get through my shift. Anyway, I am simply saying that there are some low standards to the food here, and I can only come to the conclusion that the members have pretty low food standards as well. I mean, not only do they pay for their meals, they pay to be members! I can't make this stuff up. It's always awkward when people ask my opinion on the food, because the truth of the matter is even if I weren't vegan, the food served would not be my thang at all. So, telling people I'm a vegan is the perfect way to avoid offending anyone. They get to think I'm the weird one. Every so often I get the question of "what on earth do you eat"?  I've learned the perfect response is to simply say "if you really think about it, there are so many foods that have nothing to do with animals, there are many more varieties of plants than animals". If nothing else, it gives you a few seconds while they are thinking to escape. I have escaped to the kitchen a gazillion times while people's wheels are turning. And then by the time I go back to the table, they've forgotten all about our conversation, all thoughts of plant food drowned out by grease, salt, artificial ingredients, and death.
Another question that gets lobbed your way when you are vegetarian, or vegan is where do you get.... insert whatever here. I used to get tongue tied, and I felt like I had to know every factoid available to defend the vegan diet. Now, I simply let my good health speak for itself. Whether or not I want to lose ten pounds, or wish this that or the other about my appearance, I know I look as healthy as I feel. So, I simply say, "do I look like there is anything missing in my diet"? I have not yet had anyone say anything other than no, or sometimes they just sit there clutching their pearls, not knowing what to say. I always say it in a very breezy, friendly way, and again it gives you time to make a quick escape.
I feel like you get to a certain point where you can tell when people's questions are coming from a sincere place, and that is when you really take the time to offer helpful information. When people are just asking dumb questions to be rude, just having some quick little one liners can really save the day.
A lot of times people just want to see you get upset. It makes them feel like they've won, or are superior in some way. So, as a very emotional person I have let a lot of people get the best of me. It still happens of course, but thankfully less and less often as time goes by.
Spring is starting to make winter feel less and less welcome, and I just couldn't be happier. I never really knew thirty five degrees could feel like such amazing warmth. I'm just feeling so good, I hope this post helps someone, as I have been helped, and you will help someone. As we talk about our experiences with people being confrontational, and how we handle it, we're helping each other to continue the good fight. We have come sooooooo far, but we still have a very long way to go. So, grab a snack and a one liner and battle on!

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