Thursday, April 12, 2007

You Can Always Go. . .

As long as Chip has worked Downtown, our budget has included a line for “Chip’s Lunch.” A whole world of restaurants greets him every day, and there is no way to avoid exploring it. I have long maintained that I enjoy taking my lunch to work and eating it at my desk, but it’s time to admit something- I’m jealous.

To begin with, I’m jealous that there are so many places he can walk to during his lunch hour. My choices are limited- I can walk to the gym and do whatever it is people do there, or I can walk to the Rat (the Rhodes cafeteria) and plunk down $4 for that day’s buffet of crap. No matter what they are serving, I always end up with a salad, a slice of pizza, and soft-serve ice cream. (When I was pregnant with Connor, I looked forward to that meal every day, but in the four years since his birth it’s lost some of its luster.) And while there are plenty of places to eat in Midtown, getting in your car, driving to Lenny’s and standing in line for a sandwich is just not the same as the Downtown experience of running over and grabbing a sandwich. And yes, I realize I’ve just revealed how lazy I am.

I’m also jealous of the Downtown social scene. Sure I can walk over to the Rat and there will be lots of people to visit with, but there’s something about the fact that we’re all coworkers that keeps me from getting too excited about it. No chance I’ll randomly run into someone I went to high school with, or an NBA player, or even a famous Memphis blogger. If I get in my car and drive somewhere, I might see someone interesting, but only in the confines of that restaurant. No running amok through the streets takes place on a Midtown worker’s lunch hour. And to emphasize again how unlikely many of us are to get in our cars in the first place- I work on the same campus as one of my best friends, and around the corner from another. The three of us have NEVER gone to lunch together. Ever. Tiff and I have managed this feat alone one time. And although Cathy and I have been known to go to the gym together at lunch, we have never actually broken bread during that hour of the day. Amazing.

Lately Chip has been trying to lure me Downtown for lunch. He finally declared that I must come have the crawfish BLT at Lolo’s Table- no excuses. So I bit the bullet, collected some spare change for a parking meter, and headed out for lunch. It was great. We passed a million places to eat on the way to our destination, we knew our waiter, we had great food, and we even found time to go buy lottery tickets when the meal was over. We dreamt about how, if only we were childless, we could live Downtown and go to a different bar every night to people watch and enjoy great food and wine. (We’d be able to afford it- no daycare bills!) And then I drove back to Midtown, happy in the knowledge that next week I’ll be back Downtown eating a Santa Fe Chicken Wrap.

4 comments:

RJA said...

But how many times will a quarter be demanded of you on your way to the Rat?

Be sure and get an Orange Crush with that Santa Fe. Don't let Chip push that root beer crap on you.

Stacey Greenberg said...

yes, the downtown lunch scene is HOTT. hope to see you soon--maybe i can even lure warren downtown.

Cathy said...

I'm inspired! We should plan at least a monthly lunch outing - you, me and tiff. Carpool will save time and we can even head downtown on occasion and join Chip. I used to work downtown and LOVED lunchtime. Even if I didn't go out to eat, just taking a stroll for a few minutes made me happy. And I didn't mind getting hit up for change every once in while.

Kerry said...

Do not blaspheme against the rat! What you need is a good summer session when the rat it closed to truly appreciate what you have!