Eating out has layers of connotations and meanings for me. It is never a simple task but fraught with emotions juxtaposed in varying permutations. I was thinking about all it means to me, and realized that there are so many levels to it. So I decided to do this point-wise, else I'll forget all the depths!
1. Foodie- I love food completely (and how!). Every form shape size taste it comes in. So going out to eat is a culinary adventure of sorts. I love trying out new cuisines, new dishes from different countries around the world. Even if the cuisine is something I've had before, every place has a different take on the same recipe. Therefore, eating out is an adventure. However, the flip side is that often I end up trying new stuff that I don't like.
2. Guilt - I always have a vague sense of guilt when I am eating out. Firstly, I'm fat! So even normal eating at home has associations of guilt. Add to that the super calorific large portions served at most restaurants, and no wonder I eat my food with a side of guilt. Secondly, since I don't have a job, I'm spending my husband's money when eating out. This gives me a feeling of guilt because I keep thinking that I can cook up five perfectly decent meals in the same cost at home.
3. Pleasure- Wherever there's guilt, there's illicit pleasure. Because I know this is something I should not be doing, there is the perverse pleasure of actually doing it. Umm, like eating that last piece of chocolate or reading a romance novel all night!
4. Confidence- As I mentioned, since I don't work I do tend to go out a lot less. So eating out translates into an occasion to dress up, look good and generally feel better about myself. Also, I get to talk to people/friends (socialize) and that makes me feel good.
5. Sociality - Eating out is not just eating, it is looking at other people and being looked at. It is a social behavior. It is the virtual space of sociality and encounter and engagement. And I revel in that. I am a people person through and through and love being in the company of people, even if I'm not necessarily talk to them.
Yes, a lot of complicated stuff goes on when I'm eating out. Sometimes, I even do it just because I'm hungry!
(Image source: http://icanhascheezburger.com/2008/11/14/funny-pictures-eating-out-home-cookin/)