Sunday, January 09, 2011

Psychoanalysis of Eating Out

How often do you eat out? And how do you feel when you eat out? Does it mean anything to you or is it just the mundane task of getting food into you and nothing more?
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:


Richa said...

hmmm..interesting analysis. These days I eat out only when I am too tired to cook or for social purposes. haven't done it for just pleasure of it. Life has changed so much.

Rachna said...

Wish you were here, we could have done it together. I miss not having any girl friends nearby :(
And do do it for pleasure, eating out is such a joy!