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TheRootDC
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Posted at 05:23 PM ET, 12/06/2011

Fatal attraction of lunch

There are people, places, pets, things and times in our life that stand out. They enter our lives and never leave: connections. It’s our opportunity to hear from you. We want the humorous and poignant. Send us your submissions of no more than 500 words, along with photos (in a JPG format), to therootdc@washpost.com.

Our relationship began innocently and openly enough through an introduction by a mutual connection, my growling stomach. Our early days were spent sharing meals and discovering countless restaurants.

We settled into a comfortable routine, occasionally joined by friends. But most of the time it was just you and me. I found solace in your silent presence; it allowed me to temporarily escape from constant job demands.

I began to rely on you for more than sustenance. I tested you with something that was simultaneously important yet inconsequential to see how you would handle responsibility in our relationship: getting my oil changed. I was nervous. Too many external forces and distractions were threatening our time together and I feared you wouldn’t appear.

My nervousness was intensified by your late arrival and I resented your boundaries. You gently calmed my fears and proved that your limitations were big enough to take care of my needs and that I could depend on you.

Gradually, I depended on you completely. Gone were the carefree days of simply sharing meals with you; instead our time involved working out, going to the DMV or other unavoidable...activities. There wasn’t an obligation for which you would fail me, and your presence was always comforting. I don’t know exactly when or why things started to change.

You faithfully came every day, but for the sake of work I felt I had to distance myself from you. Instead of taking the full hour, I took 45 minutes, then 30...then 15. As my work responsibilities increased, I just didn’t have any time for you.

You tried to maintain a presence in my life, but when I married my job our relationship became adulterous. You kept trying to come around, but your presence was met with my colleagues’ judgmentally raised eyebrows. They feigned innocence and surprise when they saw you, asking me “Oh, you’re on your lunch hour?”

I’d pause mid-chew with a fork full of food destined for my mouth, nodding affirmatively and pointing to the meal on my desk. They’d treat you with contempt and disrespect by launching into work-related conversations, ignoring you completely.

When you disappeared, I wanted you back but couldn’t forsake my marriage to my job. Thus began our affair. I tried to hide your existence by closing my office door so that nobody would know that we were together. I leave the office under the premise of running work errands and ignore the tantalizing aromas wafting from welcoming restaurants. Their doors beckon me, but I never enter because I know that my colleagues will see me and out my affair with my lunch hour.

You were good for me, but I didn’t know this until it was too late. Our once open relationship is now a secret, and it seems that I’ve lost you for good.

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By Veronica Cummings  |  05:23 PM ET, 12/06/2011

Categories:  The Root DC Live

 
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