A recent study has found that people eating on their own is the biggest cause of unhappiness after mental illness.
Hmm. In my case, I’d say eating with other people is in fact a constant source of irritation.
Some people are downright rude to waiting staff in restaurants, some people don’t know how to have interesting conversations and some people are never satisfied with anything put down in the front of them.
And then there are those people who tinker with the meals as laid out on the menus.
I don’t know why, but I find people who ask “can I have this ingredient instead of that one” or say “can you not make the meal like that” intensely annoying.
I ask myself, well, why have it then and why are you in here eating anyway? And why do have to make a fuss?
Take a look at the image above, for example. It’s a picture of a meal a friend ordered at Cafe Solo. It’s clearly scampi and chips.
But look, to that he’s added two poached eggs, some black pudding, beans and even bacon.
It’s obviously someone who wanted both a standard British lunch and a full English breakfast.
Indeed, it was in Cafe Solo where I was once eating alone when a woman in a big group preparing for a wedding kept shooting me sympathetic half-smiles. She clearly felt sorry for me.
She needn’t have bothered. I was perfectly happy with my fried breakfast and my copy of Private Eye.
In fact, it’s me that should be feeling sorry for all those eating out with people they can’t stand or family members they happen to detest.
Or what about those late middle aged couples who have drained all reservoirs of meaningful conversation. They’re pictures of unhappiness.
With that in mind, I’ll have one cup of tea and one bacon sarnie. Ah, bliss…