Before The Yes: The Curse Of The Office Eater

By Alyssa Jackson

You’re sitting in your cubical and somewhere within earshot those four magical words are uttered: “Do you want this?” They’re not directed at you. But you know it’s directed at your heart. It is after all, an offering of food.

No matter how swamped you are, no matter what’s on your plate, your mind clears and there’s only one solitary train of thought: “This. Food. What is it? Does it matter?” The anxiety begins to build as one by one you hear the offering repeated to the food averse, the culinarily constricted, the unappreciative, and dare you say – the undeserving. You bite your tongue struggling to contain the urge to cry out and stake claim to all that you desire.

With each inquiry the hole in your soul finds new depth. With each decline every fiber of your being finds new light. Your mind whirling with obscenities as you swing from hate to hope and back again. And then you hear them. The footsteps near your place of eternal indentured servitude.

You lock eyes with The Giver. They are worn, weary, and exasperated from their crusade to find someone – anyone – that will consume the sustenance they seek to surrender. And then you see it. A glint appears as their eyes find joy and moisture. In that moment they see you for all that you are to them and to food. And as the beloved “of course you’ll eat this” face washes over their visage, your heart delights in knowing that in this instance you have been absolved and there is no guilt in saying yes.