Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Cafeteria.


As Queen Oprah refers to it, yesterday I had one of those 'A-Ha' moments.

And of all places, it happened in the lunch cafeteria!

There is a building a couple of blocks from where I work that has a large cafeteria-style restaurant in the bottom level, where you can get a wide variety of foods to eat:  Everything from mexican, to italian, a deli, sushi, a grill, etc...

I had just gotten my delicious Chicken Quesadilla that I couldn't wait to devour eat at a reasonable pace.  :)

It was unusually busy for some reason, and the lines to the cash registers were much longer.

So I patiently waited...

But while I was waiting, I was noticing all of the different people in line in front of me.  Some were business professionals, dressed to the 9's in suits and skirts.  Others looked like students, who were dressed in track pants and pullovers.  Then there were the 'normal' folks in jeans.

These are people from all walks of life.

After paying for my food, I sat down at a table, but couldn't help to still look around and people watch.

That's when it hit me...  The cafeteria is the Great Equalizer.

   *A man in a snazzy suit is no better here than a kid in baggy jeans and a t-shirt.

   *It doesn't matter how much money you have;  We all still have to wait in that darn line!

   *Seating is 1st come, 1st served.  There is no VIP lunch section.

   *No one is Republican.  No one is Democrat.

   *Women, Gays, & Minorites get treated equally here.

   *We all eat pizza.  We all eat ice cream.  At the core, we are all the same!

For a few moments of our day, we are all equal...and I like it!

Can you imagine if we could carry this mentality over to the rest of our days/lives? 

We'd be living in a damn Utopia!


  1. I never thought about the cafeteria like this, but you have a point. Now I'm going to look around. :)

  2. Always thinking, Paulie! I love the way your mind works.

  3. This is very true! I never thought of it, but you're totally correct!

  4. Let's run away to Utopia and live happily ever after! We can have dinner parties in the Utopian cafeteria. LOL!

  5. "at the core, we are all the same."

    Very true, my friend. Very true.
    Too bad all the other shit in our lives gets in the way.

  6. I think you're onto to something Paul.
    A Cafe-utopia?
    Where do they keep the trays, I'm hungry!

  7. Oh Paul, I love your life... I wanna trade sometimes!

  8. I agree with Aymo. You always make the best out of any situation you are in. I'm so happy to be able to call you my pal!

  9. Never thought about it like that, but yes you are correct. Many times I sit next to top executives in the lunchroom, and now everytime I see them in there I will think about your blog.

  10. Great observation. So true. When I used to live in New York, I would think the same thing every time I took the subway. It was the great leveler of socio-economic status.

  11. I'm guessing your U.S. History teacher never brought up the cultural significance of Coney island. It brought everyone together and forced them to wait in the same line. But which came first Coney or the cafeteria? /how low was ur blood sugar lol

  12. Hmm, well just joey...since I wasn't actually at Coney island, it would be quite hard for me to have an A-Ha moment there.

    There are actually many examples of where we are all 'equalized' out. For instance, the lakefront path (anyone can throw on a pair of shoes and take a walk!), or the DMV (we all have to sit and wait for our darn license renewals!)

  13. Speaking of cafeterias, when are we going to have lunch, Paul?

  14. ‘utopia’ (Ουτοπία)
    The Greeks had two meaning for it:
    ’eu-topos’, meaning the good place, and ’u-topos’ meaning the place that cannot be.

  15. Wait till they create a VIP cards of this cafeteria to sell!

  16. very true.....isnt it funny how those moments can hit in the strangest places;)

  17. Well said! I feel the same when I take the public transport too.

  18. Don't be fooled by Oprah, it's just another example of the government trying to socialize everything.

  19. Paul!

    I feel so bad.

    You wrote such a poignant post and all I could think about after was eating!

    Sometimes cheap cafeteria food can be so good!


  20. Paul, life is like your cafeteria, I just wishso many people weren't afraid to come in, sit down, and have a bite to eat.