Going back to cooking for one has been a strange adjustment. Especially since I'm not really cooking, just microwaving. I looked at my purchases on the conveyor belt at the grocery store yesterday, and realized that I was buying food like someone who doesn't know how to cook: frozen dinners and breakfast things (organic and vegetarian, but frozen nonetheless), snack bars, dried fruits, salad makings, boxes of rice and beans or couscous. It looked like the shopping of someone who wants to be healthy but doesn't have the time/inclination/talent to cook her own food!
I've always entertained myself in line at the store with speculations about people's lives based on their purchases. I see lots of young women buying food such as I have been for the past few weeks. I imagine them to have good jobs, live alone or with a friend, and spend their weekends at the clubs or on group dates kayaking at the arboretum. I often want to introduce myself to the people I see buying fresh fish and vegetables, good wines and cheeses, and a decadent torte from the bakery; they are obviously about to throw a great party, and could I come?
Then there are the bachelors. Erik gave the best example of this category from his recent shopping excursion: Three men in line (one of whom was my temporary bachelor), each with a six pack of beer and some form of prepared dinner, i.e., frozen pizza or hot foods from the deli counter. There were no repeats; each man had his own choice of beer and dinner - but that was all they were buying. No vegetables, either, I might point out! But, honestly, how much fun is it to cook up a bunch of asparagus or broccoli and then eat it alone in front of the tv? Yeah, not very. Food is social, both the eating and preparing of it, and as much as I have enjoyed living away from the dorm, I look forward to sharing food with my friends and family again.