Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Series of One-Pagers: "How To"

***Preface: I've decided to make good use of my one pagers from my writing class. Every week as homework, on top of my book project, I write a one page essay based a numerous prompts my teacher gives me. I feel like they should have a home, and hopefully, an audience here until they are published elsewhere. Happy reading!

Much love,


Prompt: write a "how to..." piece

How To: Read While Eating.

There comes a point in every person’s life when eating alone is no longer a problem or a “weird” thing to do. It could happen at anytime, 20’s, 30’s, or the late bloomers in their 40’s. But nevertheless, it occurs: you do not need social interaction in order to enjoy your meal. Congratulations, you’re one step along in our lesson.

Step Two:

Once you’ve embraced your love for yourself and food, another suitable companion in your newfound love for solitude is your book. Literature is a lonely pursuit, whether you decide to read it or write, the printed word is no group activity. Do not mention book clubs to me. Continuing on, a good book with your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is as important as the meal itself and whether you decided to go for soup or salad. (I will briefly mention here that soups and salads are friendly options for the reading while eating activity. Later in the steps we will cover other manageable and efficient food options). The book that you chose to read should be something of great interest to you, but remember; others can see what you’re reading. Whether they want to admit or not, if you’re eating alone and reading, people are going to watch you because they envy your independence, intelligence, and you’re crispy chicken wrap with the house salad. So, keep it mind that the book you chose to bring along to your dining outing is essential to the type of image you want to project to your neighbors. I will list a few examples to give you a clearer idea of what I mean.

Books that say you love vampires no matter how badly written they are:

· Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, or Breaking Dawn

Books that say you want to be in a book club without the whole club part:

· Any new addition to Oprah’s Book Club

-Disclaimer: if you do chose an Oprah Book Club be prepared that the shiny sticker proclaiming such news could get one of your neighbors to be bold enough to start a conversation with you. If such an incident occurs, promptly answer in Spanish that you rather be eating your hair then to interrupt your solo lunch to talk about a book you haven’t finished and do not want be spoiled. Smile and return to your eating and reading. The Spanish can be substituted for any other foreign language.

Books that say you want to be taken seriously despite your chilli cheese dog and jumbo fries with chilli and cheese

· Tale of Two Cities, Crime and Punishment, Swann’s Way, Jane Eyre, etc. etc.

Once the book is selected the meal is the next decision. While looking over the menu consider the following:

· It is messy?

· Do I need both hands?

· Can I use silverware?

· Is it going to get on the book?

· Is it so good am I going to get distracted from reading?

This last point is especially important to consider. You do want to neglect your book for your meal or vice versus. Most meals, however, can be worked around the book. Take for instance, something that needs hands versus silverware to be consumed: a burger or a wrap, even a sandwich. When you cannot hold the page down to read your third paragraph implement a paper weight of some kind: the iPhone is an exceptional paper weight from many personal experiences, but other cell phones can be useful. The salt or peppershaker, the fork, or the knife at your table can also get the job done.

Undoubtedly food will find its way to the page or even more so, the spine of the book that works like a perfect catcher to all your crumbs. When you decided to read and eat you must understand the risk. Dirty books, in my opinion, give character and memory to your ownership of that particular book, but by no means do you want to bring your first edition of anything to your table. Keep all eating books under the price of $20 to make you okay and at ease if balsamic vinaigrette smudges over “you” and “can” on the fourth paragraph.

Overall, enjoy eating and reading, and most especially, your undivided attention to – you. Join me next time when we discuss how to put on your make-up while watching your favorite television show.


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