Getting Over the GuiltPosted: February 17, 2011
Once a month my work caters in lunch. Since I stopped eating meat the amount of choices I have at these lunches have dwindled down, sometimes to nothing. Not wanting to sound as insufferable as I am, I only casually mentioned something about there not being any meatless options to our HR department.
It ended up being a bigger deal than it was (I could always just bring my lunch on those days), but they did try to accommodate me. Instead of being able to enjoy my garden vegetable soup though, I was racked with feelings of guilt. I had, in a sense, forced their hand into what they were going to be serving for lunch, and I felt awful about it. Later, when someone from our HR department mentioned to me that I could take what was left of the soup (and she was sure to mention that there was A LOT left), I felt even worse.
These feelings of guilt aren’t just limited to work. My mother-in-law has been trying, sometimes desperately, to make me something that I can eat that constitutes as an actual meal. Every time we go there for dinner I tell her not to worry about it and that I can figure something out on my own, but she tries anyway. This makes me feel bad. I feel bad that she has to make multiple meals and that she has to deal with my insufferable ways.
However, I got to thinking about my feelings of guilt, and I realized that there’s nothing to feel guilty about. I’ve chosen a lifestyle that is different from most of those around me, and I’m ok with that. I will gladly pack my own lunch, and even my own dinner, but people are choosing to be accommodating. So I will let them continue with their efforts, but I will also continue to tell them that they need not feel obligated to feed me. If they choose to make me something anyway, I will try my hardest not to feel guilty about being difficult.