How To Eat Al Fresco When You're Really Having a Sad Desk Lunch

A guided meditation.

September 8, 2017 ‚óŹ 2 min read

By Cassandra Landry | Image iStock; Collage ChefsFeed

If you have come to this meditation, let's assume you are without even a suitable stoop upon which to break bread. You perhaps considered sitting cross-legged on the ground itself, maybe even tried it once, but the swarm of pigeons that accosted you put you off the idea. 

First, close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. 

Allow the spirit of someone who takes a three-hour patio lunch with no remorse to inhabit your body and mind. Yes, you will have another Aperol spritz. Yes, you would like another side of bread. No, you are not wearing a watch or checking email while waiting for your server. In fact, you have never heard of email, or inbox zero, or five-minute bullet journaling. You have heard of lunch, and you are very good at it. Do you even have a job? You can't remember. 

Once you have done this, open your eyes and take stock of whatever it is you have tidily prepared the night before and brought from home (unlikely) or scrounged from the office communal snack supply (more likely). Does it require utensils? The use of both of your hands? Assess your mobility and available space. Wait fifteen minutes to simulate the timing of a restaurant kitchen. 

Do a few jumping jacks to achieve a light misting of perspiration while you wait. To your forehead, you are now sitting on a sunny patio.  

Pull up "Traffic Sounds of The Urban Rainforest" on your phone, and put in your earbuds. 

Don't have a chic white tablecloth handy? Simply unhook the paper towel roll from the bathroom dispenser and paper your entire desk. Everyone has wet hands now and they're giving you some major side eye, but look at it! It's practically the Ritz! Bonus if you can fold the wax from a Babybel cheese into the shape of a rose. 

Trap a few flies and bring them back to your desk. This will replicate the sensation of being outdoors, eating the most gorgeous sandwich you've ever seen while a fly insists on landing on your arms and fries and face every few seconds. (Do flies even like dried out baby carrots and hummus dregs? Do you?) 

If you're having trouble staying in The Moment, gather your Tupperware or crinkly sleeve of assorted nuts and seek out that one window that's also in the conference room. Open it, and lean your face into that sweet, sweet, breeze. If there's also a meeting going on in said conference room, try to chew quietly. If that window has been painted shut and no one knows how to open it, just press your face to the pane for an only slightly less realistic effect.

Look at you, you're practically outdoors!

No, but for real: make time for al fresco meals while you still can, using guides like this one for Los Angeles.  It's an essential part of enjoying the last 50 days of summer like it's nobody's business. SEE THEM ALL, HERE!