“Lunch Without Friends”


I used to meet about once a month at 11:30 at the Panera Bread cafe for lunch with a dear friend. I would usually have a salad with chicken, she a soup and half salad or half sandwich. The food was not the reason we were getting together, so it didn’t matter that there is nothing fancy about the place. Getting there at 11:30 guaranteed a good seat before the place filled up. We would often stay for an hour or an hour and a half talking. Nothing astonishing, just catching up on our lives, our families, books we were reading or shows we had watched.

Of course we have missed our March and April meals, and are certain to miss a few more. Yes, we talk on the phone, but it isn’t the same. We started getting together in the first place because we wanted a closer connection than the one we had established on the phone. Now we have had to take a step back and we can notice the difference.

It turns out that these casual get-togethers were much more important to me than I realized. I miss her, the cashier, the person trying to convince me to use a machine instead of the cashier and the bustling atmosphere. It really was never about the food, as it turns out. Right after the book store and the haircut, I hope to meet up for lunch again.

26 thoughts on ““Lunch Without Friends”

  1. The only real change in my life has been not going to a restaurant for dinner once a month. I enjoyed getting out of the house, not having to cook, and eating something that I wouldn’t ever cook at home. When this is over, eating out will be the first thing I do. The rest will be no different, except the traffic will be heavier.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. I too miss lunches or coffee with family and friends. And I especially miss going out for a nice dinner with my husband, where you can linger, perhaps with a glass of wine and a nice view.


  3. You have hit the nerve that all of us feel. Those casual little moments were really important. Thank goodness we realize that now. The flood of love and friendship, and more importantly the deep appreciation for others, will be enormous when we can be together again.


  4. We have eaten take-out meals beside the creek and at home, but it’s not the same as eating in a restaurant. We appreciate the service and seeing other people enjoying themselves. I hope it won’t be too long until you can go out with your friend again.


  5. I was able to go for a social distancing walk with a dear friend along the waterfront this week, seeing her for the first time since lock down. It was lovely to catch up! 😀
    Bless you Elizabeth,


  6. Your post encompasses how I feel. I organize a monthly retirement lunch, and I miss my former coworkers so much. It’s all about quality time with people we care for.


  7. I think we are all missing a range of things that give structure to our lives, and it takes time to find substitutes. I really don’t like the online Zoom alternatives.


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