Lessons Learned from Lunching

Almost every week I meet a friend or two and have a long lunch.  I discover so many of the best new restaurants this way, and my friends always agree to wherever I want to dine.  I feel like that is owed to me after a shift working alone in my office. I have no office mates and now not even a cat to join me every day.   So lunch is my time for socializing.
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Today I went to a place I’d never been to before. Kobe Japanese near the Home Depot in Greenfield was today’s location.  And my old friend from Portland, Curtis Rich joined me.  I always enjoy our thoughtful and insight-filled discussions.

We met back in 1981 when I lived up in Maine. Today he’s the co-owner of the chain of coffee shops around the Valley, Shelburne Falls Coffee.

I’ve realized a few things after ten years of lunching with mates.

One is that four is the perfect number, and five is too many.  Four allows a civil mutual conversation or two separate conversations.  But five leaves one man out.  So we never have five.

Asian restaurants always make it the easiest to both order food and pay.  Rarely will I have a long hold up if I choose one of the dozens of Asian joints around the Valley.  Other ethnic restaurants, like a Tibetan place called Mo Mo’s, can be frustrating.

Many, many restaurants that we go to have adopted the counter pay, get your food yourself method, and we always prefer a waitress and a menu, and of course, the tip.  But some places that we really like make us do the counter thing, so we comply meekly.   It’s frustrating that some of the best lunch places insist on this method, but some like the Esselon Cafe, do offer to bring it to your table.

The one thing I would love to have happen is for one of my lunchmates to email me with a suggested lunch date. It seems that up to now if I don’t organize it, nobody meets up for lunch.

Could that just be that?