Today was one of the two pagan meetups this month at the Chinese restaurant on 82nd. Once upon a time, I would buy meals there. Money got tighter, and I'd maybe buy a cup of soup, and then it got to the point where, the past few months, I can't afford to get anything there anymore. So nowadays I eat before I leave for the meetups. So I end up not having anything else to eat until around 11 PM. It's okay, I throw some granola bars in my bag before I leave so I don't get *too* hungry between 9:30, when I leave, and 11 when I get home. (Darn buses) I normally just tell the waiter I've already eaten, and they're fine with that. I'm one of the few who go to the meetup who don't order anything. I usually also casually mention to the group at large or whoever's next to me that I can't afford to buy anything there, and that I eat before I leave because of it.
But today was interesting. I had the good fortune to sit between two people who both ordered huge meals and barely ate any of it. What's more, they both offered to share with me. I'm extremely polite, so I tend to refuse offers of food or the occasional offers by Sorcha to pay for something for me. Well, I refuse initially, but generally accept on the second offering. (In the case of Sorcha offering to pay for my stuff, I usually order a cup or bowl of soup, because they are inexpensive items.)
Anyway, so today I happened to be sitting between two people who ordered huge meals and barely ate any. One ordered kung pao tofu and the other ordered something called "twice cooked pork." My only experience with tofu being a failed experiment of mine, I decided to try a little. It turned out to be pretty good. Not great, but good. All I had of that, initially, was a couple scoops, which wasn't much. I took about 4 scoops of the pork, initially. Later on, the guy made an open invite to the group to take some of the pork because he wasn't going to be able to eat it all. I took a little more, and I think I was the only one to take him up on the offer. Oh, there was also someone at the other table (the meetup group took up two large-ish tables today) who ordered pot stickers to be shared. I had one.
Then, it turned out that the woman on my left, who had ordered the tofu, barely ate any of it. (She had started out asking about appetizers; I guess what she ordered was bigger than she'd expected.) She was going to just throw it away, but she told me I could have it if I wanted. So I got it put into a box to take home. Then, as we were leaving, the guy with the pork decided he didn't want to eat leftovers either, and gave me the box of pork. (Which, BTW, has bok choy in it.) And whoever ordered the pot stickers had two left over in a box, left without taking them, and was gone for at least half an hour before we left, so I ended up taking that home as well. I'm currently eating the pork stuff.
And really, it was luckier than usual. I hadn't eaten a very big meal before leaving. I woke up at 3 (yes, PM) and didn't start making anything to eat until after 4. What I made was 10 sausage links and some oatmeal, with Irish breakfast tea to wash it down. It was intended as a pre-breakfast, to tide me over until I could have my main meal, but by the time I'd cooked and eaten it, it was 5:15. I tried looking for something else to eat, and was still stuck in that early morning "nothing looks good" mood that I get most mornings anymore. I had to give up around 5:30 to start getting ready to leave, since I had to leave at 6. And I ended up, on my way home, waiting for a half hour in the freezing cold while waiting for the 15, then another half hour in the freezing cold waiting for the 71. And of course, it hadn't been that cold earlier, so I could have done with more clothes. Like, some of my long socks, an extra skirt, maybe a second pair of pants. My top half was warm enough, except for my face, but my toes were freezing, and I was getting a draft up my legs despite the slacks I was wearing under the dress. And that cloak of mine isn't a winter cloak. Like I told Sorcha, when I get to keep more of my money again, I hope to buy a proper winter cloak. The one I have only goes to my knees at the best of times, and is just fleece. Warm, but not as warm as, say, wool. I plan some day to get a nice long woolen winter cloak some day.
Next meetup, I think I'll wear the bootlike shoes. They keep the cold air out better.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org