I love lunch. Lunch is my favorite meal of the day. Breakfast often arrives much too early and has to be eaten hurriedly before work, an airplane flight, or another commitment. Breakfast foods, in my view, are dreadfully boring, and often involve eggs (to which I am allergic) prepared in some form. Dinner, although many people’s favorite meal, is, at least in my view, not as fun as lunch. When I was growing up, dinner time was rigidly set at the same time every day. My parents and I ate dinner together and we discussed topics ranging from current events to the mundane events in each of our daily activities. When we had dinner guests, including family visiting from out of town, dinner time remained the same and discussions were expanded to include our guests. Dinner foods, while more varied than breakfast, were not overly appealing to me (except when fried shrimp was served!). Lunch, in contrast to breakfast or dinner, involves fun foods and is often eaten someplace other than home. When I was in elementary, middle, and high school, I thoroughly enjoyed the food prepared in our school cafeteria by our “lunch ladies.” Some of these wonderful women were long time family friends and I always got great service in the school cafeteria. (I have such fond memories of school lunches that I have a playlist on my iPod that features songs played in my high school cafeteria! I named this playlist, “Cafeteria Music” and I routinely play it in hotels when I am getting ready for a big day of mock trials or jury selection.) On the occasions when I didn’t like what was on the lunch menu or during the years I attended a school that didn’t have a cafeteria, Mom prepared my lunch, which always included a sandwich, potato sticks (chips break, but potato sticks are indestructible!), cookies and Kool-Aid. Yum! I still look forward to lunch every day and the adventure of going to lunch someplace, including eating lunch at my office, prepared ahead of time at home. I like lunch in all its unpretentiousness. And, I do indeed call it “lunchy”!
There are things one learns about a spouse, a partner (business or personal), and friends that may surprise us at first. That my wife, with a Ph.D., liked “lunchy” was one of those surprising things for me. Not that she likes lunch, but that she calls it “lunchy” – and preferably, for her, it should be crunchy and munchy. Knowing this, it is great to be able to interject some “lightness” into our work routine. As much as we enjoy the work we do, it most often involves very serious topics, like death and dismemberment. Even the commercial cases on which we work involve serious issues and usually large amounts of money. Having been a litigant, I know that, even in these money only cases, there are many personal issues involved – that is, someone is often losing sleep over the case. And, then there are the deadlines. Because we are often at the end of the litigation thought chain, much of our work is done by deadlines created, not just by our clients, but by their judges. I never understood the degree to which scheduling uncertainty was a part of the lives of lawyers until getting into the world of trial consulting all those years ago. There is no way to appreciate such things until one is in the middle of it. Thus, finding a little adventure at lunch time breaks the tension. I cannot say that my school lunches were all that great; when they were prepared at school, they weren’t. On the other hand, the chicken salad sandwiches my mom prepared were wonderful – something I didn’t appreciate for many years. That is, the quality of her chicken salad – it is hard for me today to find anything comparable! (And, sadly, her chicken salad making days are over.) But, the hunt for great lunchy experiences continues.