What Your Sad Dinner Says About You


If you read my confessions of a snacker, you might already know I’m a little bit like a pigeon: I graze on scraps of food for sustenance. This manifests in several ways, such as two half-breakfasts spread across the morning, afternoon snacks that are like mini meals i.e. a dollop of yogurt with a granola sprinkle, and extremely depressing (not clinically but still worthy of a tear) dinners that I muster the energy to consume around 8 p.m. I know I’m not the only one though. If you’re embroiled in the same American office culture that I am — one that has most of us tip tapping away past sundown — then you probably eat sad dinners too. If you have time to cook, I’m going to assume you’re Martha Stewart.

(Hi Martha.)

But if long hours bring us together in Sad Meals, how exactly we interpret that is our great divide. Everyone has a different go-to when it comes to pulling something together so that our bodies may continue to function and our moms don’t yell at us, which is why I’ve broken them down below.

Warning: eye-opening and pseudo-intellectual insights await you.

If you eat leftovers…


…you’re responsible. You either cooked another night (good for you!) or you took food home from a restaurant (how forward-thinking!). You’re also willing to sacrifice the satisfaction of fresh food for economical purposes. Your mom would be proud.

Unless you stole the leftovers from your roommate, in which case invert all of the above.

If you just snack…


…you’re a kid at heart. You always keep snacks around the house because when you don’t have any, you start eating weird things like dry cereal mixed with chocolate chips and that’s even more depressing than just eating actual snacks in lieu of meals.

If you eat cereal…


…you’re a BIG kid at heart. You prefer real meals but aren’t a good cook. If it were up to you, you’d have a live-in chef or eat at a restaurant every night. Instead, you come home and don’t feel like expending the time or energy or money on either and so you eat the only thing you have in your cabinet: cereal.

Probably two bowls.

If you eat frozen dinners…


…you’re a rule-follower. You’re a little careless with your money and extremely busy because, even though frozen dinners are marked-up like crazy, the thought of rooting around your fridge or cabinets for spare ingredients makes you want to take a nap. The buttons on the microwave are all you can handle, typically.

You also love TV.

If you order takeout…

…you’re a little impulsive. You’re not trying to save money when it comes to dinner and you’re committed to enjoying it, but also you hate to cook or don’t know how and don’t care. You’re probably really fun at bars, too.

If you throw whatever random shit you have on a sandwich…

…you’re losing control of your life. You don’t have the wherewithal to go grocery shopping nor pull up Seamless and so you scrap whatever together out of desperation. Thus you have a random and terrible dinner that you semi-regret after you finish but you don’t have the energy to care about.

So, which applies to you? To be honest, I think I’m all of them.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; Creative direction by Emily Zirimis.


Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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