I’m a vegetarian and my friends are all carnivores. We like to eat out and this presents a problem because everyone wants to share my food. I can’t share their food because it contains meat. After my plate is passed around the table, there is often not much food left for me.
I’ve tried loudly stating “Don’t worry about ordering food for me, I’ll order separately because I am vegetarian” and “Shall we make sure several people order vegetarian dishes since everyone likes my delicious-looking entrees when I get them?” and “Let’s order vegetarian appetizers and you can order meat entrees”. I can’t afford to order 2-3 dishes so that I can share and have enough to eat. Whether we split the bill or get separate checks, I end up paying for a full meal, but only get a few bites.
Leggo my Eggo
Call me a curmudgeon but I'm generally not excited to eat family style at restaurants and I don't even share your vegetarian restrictions. I spend too much of the meal worried about not taking too much or that other people seem to be taking more than their share or that plates won't make it all the way around, yadda yadda. Who needs the stress? Let's all just order for ourselves!
I'm not sure whether your friends are just oblivious and caught up in the moment of the meal or whether you aren't stating your requests as loudly as you think you are, but I wholly sympathize. The next time you're out I think you have to insist, even to the point of feeling rude, that you are ordering for yourself and keeping your plate. Perhaps mention it to your friends ahead of time so you don't feel like you have to shout across the table above the din of a busy restaurant. Your request is 100% reasonable so don't take no for an answer.
Readers, has this come up in your circle of friends?