“Breaking Social Norms – Eating on the floor”by Samuel Ramos

I actually did this right in the beginning of this term. I wasn’t really thinking about breaking any social norms when I realized during lunch time the cougarette food court was actually very crowded, considering it was spring term. I then bought spaghetti with alfredo sauce from the italian fast food restaurant and decided to eat it on the floor. To make it more interesting, I sat on a table where there was two other guys chatting. I asked them if I could join them, but instead of sitting on the chair, I sat on the floor and pulled out a chair to set my food on it. In order to make this more fancy I dumped my spaghetti on a tin foil paper and started eating with my hands. 

I didn’t try to talk to any of the guys. Not that they really would want to do that, since I proved to be a weirdo after that. They were looking at me a lot, and clearly laughing and making comment about me. People around my table also couldn’t hide their smiles (or laughs). No one approached me, or joined our table. For me, I confess I was kind of nervous at first, but after the first five minutes I didn’t really care anymore. I ate happily and slowly. Although I never received so many funny or weird looks with such frequency in my entire life, I found it interesting to notice how people expect the normal and want to be adequate to avoid feeling left out. 

Oh before I forget, at the end of my meal I former mission companion saw me and came over to chat, I could see his confused eyes as he greeted me. At first I didn’t say anything and chatted normally for a couple of minutes, then I told him ” by the way, I usually eat seated on a chair and use a table and plate.”He responded “oh, thats great”. I explained to him the purpose of this but I’m not sure he believed me. Maybe he actually thinks I’m a weirdo. But that’s okay, I guess. After all, wasn’t this the purpose of this experiment anyways (it even rhymed)?

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