Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

Wanted to say this, but knew it wasn't appropriate.

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Coworkers have often asked what I'm having for lunch - it's sort of a conversation starter if you're in the shared lunchroom. If it's homemade, leads to talk of recipes. If it's bought, leads to discussion of best lunch places around work.

I'd be surprised that someone assumed I was vegetarian because I was eating a felafel. They're yummy. Not an unusual lunch choice where I live in Australia so maybe that's why no one's ever made that comment.

OP's response was fine  - kept it brief and minimised the interruption.

For the coworker who keeps going on about being vegetarian, sounds like it could be a good time for a bean dip and ask "so what are you having for lunch?". Though that would open up further conversation which may not be the OP's goal.

" you're a vegetarian?"

"No, I eat pretty much everything... veggies, cow, low-flying ducks..."

Things that don't move fast enough to get away in time...

Just wanted to reassure the OP that this kind of conversation is no better if you actually ARE a vegetarian. Sometimes you just want to say, "Yep" and leave it at that, but it's rare that anyone making such broad assumptions will leave it at that anyway.

(I still try the "one-word answer" technique when I'm not up for discussing my personal choices or ethics. Another option is, "Have you *tried* the falafel from _____ (or the falafel mix from ____ brand or ____'s recipe)? They're so good, I don't care what's in them!" Just pretend you're talking about reasonable stuff that you're comfortable with and allow the person to come along with you .)

Also, we had a vegetarian wedding with falafel as a central dish, and all but 8 guests are happy omnivores. No one seemed to be having a discussion about the vegetarianess or lack thereof of the meal. I would guess you just were having a weird day!

I bought tofu the other day and though I was also buying a couple of lamb racks, the checker asked if I was a vegetarian. "Nope, just like it as an alternate source of protein."

In your case, I'd quit providing much detail. Maybe just a "it's a Middle Eastern dish"


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