The Anatomy Of Big-Group Lunch Outings


Hi! Welcome to your favorite diner. Today you’ll be joined by that obnoxiously large group of “friends” that’ll be heard by every other patron of this place. Every big-group lunch outing involves a very strict guideline as who to invite and where to sit. Since you’ll be overhearing their conversations against your will, let’s take a look at what these people will be discussing in the proceeding time-frame as you try, and fail, to hear yourself think.

1. The new couple

This is the two people who devised this whole shindig. Everyone at the table is somehow directly or indirectly related to these two individuals. Sitting close together at the head of the table, both with hands on each other’s knees starting every sentence with the word we. Identities have been lost.

Conversations include:

  • “We just saw that movie.”
  • “We haven’t tried that restaurant yet.”
  • “We are into that.”
  • “We are really glad you could make it.”

2. The co-workers

These people are seated within a few chairs of the new couple, because that is the only person they know at the table.

Male: This guy works with the male of the “new couple” and has nothing of interest to say, thus brings up work topics like, “Man our boss is really a jerk, huh?”

Conversations include:

  • “How do you know (male from ‘new couple’)?”

Female: This lady works with the female of the “new couple” and likewise feels rather left out. She’ll ask the female from “new couple” some questions that go pretty much unanswered and talked over by others at the table (see long-time best friends).

Conversations include:

  • “So what do you do?”

3. The long-time best friends

Males: These two to three dudes have known each other since high school, went to the same college, pledged the same frat and now all work in the same professional field. The male from “new couple” is their “lost brethren” missing out on day drinking and sexist remarks, potentially well into his early 30s.

Conversations include:

  • None with anyone outside their group.
  • However, frequent interjections
    • “Sorry to interrupt, but that sounds just like the time (male from “new couple”) got wasted at the Kappa house!”
    • “Dude! It wasn’t too long ago you were slammindifferent ladies every weekend bro!”

Females: These three ladies are all “so happy” that (female from “new couple”) has found somebody. The high pitch and volume of their voices drains out everyone else at the table and many others in the restaurant. Frequent reminders of “it’s been too long” since they’ve seen each other and “I feel so fat eating all of this right now” dominate the table’s airwaves.

Conversations include:

  • “Oh wow.”
  • “”
  • “”
  • Not so secretly rolling their eyes.

4. The friend by association

This unlucky male or female is only at the big group lunch because they date one of the “best friends” of “new couple.” Their time is spent silently enjoying their lunch and checking the group in at the restaurant on social media accompanied by the the status “Friend lunches are the best.” They’ve been forced to befriend the other males or females of the larger friend group.

Conversations include:

  • “Oh I’m dating (‘best friend’ of ‘new couple’).”
  • Awkward smiling during nostalgic stories.

5. The single woman

One of the “long-time best friends” who simply “functions better on her own”—so she says. She is independently wealthy, considering she has no kids or spouse and works at a stuffy desk job 60 hours a week. She “stays busy” and enjoys the company of her multiple pets.

Conversations include:

  • Avoiding eye contact with the known single males present.

6. The single man

This guy is a bachelor by choice and one of the “long-time best friends.” He pounds a six-pack of domestic beer every night after work and loves chicken wings. He works in middle management and wears a fleece vest on the weekends.

Conversations include:

  • “Catch the game last night?”
  • “Should we get an appetizer/pitcher for the table?”

7. The desperately single man

This is an additional tag-along friend outside the “long-time best friends.” The male from “new couple” knows this guy is lonely and ready to settle down, so he invited him out of pity. Desperately single man intentionally waited for the ladies to arrive and followed them in—this lead to his placement right next to all the females at the table.

Conversations include:

  • Laughing at anything a woman says hoping it’ll spark conversation.
  • “Are you on Facebook?”

8. The desperately single woman

She met (female from ‘new couple’) at a hot yoga class or some other chance-public-encounter and befriended her online. An awkward exchange of Facebook messages lead to this particular invite, where she hopes to meet a few guys.

Conversations include:

  • Nervous smiling and utter silence even when asked a question.

9. The friend-of-a-friend

This person was invited along by a friend of “new couple” but that friend cancelled last minute as this person was arriving at the restaurant. They’ve vaguely met some of the people attending lunch at other get-togethers, but essentially will be totally alone in this endeavor.

Conversations include:

  • “I hate to eat and leave so quickly, but I’ve got some errands to run,” at their first opportunity to speak.
  • “Good to see you too.”

10. The friend that nobody is sure why they consider this person a friend

This person has been tagging along for years. Somehow they are always invited to big group events, but everybody—that knows them already—generally ignores them. Retelling blasé stories gets a groan from familiar ears, but new people roped in have to appear engaged. They also seem to think puns are a big hit.

Conversations include:

  • “So long story short, the barbecue, despite the lack of mustard, was a success, I’d say.”
  • “Talk about ‘raining on my parade’ right?”—referring to upcoming nasty weather.

11. The long-term couple

Sitting at the other head of the table these two people appear to have never met each other before, although they’ve been together 5 or more years (who cares at this point?). They sit with heads turned opposite of each other trying to spark conversation with anyone other than their significant other. These two were the ones who introduced the “new couple” to one another at a similar lunch outing such as this.

Conversations include:

  • “Don’t jump into anything until you’re ready.”
  • “I’ll have to run that by the old ‘ball and chain’ ”
  • “I need a guy’s/girl’s night soon.”

12. The married couple

These two mature adults have made a life-long commitment to each other, but sit across from each other at the table. They’re who introduced the “long-term couple” to each other. They’ve got 4 beautiful children that everybody has to pretend to be interested in.

Conversations include:

    • “Look at this picture of our kids.”
    • “When are you guys tying the knot?”
    • “We don’t get out much these days.”