Your Guide To Tired Woman™ Dinner

By Anne T. Donahue

Over the last few weeks, I – and everybody else who lurks the internet – has seen a surge of Girl Dinner: meals consisting of snacks-as-supper which has found new life thanks to TikTok.

And to this I say, good for everybody. Truly! Good for those who, along with snacks-for-supper are likely also discovering charcuterie (here’s looking at you, Housewives) and breakfast foods after 6 pm. I love it!

What I don’t love is Tired Woman erasure. As a tired woman, I (and those who have come before me), have built my life on quick and easy meals that require zero effort while accomplishing the singular goal of ensuring I am no longer hungry. Thus, here is my attempt to help girlies across the cyber universe grow into the tired souls we inevitably become. Here is my guide to Tired Woman™ Dinner.

1. Stand while eating
It is crucial to begin here. While one may believe fatigue necessitates seated positions, veterans understand that somehow sitting down will make you even more tired. Who are these people who sit at their kitchen tables, secure in the knowledge that they will find the energy to rise up, move to another room, and perhaps look at the night as a landscape of possibility? Not Tired Women (or People, as I know we are all very exhausted). The dinners of tired folks are dinners of convenience – and pulling a chair out and bringing a plate over to a table is the opposite of that word.

2. Eat over the sink
Think of the sink as a more efficient plate. I know I sure do, scarfing my pre-bought egg salad sandwich and guzzling my cola-flavoured sparkling water between sighs of “Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.” Reader, that is the stuff. And now I’ve just saved money but not needing to wash any plates. I am a pioneer.

3. Eat in the car
But not while driving. No, dear reader, do not drain excess and precious energy by multi-tasking or running the risk of a distracted driving charge. Instead, welcome the parking lot as your restaurant; your reserved table in which you may consume “the usual.” What is the usual? Why, it’s whatever drive-thru you happened to see and think, “That’s it – I’m doing it.” The other day, I ate a wrap in an empty mall parking lot, listening to a podcast and pretending I was the mastermind behind it, too busy to worry about why I just spent $7 on something I could’ve made for $1 (I make bad decisions! Sue me!) and too tired to remind myself that paying in coins I found in my bag is not only the mark of a Tired Woman, but a Woman Who’s Earned It.

4. Do not limit your “meal” to “snacks”
When I say this, I don’t mean to stray from the tried-and-true method of noshing on everything you would otherwise pay a phenomenal amount at a restaurant for (particularly if placed on a wooden board). What I mean is to consider each and every morsel of edible anything as part of a collective “meal.” Ice cream? A meal. Chips, olives, and leftover chicken? A meal. Cereal? A meal. Kraft Dinner out of the pot? A delicious meal. Peanut butter on a spoon? Dessert. But particularly if chased by chocolate sauce, chocolate milk, Sweet Tarts, leftover Ferrero Rocher from Christmas, and a sleeve of raspberry turnover cookies which are criminally underrated.

The latter of which, must be consumed in bed.

5. Consume while watching a TV show about cooking and/or food, the type you will never, ever make yourself because who has the goddamn time
Exactly. I mean, technically we all have 24 hours in the day, but even if you only work for 30 minutes of those 24 hours, some of us would rather eat the contents of a stranger’s lawn than assemble a meal from scratch. (In my defense, I did try cooking last week and made the most disgusting lemon-butter sauce known to man – so offensive, FYI, that even my saintly mother said, “Oh my God, that’s terrible” and complained for at least an hour about how she couldn’t get rid of the aftertaste.)

The purpose of this activity is to make you appreciate the souls who feed you on a regular basis: restaurant owners, cooks, grocery store employees, delivery drivers, Mrs. Fields, Mr. Pretzel, Auntie Anne, Sbarro, and any friend or family member whose invited you for dinner. Then, after you savour this moment (see what I did there?) cave in and begin scrolling through a delivery app – only to fall asleep, phone in hand, half-eaten chocolate bar melting next to you.

6. Stock up on midnight snacks
I say this as a person who, last night, drank an Instant Breakfast for dinner because I had a headache and was PMSing. Thus, imagine my true commitment to Tired Woman when I awoke sometime between midnight and 3pm, famished and even more irritable. This is why I keep granola bars/a tiny box of Fruit Loops/cookies in a Tupperware within arm’s reach of bed, eclipsed only by the sheer majesty of the time I saved a leftover McDonalds apple pie for a late night treat.

And yet, this is so much more than a snack; so much more than an attempt to fill one’s (digestive) void with a tote bag of snacks. This is the continuation of dinner: another course in a long line of courses, defined entirely by what is nearby and what you will settle for. Fatigue means never having to justify eating whatever you want whenever you want to eat it. And by “fatigue” I mean “being alive” because under no circumstances do you need to justify what you consume, thank you. Especially when tired, but especially at any other time.

Need a little more Anne? Read more from Anne T. Donahue right here!

Tags: Anne T. Donahue, top story, topstory

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