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The Eating Out Habit By Paula Marantz Cohen

When I was growing up in suburban New Jersey in the 1960s, my parents would announce periodically that we would be going to go out to dinner. When the announcement was made, the evening was imbued with a festive air. We dressed up — I have a recollection of patent leather shoes and crinolines. Eating out was an occasion; it happened rarely and felt like an extravagance.

I don’t think my family was unique in this. Most people of that era — unless they worked in advertising — rarely ate out.

No longer. Now, everyone eats out all the time.

I say “everyone,” knowing full well that there are people for whom eating out is, at best, a trip to McDonalds, and others who continue to gather around the dinner table (à la Moonstruck) for a home-cooked meal. But most people who graduated from college in the past two decades — even those with mountains of college debt — eat out a great deal. Eating out has become something done routinely — a habit, if you will. The philosopher and psychologist William James defined a habit as something learned through repetitive action: we do it “with difficulty the first time, but soon do it more and more easily, and finally, with sufficient practice, do it semi-mechanically, or with hardly any consciousness at all.”

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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