Tray Chic

At school, we’ve gotten hip with the eco-friendly times and have eliminated the need, and therefore use, of trays in the cafeteria. I will only say it once more, lest someone hit me, that in three years here, I have used a tray maybe 3 times. If that.

“Why cut out trays?” you ask. Well, it’s a great idea on many levels. A whole lot of schools have moved to this trayless method of dining to save tons of gallons of water that was used to wash them and they’ve also wasted less food. You know – if you don’t have a big ol’ tray to pile plates, bowls, and cups on, maybe you’re more likely to get only what you will actually finish. I think it’s a win-win.

I am clearly in the minority. It’s all anyone talks about now: bemoaning our tray-less existence. I’m not criticizing them, because I do see their point (I am, after all, a Both/And kind of thinker). I do think, however, that I have gotten by really well for three years without using a tray. And I only didn’t use one because I am the world’s biggest klutz. Trays might as well have ball bearings as part of their surface, that’s how good I am at keeping things on them, especially if they’re plastic.

Plus, you can actually fit everyone at our round tables if you only have your 10″ wide plate as opposed to the 20″+ tray. I think this adds to the community if everyone can actually sit together. In fact, I often was able to easily squeeze into a spot at a table because I didn’t have a tray. People would shift their trays so I could fit in, whereas my other friends with tray would have to bypass the social opportunity due to the enormity of their tray.

So what’s happening here is that everyone’s having to adapt and that’s hard. I totally see that. They’re very vocal about it. It comes up every day. I’m the one who doesn’t have to adapt, so the situation only strikes me as humorous, much to my trayless friends’ chagrin.

I do see it as a pity that if it snows this year, there will be no impromptu sledding, courtesy of the perfect impromptu sled: the cafeteria tray. That is a pity.


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