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What It's Like to be a Plus One

Hello Hello,

I previously wrote what it's like to be an Instagram Husband (read here), but that was more to imitate the video that Hop loves so much. I am going to talk about what it's like to be a plus one at these events. This is more of my perspective of how it's like at these events.

If you think it's all about the food, it's not. You don't even get to eat the food the way it's meant to be a lot of times. The food is usually cold or warm and not fresh and hot. Sometimes some of the food will be soggy or a bit dried up. Don't get me wrong - you are there for the food. However, that's not the only thing.

Daikokuya Ramen | Monterey Park

Sweet Combforts | Irvine (Trade Food Hall)

The people you meet - new or recurring - can make the experience a lot more enjoyable depending on what type of person you are. I am an introvert so I actually don't like socializing and talking to people. Even then, the people I have met and got to talk to a few times are very pleasant and enjoyable to talk to. I made a lot of new friends being a plus one, and to be honest, I have no idea how. I just remember showing up to these events with Hop, helping her a bit, and then finding myself talking to people.

Cinnaholic | Brea

Cinnaholic | Brea

When I'm at these events, I try to be hungry enough to eat all of the food, but not hungry enough to suffer from the amount of untouchable food laid out in front of me. I am a picky eater, but Hop likes to order things the way they are so the pictures end up more accurate. No big deal, since I just remove the mushrooms and give them to her. I've mentioned this many times before, but the food does get cold depending on how much food, what type of environment the restaurant is in, and the lighting.

Nitrolado | Garden Grove

Burnt Crumbs | Irvine

Burnt Crumbs | Irvine

Burnt Crumbs | Irvine

For those that are curious, the ordering process is pretty simple and as basic as you'd expect. You show up telling the cashier you're there for a media event. They will either know what you are talking about or get someone that does. Hop asks what we are allowed to order and what they are trying to promote, and then we order what we want within the limits given. Some places give you a set dish they want to promote and that's fine by us. After we get the food, we take photos and then eat. Very very very simple process, right?

Well, sometimes it's different. Is the event a private one where only you are the influencer group? Or is it a public one where there are dozens of people there for the same reason you are? Does everyone order whatever they want, or will the restaurant bring out a bunch of everything for people to shoot as a group? Is it more of a communal event or one where you go to your own clique? It all depends on the restaurant and the host of the event.

At this point in time, you might be wondering what part of this even shows the plus one aspect? Sounds like I'm just describing the events, right? That's because as a plus one, I help Hop. When I help Hop, I'm basically doing what everyone else does: trying to get a good photo. She tells me what to do, or I suggest a photo idea to her. I even help take photos for her because she wants to be in them. There are times where I just want to sit in a corner and avoid everybody until it's time to eat, but as a plus one, I want to help. I'm being treated out to delicious food and I don't even have to help. But I want to.

Elbows Mac n Cheese | Cerritos

So to answer the question: "What is it like to be a plus one at these events?" To me, it's just like being at the event and being a part of the event. I don't feel like I'm waiting for the event to end. I treat the event like an actual activity. A hobby I do with Hop. A place to see my friends and catch up. A time to try new places.

If you end up being a plus one, I'm sure it's going to be different for you. You'll be meeting everyone. You won't know what to really do other than to watch. You might just end up waiting for the pictures to be finished so you can finally eat. Or you might be talking to everyone and learning about why they got into this or what kind of photos they aim for. It's always a different day at these events, and that's why my answer wasn't really clear and concise. What is it like to be a plus one at these events? Well, it really depends on how you're like at any events.

Honey and Butter Macarons | Irvine (Irvine Spectrum Center)

Read more posts by Kevin (@EatingWithHop) here.

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