Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Joy of Eating Out

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I cannot be the only one…that cringes when my in laws from out of the state come to visit and in a moment of generosity offer to take our little family out to dinner at a “nice” restaurant.  This “treat” they believe they are offering us only sets one of my many neuroses as a mother into red light flashing panic alarm mode.  I quickly review my mental rolodex of the local restaurants and offer a few of our favorite places as suggestions, by favorite I really mean the restaurants than can tolerate a small tornado in the shape of Junior in their midst. When we manage to come to a decision that suites all the different taste and preferences I gather a small arsenal of toys in my purse and I start a slow walk out to the car as only a woman who knows what type of disaster is in store for her can.
Once we have made it to the restaurant I peer into the doorway, with fingers crossed and saying a silent prayer, hoping that there will not be a lengthy wait for a table, for I know that prolonging the actual meal process only means that I will turn into the great entertainer for my Junior’s behalf.  If we are lucky enough to be seated directly after our arrival I sink a little lower in my chair as my son points out all the lovely “different” types of people at the restaurant, it sounds something like this, “Mommy why is that lady wearing such a red shirt” or “That man’s skin is really tan”.  I hope that our giving relatives don’t feel the need to peruse the menus longer than the first stop by the waiter or waitress because I know that will only mean five trips to the bathroom with Junior, just so he can check it out, while are waiting on the waiters return.  Please, dear in laws, do not take time to consider desert and coffee, it can only mean certain exhaustion for me as I follow behind Junior while he waddles around the restaurant checking out the high quality art from the early 80’s on the walls.
As much as I love a good meal, a glass of wine, and great company the days of taking my time at restaurant to enjoy myself in the ambiance of strangers are long gone.  I know I cannot be the only one who secretly dreads the gift of an evening out as a family…can I?

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