Friday, September 17, 2010

Nostalgic Crisis Averted

Yesterday might have been, by far, the dark nadir of this whole desperate No Restaurants experience.

Ok, nah, scratch that. Not really...but a little.

Energy levels were running pretty low yesterday. Soccer practice, bowling league, and Opening Night were the key factors in this late-week exhaustion. Subway beckoned to us, ever so seductively...

But then I asked, what's in it for us? Sure, Subway is tasty food, but we could probably get that at home too, if we looked hard enough. It certainly wasn't going to be quicker than eating at home; not by the time we piled everyone (clad in various soccer or bowling or theater accoutrements) in the Sedona (this would probably be after several minutes of hassled shouting, “Hey, get your damn shoes on!”)

The point here is, there was no legitimate reason. So, why? In the town I live in, there are many chain restaurants and a few local joints – places I’ve eaten at several times. I wasn’t hankering for anything special. So, the question is, what exactly was I craving?

Here’s my answer: I crave feeling special. My family did not go out to eat very often when we were kids – very rarely, truly. But, I remember Pizza Hut more than any other meal my mom made…probably because it was the one time we were allowed to drink soda. It was the one time everyone behaved and was civil. It was the one time my mom was in a great mood (probably because she didn’t have to cook). It was a change of scenery; white earthenware plates, opaque plastic tumblers, bouncy vinyl booth seats.

I guess eating out brings back that for me – especially the change of scenery. Now that I’m older, I sometimes like being served (probably because I’m a slave to public education). However, it’s all fickle and fleeting. At some point, everything I wanted to escape at home will need to be addressed (laundry, dishes, checks for lunch money). I spend money on a reprieve from my everyday life (which I am not against), but what are my gains? Nothing monumental, really.

Anywho, back to the original story. Subway was out, instead we opted for another “Fend For Yourself” night, which always works out well; it clears the fridge and pantry. The kids ate roast beef sandwiches, cottage cheese, and applesauce, while Brent and I went for salads and chicken noodle soup. Everybody wins.

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