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Years ago, I mean really early in our marriage, The Good Wife and I went out to eat at a restaurant serving Chinese. At the time I was still a “meat and potatoes” kid not too far from Smalltown, USA with its nearby farm. Beef, mashed potatoes, or hamburgers and fries, or Midwest “normal food.”

I didn’t grow up eating Chinese, so oriental fare wasn’t on my list of culinary delights. Consequently, I wasn’t sure what I was doing in a foreign restaurant. Parochial, I know, but that was me.

This was also about the time other professionals began to invite me to various places for lunch or dinner as part of my work. Invariably I’d end up in some restaurant serving food I thought was suspicious at best. What could I order and eat if I didn’t like anything in the restaurant?

Then The Good Wife rescued me. When we went out to eat that time, someplace she wanted to go that made me uncomfortable—but of course I went to please her—she said, “You should identify one type of meal you like in each kind of restaurant. Then, if you get invited to that kind of restaurant you’ll always know there’s one thing you can order that you like and you’ll enjoy yourself.”

Man, why didn’t I think of that? But I didn’t. Which goes to show you why the Lord said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Since that day long ago I have learned to like many different kinds of food. I even like Chinese. Though I am still not an adventurous eater, much less a “foody.”

But whatever, no matter where I go I know by now that there’s at least one type of meal in that restaurant that I can order, eat, and like.

This may not seem like much. But it protected me from something else I’ve seen: being inflexible and possibly rude in terms of food and eating.

I’ve been in groups where most people suggested going to a certain kind of restaurant, only to have one person announce they won’t go there—because they “don’t like” that restaurant or “won’t go in” that restaurant. To which I am tempted to say, “So what? What about all the others who want to go there?”

This is not a big deal and adults can generally handle the situation. But I’m still amazed sometimes when I hear people weigh-in with their exclusive preference, seemingly utterly oblivious of everyone else. Oh well, that’s their problem.

The Good Wife taught me how to avoid at least one potential and unnecessary problem in my life, for which I salute her. My manners and etiquette are the better for her advice.

Want to go out for Chinese?


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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