Maybe I shouldn’t go out to dinner with my family…


Take a moment and let your imagination wonder to an enchanted realm of possibilities. Picture yourself sitting at a table at a new restaurant with your parents. They come bearing their usual skeptical optimism, where your father is interested but really was not in the mood to try anything new because you chose this new place over a proven favorite, and your mother has already made it abundantly clear to the 16-year-old hostess that she is gluten free and therefore they need to construct a brand-new kitchen in her honor. You’re just sitting there trying not to add an undue burden on this new serving staff, making sure to say “please” and “thank you” as loud as possible to give you the best odds of not getting a fresh batch of spit in your food. You are on your best behavior and trying to tune out the turbulence that is a given with your family in a public setting.

I know this seems like an utterly foreign affair because none of us have ever been embarrassed by the conduct of our goofy-ass parents, but try to place yourself there because this person is poor, little, old me. And while I am trying to save the sinking wreckage of a family social outing with just the little things, my parents start reading you the menu! “Zach, look. They have chicken here!” Ooooow. How exotic! I would never have guessed that such a fine establishment such as the one you dragged me to tonight would serve something as extravagant as chicken! Oh, it comes in a sauce too? Unprecedented! Look, I am trying to hold it together and save our family from getting into a verbal altercation with management over a $5 miscalculation on the bill, but you’re telling me they have chicken…WITH SAUSE?!?! Please, go on. What else do they have here? This world of wonders is so alien to me and I would be utterly helpless without you acting as a liaison to the kitchen, which by the way, you too have never eaten from.

Oh, wait. What is this tri-fold piece of construction paper doing on my lap? It seems that there are strange markings on it, almost as if it is trying to signal something to me. Hmmmmmm. I might have to break out all of my detective skills and do some sleuthing as to what this flimsy tablet could be. WHAT?!? THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! It turns out that this is another menu! A perfect replica of the menu you are reading from. And it turns out everyone at the table has one too! Inconceivable!

But if I have the same information you have at my fingertips, wouldn’t it seem a little redundant and ridiculous to act like you’re Sir Reginald Chicken with Sause and you sailed across the sea to discovered that they served Chicken with Sause here? I have a lot on my plate here and I don’t have the patience to deal with this tediousness, mom.

Published by Zach Vecker

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