Dining out with your partner, lover or spouse follows a typical pattern. Seated opposite each other at the same table, you are furnished with separate menus from which you make individual choices.
One chooses Diet Coke, the other a Daiquiri. One starts with Cesar salad, the other goes for the soup. One always orders fish, the other fowl. Often there is little room for dessert, but the allure of a final exotic sweet results in a single shared dessert, eaten more by one than the other and praised more by one than the other. Despite those differing reviews, the enjoyment is mutual.
Throughout the consumption of these selections, you both enjoy your conversation. You are relaxing together, recharging your joint battery while touching hands slid across the tablecloth. On rare occasions, when unresolved issues arise at table, you'll quarrel above the food, calling for the check sooner than planned.
Some couples dine out often and others hardly ever. Some much prefer selecting their own raw materials, using the kitchen they have furnished at home with specific appliances, adding their own special mixture of spices, and savoring their creations in comfortable chairs, with personally chosen music and light. Others want to escape the routine of the home fires as often as possible.
Dining out means being served by someone you probably don't know well. Someone who often does not listen clearly to your requests and botches the order, or, has an attitude commensurate with the price of dinner. The kitchen staff preparing your food may be comprised of folks who are not happy with their lot. You don't see them sneeze. You don't know what's under their fingernails. You don't know the perhaps unsavory quality of the lives they bring into the kitchen, and yet you entrust your appetite and need for nourishment to them. There is always some personal risk at the center of the pleasure of dining out.
Some couples, typically New Yorkers too tired or lazy to cook for themselves or to go out, will have food delivered by young men on bikes who ascend the residential elevators of Manhattan hoping for big tips and regular customers....
Have you ever heard a couple say "We eat only one thing. We eat the same thing every day. This one thing is always homemade. We're never going to eat anything except this one thing. That is how we like it."? I have heard couples say this, and I've had to bite my tongue, having had ice cream with one at a Baskin Robbins on Monday, and a Big Mac with the other on Tuesday. Variable menu or not, why lie? That will result only in eventual indigestion.
I am of the opinion that the very best food is to be had at home where couples should become masterful chefs who share their favorite recipes with each other. My husband learned Italian cooking from me and will now serve it back to me with startling additions and twists as a fusion cuisine that I very much prefer over the original dish.
There are some nights, however, when nothing is better than the sugary apple filling and glaze of a carefully wrapped Hostess fruit pie from the 7/11. I suspect it won't kill me and it won't kill us.
PS: On another matter, I'm the front runner in the contest to become gaytravel.com's new "Gay Travel Guru", but the competition is closing in fast! I hope you will take a moment to vote, and, Facebook/Twitter shout-outs also count for points. Here's the link:
and I am deeply appreciative.