Laura, this one's for you!
I cook in spurts, freeze all the leftovers, and then have plenty of food to sustain myself for a period of time. I even like what I cook. But there's nothing better than going out to dinner with friends--especially friends who like to try new places and cuisines. Laura is good for that, and we probably eat out close to once a week, sometimes more often. I think Laura also enjoys going out to dinner with me, except for one glaring fault I have.
No, I'm not talking about the fact that occasionally I arrive wherever we're eating having come straight from doing chores, perhaps a little muddy, perhaps with wisps of hay in my hair, or perhaps even smelling vaguely like livestock. Nor am I referring to the occasions when I wear my embarassing high-water jeans or when I haven't bothered to wash my hair in a couple of days. (Okay, all that sounds much worse than it really is!)
So how is it that I manage to get Laura's eyes rolling in embarassment? It's simple. At the end of the meal, when we usually get to-go boxes because we do try to control our portion sizes, I usually also ask for a to-go cup for my drink. Mortifying, isn't it? I figure I tip well (and I even let Laura see what I'm tipping so she doesn't tip less and then feel like a cheapskate for it) and if I want a simple cup of soda--which probably costs the restaurant pennies--why not?
Last night, Laura, Sandy, and I were finishing dinner at an Italian place when I made my usual request and Laura just rolled her eyes. But then Sandy requested a to-go cup for Laura, who did not turn it down. I of course jumped all over that!
Once, I was driving to Raleigh to meet my sister and brother-in-law for dinner. It so happens that Laura and Robin decided to go to one of our favorite pizza places that same evening. Boo! But I really didn't want to pass up dinner with family, so Laura graciously offered to pick me up my favorite pizza to go, and then I could get it from her later, as I was going to be picking up Ranger, whom she'd been babysitting for the weekend anyway. I told her I'd think about it. Then I called her back and said, "I think I'll skip the pizza, but could you get me a to-go cup of diet Coke?" Poor Laura hesitated just a fraction of a second before responding, "Sure I can try to do that." Ha! Poor girl--I think I'm wearing her down. Later that evening I called to say I was on my way to get Ranger, having just finished a wonderful dinner at the Angus Barn, I decided to make her feel better about my proclivity for asking for to-go cups.
Says me to Laura, "I have to confess something." Laura says, "What?" And I said, "Well, even I didn't have the balls to ask for a to-go cup at the Angus Barn." I think I might have made her evening with that confession!
So the next time you're out at dinner with friends and they're perhaps apologizing for their state of dress, or their timeliness, or whatever, just smile to yourself and think: that's all okay, as long as you don't ask for a to-go cup!