After a challenging day at work, nothing cheers me up more than walking through the front door of my house and being bombarded with hugs and kisses from Maddie and Paige. If I am also greeted with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen, I know it is going to be a good evening. Jenn is an amazing cook with lasagna, cheesy corn chowder, shepherd’s pie and teriyaki chicken being some of my favorites.
Every once in awhile Jenn will experience a day when the girls have been a pill demanding her full attention and the last thing she wants to do is cook. Some husbands would say, “Don’t worry honey. You take a break. I’ll fix dinner” as they whip up a three course meal. Unfortunately for Jenn, she married a man whose extent of cooking before meeting her involved making Ramen Noodles in a coffee pot. The cook I am not.
Instead, I play the cavalry by picking her and the two littles up from home and taking them out to eat. The funny thing is that this should offer some form of relief, but it often creates more stress as it means someone has to pick the dinning establishment for the evening. Not good news for a man who struggles with indecisiveness.
One would assume deciding on a dinner destination would not be that challenging of a task for two highly functional adults. After all, the shoestring budget we live on knocks out fancy French food unless it comes in the fry variety. Our options continue to dwindle when we take away places where being kid friendly means they serve ice tea, but only tea that is brewed straight out of Long Island.
We then have to subtract the places where our family’s picture is plastered on the hostess stand with the inscription “allow entrance at your own risk.” These restaurants match up almost identically to the locations on our “Walk of Parental Shame” list and involve stories of tossed chicken fingers, meltdowns and spilled drinks.
This leaves us with the garden variety sit down chain restaurants whose menus are almost interchangeable. There are just so many times you can dine at a Ruby Tuesday’s or TGI Friday’s before the thought of eating another meal there gives you a bad case of the Mondays. Now you find yourself hurting, as it appears you are left with only fast food joints. You know that frequenting McDonald’s will leave you grimacing every time you try to squeeze into your jeans as you slowly turn into the chubby purple being known as Grimace one Big Mac at a time.
So, what does that leave Jenn and I with? Not much other than a great possibility that we will either hear or utter the expression we despise the most “I don’t know…. where do you want to eat?” This normally takes place the moment my car keys enter the ignition, but before exiting the driveway. We then proceed to scan through the Attractions Coupon Book the next-door neighbor kids roped us into buying along with the chocolate bars, magazine subscriptions and Avon products. On a side note, I would not be surprised if they were secret business moguls who have their own Twitter accounts where they sell an e-book focused on utilizing the guilt factor to boost your sales quota.
Back to the car where I am now playing the time honored multiple-choice game known as “Give Me Three Options” where Jenn offers up the same suggestions she did the last time we found ourselves in the CRV hungry and looking at each other clueless. The peanut gallery in the second row listening to The Count Sings About Numbers offers up their two cents as well.
Tonight’s winner is Atlanta Bread Company. In my battle to combat indecisiveness, I wonder if this technically counts as a decision or a step towards growth. Granted, I did decide where we were going (1 point for me). However, it was kid’s night (minus 1 point) at place we frequent so often the majority of the staff knows our name (minus 1 point), exactly what we order (minus 1 point) and gives us an extra free cookie coupon so both girls can get a desert (minus 1 point) as they’ve seen the chaos the can be caused by splitting a cookie between girls. If I am doing my math right, this means making the “simple” decision of where to eat put me three in the hole towards decisiveness.