Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Public eating etiquette for men and women

I love to eat. My stomach and the extra holes I had to make on my belt can attest to that. I love to eat and I love to cook. I find cooking to be soothing and focusing. When I have had a bad day or am just bored, I get in a kitchen and just go to work. It calms me down and I enjoy myself. Even if nobody likes the food I make, I just love to create and experiment in the kitchen.

When I’m not cooking for myself or for guests, I like to drag my fat ass to restaurants. I’m a big restaurant guy. Especially American restaurants where they give you, per sitting, more food than five African villages have seen in a year. Not to mention the booze.

Of course, one cannot go to a restaurant alone. To do so is a huge faux pas. You look like a friendless turd who couldn’t get a date or a companion if your life was at stake, (well, maybe not that bad, but pretty close.) So you’ll always want to make sure that you’re out at a restaurant eating with somebody, even if it’s some bum off the street.

On a side note, eating at a bar is a totally different vibe. You are allowed to eat alone at a bar, because doing so seems kind of like something to do while your body is absorbing all that alcohol that you truly went there to enjoy. In that case, be sure to enjoy at least two drinks and maybe some bar nuts or something before you order food, or else it’s just weird.

Now, let’s pretend that, like me, you’re a dude, (albeit, not as manly as me, but that’s to be expected, don’t worry, you can’t help it.) who’s going out to eat with another guy. There are a few reasons you’d eat with another guy (or guys).

• You’re both just finishing up some manly sporting event and you want to celebrate at a nearby establishment.

• You haven’t eaten large amounts of cow flesh, or quaffed great amounts of beer in the last four hours.

• You’re getting a full belly before going out to a bar or club to pick up some women with loose morals.

• You’re hungry.

Eating with a male friend is easy. We don’t ask for much. Appetizers will most likely be ignored, in favor of going straight to the main course, unless the appetizer itself is the food. If that’s the case, then it’ll be something fried and greasy.

Beer or some other alcohol is likely to be purchased. If appetizers are also ordered, they will be individual appetizers and are not to be shared! (more on that in a bit.) And the food will no doubt be loaded with calories and fat. Salads are not allowed.

There will be little to no small talk while waiting for food to arrive. Unless said conversation is about:

1. Who would win in a three-way fight between Chuck Norris, Steven Segal and Mr. T
2. How the local sporting teams are fairing
3. All of the women they’ve banged and any subsequent lawsuits
4. Why The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension could be the best movie ever made

The meals will be short, not lingering affairs where the participants sit around, sipping cups of coffee and gossiping.

There will be no ordering of dessert. Ever.

When a man (usually me) and a woman are eating at a restaurant, whether they’re friends or it’s a date or whatever, there are some rules that women need to follow.

1. Eat what you order. If you want to eat the spaghetti, then order the spaghetti. Don’t order the spaghetti if you really want to sample what’s on my plate. There’s nothing more annoying than the female habit of food-sharing. Leave my food alone! I ordered it cause that’s what I was in the mood for.

2. Eat what you order. I’m probably shelling out good money for the meal, so you’d better damn well eat everything on your plate! Don’t be modest and save shit for later. That’s dumb.

3. Order some damn food! I didn’t take a shower, get dressed in my finest duds, (you know, the t-shirt with the tux design on the front and my favorite plaid shorts) drive all the way out somewhere (and wasting $100 on gas) to watch you order a salad. Not hungry you say? Better make some room for this knuckle sandwich you’re about to eat!

4. I don’t care if you order dessert, as long as you don’t care that I’m ordering my eighth drink so I can put up with listening to you babble about every thought that wafts through your empty head.

5. In fact, don’t talk at all. If you’re talking, then you’re not eating. And certainly don’t expect me to hold up my end of a conversation. My mouth is full of food.

6. Feel free to pick up the tab sometimes. Women have been liberated for decades, chivalry is dead and Japanese porn isn’t cheap. Priorities!

If everybody just follows these simple rules of etiquette, then we’ll all be happier and better off. Especially if I’m forced to go to that ridiculous excuse for a restaurant, The Olive Garden. Yeah, I said it.

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