Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eating the Cheapest Thing on the Menu

I was talking with a good friend last week and she told me a story that had me chuckling and almost rolling on the ground.

She had family visiting her here in Seattle and she was trying to make their stay a fun and memorable one. She tried to share her favorite places with them and have them experience the best of what our beautiful region has to offer. I totally understand her motives and goals. I host a lot of friends and family from around the country and I too try to give them the best possible experience of my 'neck of the woods.'

When she and I were having this conversation, we were sitting in a relatively nice, water front restaurant.

She told me that she had taken her folks, on their last visit to Seattle, to a place similar to where we were sitting at that moment. She laughed and said, "Never again. They don't like this type of place. They would rather have burgers and beer."

She went on to tell me that because the prices were a little higher than they were used to, and they weren't 'comfortable' her dad had ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, which was a type of fish that he hates! He felt the prices were too high, so he went for the cheapest thing - even though he HATED IT!

We both chuckled about this. My friend said, "Imagine... eating something you dislike to save a tiny bit of money!"

There was just no room in his paradigm for embracing the situation and going with the flow. A meal 'should' cost a certain amount. He had to make his experience fit his expectation, so he ordered something that didn't offend his wallet, even though it offended his taste buds.

She imitated him eating the fish he hated - with each bite he grimaced.

How incredibly sad.

These people aren't poor. They could afford to eat in this restaurant. I think my friend was even treating her folks.

Her dad simply couldn't adjust and enjoy the ambiance and find something he liked on the menu and allow himself the pleasure of experiencing something new.

We often box ourselves into corners with our expectations and our rigidity.

I myself have some relatives visiting from another part of the country at the moment. A bunch of my family went out to dinner together, and I asked if these folks had ever had calamari. They asked what it was. When I told them it was squid they said, "No..." and they indicated that they weren't really all that interested in trying it.

I ordered it anyway, because several of us really like it. Just in case I also ordered some beef steak skewers.

To my delight, when the two appetizers came to the table, these relatives immediately tried the calamari... and LOVED IT! I was very proud of them, and I can see where some of my adventurous spirit originates!

When in Rome... do as the Romans do.

Never be afraid to try something new. You might even find a 'new favorite.'

When life sticks you in a situation you'd rather not be in... look for a way to turn it into a learning and growing experience.

You... and your life will be enriched for the trouble!