Monday, July 28, 2008

Dinner Table Dynamics

Image by chancaca

Last night, John and I went out to dinner with some good friends. It was a very satisfying, delicious meal, and I'm sure I exceeded my recommended calorie allowance for the whole day in that one sitting.  

We were all sitting back in our chairs exclaiming how none of us could possibly eat another bite, when the waitress showed up at our table. "We have wonderful desserts," she said. She didn't do a big sales job, she didn't wave samples under our noses, she didn't even show us a picture. She simply offered them to us. 

A very interesting process began, one that I have been part of as long as I have been ordering my own meals at restaurants. I call it the Dessert Dance, and the first step is to pretend that one needs to be persuaded into indulging.

Terese and I began by laughing and protesting. Gosh, there's no way we could have dessert. I gave John a sidelong look.  Do you want something sweet? I couldn't possibly......Honey, are you having something?.......What kind of pies did you mention?...Well, maybe if you are getting one......

John and Greg didn't even bother to pretend they weren't interested, calories or no calories. John said firmly, "Bring me the blackberry pie. Warmed, and with ice cream". Greg stepped up next and ordered the creme brulle with equal decisiveness. 

The next phase passed quickly. The opportunity for restraint came and then left instantly. I gave myself permission to indulge and never looked back. 

Interestingly, it never occurred to me to ask John if we should split a dessert, not even remotely. Even though my waistband was already snug, I heard the words chocolate cheesecake and I was a goner. Terese succumbed last by ordering warm peach pie.

When everything arrived at the table, forks flew. When the four of us go out to dinner, it is an unstated rule that anything on the table is fair game for sampling. "Ummmm.......Try the ice cream.......You've got to have a forkful of this.........Great cheesecake.........How do you like the pie?"

The frenzy ended pretty quickly. Not a crumb remained on anyone's plate. Which brought me to the final step of the often-repeated experience: unbuttoning my waistband and promising myself that I'll find willpower and resolve the next time. Dance over. 

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