This has been a hard year so far, full of lots and lots of conflict and disagreement, both in my own little world and in the world around me. Erin Petron Gosser has a blog on ChicagoNow called “Social Butterfly Mom,” and she came up with a fantastic series for thinking about disagreements. She’s calling it “Validate Thy Neighbor.”
This is the plan: a pair of us write blogs about an issue from another person’s perspective. We make the case for our opponent. What better way to begin living in a world of disagreements than by actively seeing the world from another’s point of view?
Kathy Mathews and I decided to pair up over the issue of eating out vs. home cooking. She calls herself a “restaurant junkie,” and I suffer from a bad case of “cooking from scratch OCD.” I once saw a parody of the Martha Stewart magazine that featured a recipe for making water from scratch and thought, “Oh, I should try that.”
I’ll admit, eating out vs. home cooking isn’t the world’s most fraught disagreement. But let me tell you, this is a good exercise in letting go. Give yourself five minutes to think about the world differently, think from your neighbor’s point of view.
Kathy’s post offers 10 reasons to cook at home, and you can find it here.
Here are my 10 reasons you should eat out (instead of cooking at home).
2. You do too much for other people. It’s good to let someone else serve you. Let someone else run and get the ketchup for your husband (which he puts on every-damn-thing). Let someone else mop up the coffee that you dripped on the table because you’re the messiest adult you know. Enjoy the feeling of eating food that someone else has made.
3. You won’t eat (much less make) these recipes from home. Face it. You’ll never learn to make all of the food on the menu of your favorite place either because the recipes are too challenging or because you’re the only person in your house interested in the dish. For me, it’s butternut squash ravioli. Yum.
4. Everyone can get something different. You know what that means? You can eat from three or four different plates if you’re a member of that kind of group.
5. It’s easier to laugh and be in the moment at a restaurant. The cats, the dining room table stacked with bills, the television, the front door. Restaurants don’t have these distractions. You can let go of all the chores that can jolly wait for you. (P.S. Turn off your damn cell phone so that you can enjoy the meal.)
6. You need the contact and the interaction. Being at a restaurant invites you to interact with people in a social way. You’ve spent all day inside focused on work and now you can let down your hair and breathe.
7. You don’t have to clean up. Yep. Best part is that you can shove away the plate and walk away from the table. Done. And, if you want, you can take home half the meal and have lunch for tomorrow.
8. You can support your local economy. Eating at local restaurants, even chains that are franchised by locals, helps out your neighborhood by supporting local businesses.
9. You can get dessert. They force you to think about it with their special Dessert Menu. It’s not like that peanut butter chocolate pie will be tempting you in the refrigerator for days to come. You can get one piece and share it with everyone (or not, as the case may be).
10. You can admire and flirt with the 20-something waiter. (Did I say that out loud? I was thinking it, and whammo frisby, here it is on the page.)
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