Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dining Out

I was going to title this "Eating Out," but that apparently has some weird connotations -- no thanks to CTopher.

I took my mother to Blu Coral tonight. It was nicely ambient, clean and yuppie and modern. Yay for restaurant.com! In recent weeks we've also eaten at Cebu and Fusion Fire by the same courtesy. We go out to eat a lot now, I guess because the effort required to hunt and kill (jk... we don't eat rabbit) and sow and reap and buy and defrost and wash and chop and cook what we've eaten for the last 18 years isn't always worth it when guh is not home and dad might or might not be home.

Leo told me once about a college friend who would take his girlfriend out to eat every night. In a year, she gained 80 pounds and then he dumped her. I hope it wasn't because she'd gained weight.

Tonight at the table next to us was a grown, suited man with his well-mannered little daughter in elasticky pink sweatpants and a matching pink sweatshirt, like something my mom would have dressed me in when I was younger and still tries to convince me to wear. The girl could not have been more than 8 years old, but her dining etiquette was very refined although she was white and ate her sushi with a fork. Her legs were not even close to reaching the floor, she crossed them in ladylikeness and covered her lap with the red napkin. He listened to her chatter about little girl worries and finished the food that she couldn't.

"I'm sorry I couldn't give that to you," my mother said to me, glancing sideways at the father as he got up around the table to help the waitress wipe off his girl and to tell her not to worry about spilling her mocktail, and I realized I had been paying exceedingly close attention to the next table. Not that they would have noticed my creeperness, so immersed were they in one another's delightful company and the delicious, d'lovely, d'expensive sushi.

I set my chopsticks down and met her sorry gaze and wanted to tell her it was all fine and not her fault and that I also wished that I had such a father and that she had such a husband, but the words didn't come so I quickly broke the gaze. Then I picked up my chopsticks and slathered with wasabi the dragon fire maki that I had been neglecting.

After winning a bet that entitled me to dinner at Trotters, and after a birthday prix fixe at Alinea, I thought about becoming a food critic. But I guess I'm more like Emile than Anton Ego. I like food too much to be a foodie. Lately, especially as I've decided that binge eating is more fun than hitting the gym, my habits are looking more and more like gluttony and my composition is increasingly oleaginous. I guess in this world, 1/3 the population of which is under-fed and 1/3 of which is starving making for 2/3 for whom feeling full is an elusive concept, eating probably shouldn't be a hobby. But I'm still very much in need of holification so for now my earthly comforts will be in food, which my heavenly Father seems to always keep within my reach though this little indulgent birdy does not sow or reap and does not do much breadwinning.

A few will find safety in their earthly families, and the fortunate of those will recognize that it is a blessing from God.

Father God, I thank You for a human father who keeps me longing for more.