Culinary dictator

Learning to eat out at a restaurant with your partner can take years to refine.

My wife and I know each other so well, yet when it comes to ordering off a menu, life can soon decay in to mass confusion.

I am finishing a short trip to the Kootenays with my wife, Jackie, and her Mum and Dad. We are enjoying a few days in a different environment.

For them, a few days in Kaslo was just what the doctor ordered and for us, a wet and snowy trip in to the Kokanee Glacier was also the medicine we were looking for. 

So tonight, we are all together again in the charming village of Kaslo after a hasty retreat from the alpine meadows. We decided that Buddy’s Pizza, a delightful eatery on the main street, would be the restaurant of choice.

Cracks showed in my wife’s decision-making abilities when it took three conversations to determine that Buddy’s was indeed the place. 

To say that my wife has occasional periods of indecisiveness would be an understatement. 

Her inability to commit comes from a kind heart because she wants to make sure that everyone has a vote, everyone’s opinion is taken into account and nobody feels left out. It's the ultimate form of family communism.

On the other hand, I am the benevolent dictator. Let’s just make a decision, go to the restaurant and then we have more time to chat and enjoy each other’s company.

The confusion usually starts with someone asking my opinion. Being the benevolent dictator, I quickly and clearly state my choice. 

Then, Jackie starts to list off all the reasons why that is not the right choice, which leaves me wondering why she asked me in the first place.

I am also quite happy to be one of the benevolent dictator’s subjects and be told where to go.

I am pretty easy going until a pile of people around me turn a simple decision into the next episode of Who Wants to be A Millionaire, over-thinking every aspect of simply going out to eat.

Finally, we decide. Buddy’s it is.

We get to Buddy’s and it is packed. We must have made a good choice, but there is no room for Mum in a wheelchair. True to form in this historic village on the shore of Kootenay Lake, a table of young adults offers up their seats for us. Awesome.

Perfect, I am hungry, so I look at the menu. 

Then, it starts again… “what do you think we should order,” asks my wife.

“Two medium pizzas,” I reply.

Then, come all the reasons why that will not work (I am sure by now you know where this is going). So why was I asked, I wonder again? 

The bottom line is I love people with opinions. But why would you have an opinion, not share it and then ask someone what their opinion is when it comes to ordering food?

Let’s just eat. 

I back down and said one medium and one small, that way we have two choices and not too much food.

Still not the right answer.

“I think we should get one large,” says Jackie. 

When my kids were young I used to hate the answer “whatever,” but I find it is the best answer in these moments…

I just want to eat. “Whatever, let’s order.”

Finally, after lots of discussion and a poor waitress patiently waiting for a decision, we get the order in. Before too long, with the tense negotiations behind us, we enjoy a drink and the pizza is delivered.

It was beautiful, the pizza was great, the atmosphere was awesome and Kaslo is a lovely setting for a quiet evening together. 

After 31 years of marriage, it can still be a chore to order a simple pizza, but I do understand that it is my wife’s caring heart and a desire to please everyone that helps her keep the benevolent dictator at bay.

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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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