Friday, October 5, 2012

responding to letters

Dear Sanchez: 
It's friday night and I haven't made reservations, I don't know what I am in the mood for and I don't know what my date is going to want. Please help. 
Clueless About Dinner

Thank you for your letter, CAD. Since Sanchez is busy sleeping all day, I thought I would take a stab at your letter. There are so many options, so I am going to narrow down your scenario with the following further complications: Your place is a mess, so getting takeout or cooking at home is not an option. Furthermore, it's too cold and rainy for a picnic or other some such romantic nonsense. Let's also assume that you have not been dating long, that this is perhaps date two or three.

So, without reservations and facing the first-world version of starvation, where do you go? I say, go eat dinner at your neighborhood bar, or at the bar attached to a decent (yet not spectacular) restaurant. In recent years the profile of food in bars has seen a steady increase. It has been fun to experience, too, since bar menus which once featured onion rings and mini corn-dogs now have thoughtfully constructed burgers, oysters in the half shell, I even found a niçoise salad in a bar. The best part is that you can still get those mini corn dogs! Everybody wins.

I am not praising new bar food without a better purpose. Hopefully you'll choose a popular watering hole with a decent Friday-night crowd. On your date your will be forced to sit very close to be able to talk. Be sure, however, to cut out before it gets too late to prevent interactions with obnoxious patrons and also to be sure not to drink too much. Save getting shitty drunk for the fourth or fifth date.

Dear Sanchez, 
My boyfriend is a picky eater while I, on the other hand, am adventurous and love to try everything. When we go out together, he usually causes a scene by editing the menu so much that he might as well go make it himself. He even pretends to have allergies to things he just doesn't like. I know for a fact that servers and cooks find him really annoying (I overheard some trash talk on my way to the ladies room once). I need some advice on how to continue going out and enjoying new foods without coming away embarrassed by how he acts. 
Picky Eater Ruins My Supper

Let me ask you a question, PERMS. Let's say that your boyfriend was a supreme dud in the sack (which, based on your description, I assume he is). Let's say you were really into bondage and he was entirely and staunchly vanilla. Would you stay together? Probably not. Eating is also a sensual experience often enjoyed together. You shouldn't have to give up eating out to be in a relationship, it that is way too much to ask. Also, imagine the future you'll have with this guy, preparing separate meals, having to remember a catalogue of specific prohibitions, and declining nights out with friends for fear of embarrassment. I'm going to assume that you deserve a better future, PERMS, so in the words of Sanchez who just woke up, "Dump the bastard!"

Letters are always encouraged regarding your dinner dilemmas: or espinozma@

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