About six years ago I was in New York for a weekend visiting some friends of one of the siblings. There was a conference in Philadelphia so I took the train up to hang out.
We knew each other well enough where I did not feel uncomfortable with them in a city I’m not all that fond of. But from the first few minutes at their apartment a flood of memories swelled over me. They are very opinionate people. A strict elementary school teacher, she likes to talk down to me with instructions on exactly what I am to do and how to do it. This is something I don’t respond to well. The weekend remains one of the longest in memory.
A few years before this long New York weekend I had decided to expand my pallet and never turn down a new restaurant. This new traveling job provided several opportunities for me to try new things. Five minutes after arriving she declared that we would be going to this family restaurant for dinner. Which was fine. The next night there was another family style restaurant she told me we would be going to. But New York seemed like a place to have much more than these family restaurants she had us going to.
When I asked if there weren’t other places she would like to go that were a bit more exotic, she informed me “you are from the mid-west and you only like these bland places.”
“Well,” I started to defend “that’s not really true.”
“Do you like Indian food?”
“No, that is one of the exceptions; it’s too spicy for me.”
“We are going to this family place” she huffed on her way out the door.
And that was it in her mind. I was too simple to be in her sophisticated city, and she would have to put up with me only one more night.
I think about this disappointing time after several years of really enjoying sushi with my good friend Alka. We would be in one city or another and she would find the best place in town rolling. Alka can really pack away the sushi and is always great fun to hang with.
Friday, Ben, Kristi and I went for sushi at a place we really like. I ordered what I have ordered for years, a dragon roll. About half way through the meal, I found out what was in the dragon roll. I used to love it but that moment of knowledge has changed my appetite possibly forever. The word eel reminded me of an episode of Myth Busters. There is an eel that excretes a nasty bile snot defense when threatened. I had a few more bites, but shots of that eel in the tank with Jamie were all I could think about.
So I ordered the chocolate moose for desert – please don’t tell me it is actually made of moose.
New rule of thumb, don’t tell me what I have ordered when we are at dinner. In my world it is really made of dragon and that is okay.