Mood:eight hours later, still only partially recovered
Why I Hate Restaurants
People often seem baffled at how on earth I can hate restaurants. Well, yesterday was my father's birthday and so last night he took us all out to dinner at a restaurant near my apartment, and it was a perfect example of everything I hate about restaurants.
1. The food is a zillion times more expensive than the exact same food would be if you just bought it at a grocery store.
2. They don't even let you see the food before you order it. They make you pick what you want based solely on a written description on the menu. This description may be sufficient to enable you to ensure that your food is marginally edible, but inevitably once the food arrives you can tell immediately on sight that something someone else ordered looks far more delicious than what you ordered.
3. The more expensive the restaurant is, the less likely it is that they will carry any beverages that aren't addictive and toxic. You have a choice between impaired brain function (alcohol) or impaired body function (caffeine). I always choose caffeine, but it makes my heart pound in a distinctly uncomfortable manner and I feel vaguely ill.
4. Invariably they make you sit around waiting for ages before your food actually arives.
5. While you're waiting for the food you actually ordered, they put random other foods in front of you instead which you have no choice about and which are invariably disgusting. Last night, for example, the "house specialty soup of the day" was some monstrosity called "tomato zucchini soup" and no one eating at the restaurant was allowed to escape without having a bowl of tomato zucchini soup stuck in front of them for half an hour before their actual food arrived. Sure, I wasn't forced to actually eat the stuff, but even looking at it wasn't really doing good things to my appetite. Is that why they put it in front of you while withholding your real food from you and slowly starving you to death? Because you don't even have to actually eat the stuff to have your appetite drastically reduced by its presence.
6. And even after the tomato zucchini soup was removed untouched, I still didn't get my food; the next step was having a big plate of salad stuck in front of me, of which the only item on the entire plate that I could stand to eat a single bite of was the croutons. If I had wanted salad I'd have ordered salad. Why do they insist upon sticking salad in front of everyone even when some of us hate salad? And you know that the cost of the disgusting salads and the tomato zucchini soup is the reason why your actual food that you actually ordered costs such a ridiculously inordinate amount.
7. Another random item they stick on the table while they're refusing to give you the food you actually ordered is bread and butter. Surely, surely no one could render bread and butter inedible. But oh yes they can - because they have this notion that being a restaurant requires them to serve only strange unusual expensive foods, so they can't just serve ordinary normal bread, certainly not. They serve sourdough bread. And sourdough bread just conveniently happens to be pretty nearly the only form of bread on the entire planet that I don't like.
8. They always have their own notions of what concepts like "salad dressing" mean. They ask you what kind of salad dressing you want, but they don't ask you how much of it you want and most people just assume they can be trusted to be acquainted with conventional standards for salad dressing serving sizes. Well, they can't be. My mother prefers her salad sprinkled with a few drops of Italian dressing, but they brought her a puddle of salad dressing with a few bits of salad floating in it. I'm relieved that I asked them to skip salad dressing on mine entirely, because otherwise even the croutons wouldn't have been edible.
9. They also always have their own notions of what concepts like "medium rare" mean. And although they do at least generally manage to make the "rare" steak redder than the "medium" and the "medium" steak rarer than the "well done," so that at least telling them how you wanted it cooked wasn't totally useless, they do not ask you at all about how you want it seasoned. They just pick their own preferred seasoning and usually drown the meat in it so much that you need several more glasses of addictive toxic beverages to cool down your mouth from the overdose of extra-spicy seasoning.
10. You are never allowed to eat in peace! There are total strangers hovering over your shoulder watching every bite you eat and listening in on your conversations so that you either become afraid to say anything at all or else you start feeling obliged to offer random explanations to the hovering strangers to clarify the fact that when they just overheard you talking about someone licking your face, it was your dog you were referring to and not your uncle.
11. The food costs so much that you feel obliged to force yourself to shove down every single possible bite you can possibly fit in your stomach without inducing vomiting or else you'll have to feel more guilty than ever for all the money you wasted. This ends up making you feel even more ill than the toxic beverages had already achieved.
12. You always forget when you're looking at the prices listed on the menu that those aren't even the full actual prices, that you'll be expected to add on a big tip on top of the rest of the expense, so the very last thing that happens to you before you leave the restaurant is that you suddenly realize you're actually even more broke as a result of this meal than you'd already previously realized.
And I wasn't even the one paying last night. My father paid for it all. Otherwise it could have been an even more unpleasant experience than it already was eating myself sick and getting caffeine posioning! Yet when I told Mikie ahead of time that I'd be going to a restaurant with my family for my father's birthday, ey said it sounded so idyllic. Tell me, why do so many people like restaurants? How can anyone possibly find anything remotely appealing about the torments that restaurants always subject me to? I don't understand, I will never comprehend why anyone voluntarily chooses to eat at those places.