Monday, August 4, 2008
meet me at the orange chicken
I love going out to eat. New environment, new food, no work…etc. There is, however, one type of restaurant I hate more than anything in the world: THE BUFFET. Now I realize that many people in this world love buffets, but there is something about them that gives me anxiety beyond relief. A buffet generally consists of warm buckets of substandard food that people end up gorging themselves on just to get their money’s worth. This vicious cycle usually leads to a condition I have come to call ‘rock gut’ or worse- something my dad and brother came to know quite well- the Norwalk Virus. Nothing about that description is appetizing to me in any way.
Now enter my anti-buffet arch nemesis: THE COUPON. A coupon is a tricky factor in the marketing world. It can make you do things you would not normally consider. In my case, through a simple half off coupon I was persuaded to enter Chinese Gourmet with Cade last Saturday night. I was hopeful- coupon in hand with a love for asian food- but the experience was not so tasty. Cade, on the other hand, was loving life. He immediately made friends with the entire staff who called him my ‘cute boyfriend’ the rest of the night. He also recruited a pair of Hispanic hecklers who would loudly criticize me if I walked past their table without enough food on my plate. ‘hey lady- you need to eat more! MORE!’ they howled. Cade giggled himself silly as he nibbled on doughy pizza. I hated my life more than ever. Rot gut quickly set in and I was in the worst mood. Poor Cade became the recipient of my frustration as I told him I wanted to leave.
As I was being a brat, I saw how sorry Cade was for the hecklers, his army of admiring asian waitresses, and even the crab leg he tossed in an attempt to make me laugh. He went to the bathroom to “make room for the ice cream bar” as I sat sulking. That is when I realized that Cade did all of those things to make the experience better for me. He was trying to make me happy in a situation where I was choosing to be angry. And by me choosing to be a beast, I was really making it hard for him to have a good time as well. It was while he was in the bathroom I realized how lucky I am to have such a loving husband- and also how glad I am for the principles of agency. We can choose to be happy and we can choose to be beasts- but if there is one thing I have learned from Cade more than all the others it is this- you make your own happiness.
I don’t think Cade and I will be making our own happiness at another buffet anytime soon- but nonetheless, I would like to thank Joo Syung, Daisy Ho, the Hispanic hecklers, the man in the American flag tee with the massive pile of crab legs, and all others who helped contribute to a great experience at Chinese Gourmet.