Everyone plays an important role at the dinner table. Here are some definitions of the members of a food crew, thou who shall not be named, you know who you are…
The Indecisive – The question is simple, what do you want to eat? The response is complicated. “I don’t know, maybe, I usually like that but not today, hmmmm, just wait don’t order, you order first, wait wait, I don’t know what I feel like, ummmm”.
The Hygenist – The person who wipes down all of their cutlery with the inside of their serviette before eating (the inside of the serviette hasn’t yet touched the dirty table), then reaches for their bottle of hand sanitizer out of their bag after touching the dirty menu.
Beverage control – This person orders a bottle of wine for the table and beers where necessary. Your glass of water seems always full because they are consistently topping up your drink, they know the importance of staying hydrated and want to share the gift of water. As you take the last sip of your beer, they have already ordered you another of the same.
Glutton – Their eyes are way too big for their stomach, they insist on ordering everything on the menu and lots of it. Suddenly when the food arrives they’re ironically not that hungry anymore. They usually instigate dessert when everyone is soooo full they’re already on the verge of barfing.
Custom Made – This person always orders something that is not on the menu. They see a dish on the menu and create their own rendition to suit their needs. They are big on extras and exclusions, mix and match sauces and ingredients included but on the side. These characters are easily identifiable when water can not, and will not be consumed without a fancy slice of lemon.
The Vegetarian – To hell with meat! they protest. They are ecstatic when the choice of venue is Veggie Bar on Brunswick street and disinterested in attending dinner at Steakhouse in Port Melbourne. No meat? No thankyou! I say, but each to their own. However some like to repeatedly mention that you are eating a once live animal whilst engaging in your meal of choice. I know it’s factual but denial is a happy place.
Garbage Disposal – When everyone is full to the brim, this character eats the food that is left over so people don’t feel bad that they’ve wasted all this food when there are starving children in third world countries.
The Financier – The person who grabs the bill when know one wants to look at it and rounds up the monies for our departure. There’s also the dude who likes to pull out their iPhone to calculate the cost per person right to the very cent.
What often goes unnoticed is that the peculiar imperfections of each character create the circus of madness you need for a memorable meal. So appreciate the net of balance you’ve unintentionally chosen to join your table in life.