"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." - Katharine Hepburn
I was sitting at Sam's restaurant the other night looking at my husband and wondering, what are we doing here? Oh, we really like Sam's Seafood and Steakhouse, but I was wondering what were we doing out for dinner? I guess it just happened.
My spouse had been away, pursuing the art of car racing for several days and eating out a bit. He returned glad to be home, but exhausted. I had spent those days working hard on the yard. The afternoon on the day we went to Sam's, I had shopped and planned for a nice meal at home. I, too, was exhausted. Walking into the kitchen, the traveler looked at the unwrapped preparations and said, "Let's eat out." "Phew," I thought, relieved to escape my plan.
"What do you feel like eating?" I asked.
"Food" was the answer.
Men and women approach and respond to eating out in different ways, looking for different things. He wanted to eat. She wanted time to talk together.
As I looked around the busy restaurant, I couldn't help but wonder how different men and women are when it comes to the dining experience. I know he would have rather eaten at home, but not enough to wait for the preparation. I, on the other hand, always take advantage of an opportunity not to fix dinner. I love to eat out, see people, talk and relax.
In this world of equality, one might be offended if I say men and women are different, but oh busboy, when it comes to dining out, there are definite differences. Some of what I observe might be cliche, and although it may not be as dramatic as it used to be, it is pretty true most of the time.
When in mixed company, men are more decisive in their menu choices. They often are ready to order first. Women take their time, talk about their choices and might like to wait to ask others or see what others choose to order.
Women ask more questions of the wait staff to make sure the food is exactly what they want.
Men order foods that are simple or straightforward - pork chops, grilled salmon - while women prefer a blended entree - linguine with chicken, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers in a pesto cream sauce. Which is not to say there is anything wrong with either. Men like protein; women, I know, prefer chocolate.
Men belong to the clean plate club. Women belong to the doggie bag club.
Women are more knowledgeable and selective when it comes to dining comfort, sound, lighting and general seating location. Men sit anywhere there is a seat. Women like to look out into the dining room. Men don't look at anything. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Women are more concerned with the health benefits or the calories of the food. Men order what they want.
Women are concerned with the cost of the item when ordering. Men might be concerned with the cost of the restaurant before arriving but, once there, men order what they want.
When together, women will often order what the other women order, and they all order dessert. They tend to eat more when not in front of men. Men together will order masculine sized servings and eat it all and rarely order dessert. At a business meeting, a women is less likely to order alcohol.
When I worked at the Gideon Putnam, the waitstaff would complain if they got too many female tables. Women frequently go out to eat to socialize, so they enjoy themselves longer, keeping the waitress from turning over that table. Women order smaller, less costly items and, although they tip as well as men, the bill is not as large. Women have a vast knowledge of food and are more discriminating or judicious as to what they order. Oh yes, women can be a bit too selective or particular. Most of the time, men could care less if the order isn't perfect.
Women are careful that the check is fair and balanced. Men indiscriminately pay anyway.
Men and women approach and respond to eating out in different ways. True, it's not as dramatic as it once was, when restaurants would give the women a menu without prices, but restaurants do plan menus with the difference in the sexes in mind. Why? Because there is a difference in the way they eat. I think that restaurants should develop "menus" and "womenus," but that's just my thought.
Restaurants plan decor, service and seating with the difference in sexes in mind. I'll serve that another day.
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