A couple of unavoidable errands had us away from home all afternoon and into the evening. After a similar errand last night and a stressful hour or so trying to get supper on the table, we decided to have dinner out tonight. A couple hours later, I'm wishing that we hadn't.
More and more often, I'm finding that eating out doesn't set well on my stomach. Some meals are better than others (Chinese food doesn't bother me much), while some are worse (hamburgers seem to be the worst lately). I don't know if it's the amount of food I'm eating, the fat content, the kind of fats (I'm used to mostly peanut and olive oils at home) or maybe some of the flavor enhancers being used, but in any case, the food sits on my stomach like a brick. When I make the same kinds of foods at home, they don't seem to cause the same feeling. Shane says he often has the same "hamburger hangover" sensation.
For us, this is just one more reason to limit our meals out. We won't eliminate them entirely -- in fact, we have a breakfast outing planned with my in-laws on Christmas Eve morning -- but we'll surely think twice about the whens and wheres of going out to eat in the future.
To make matters worse at dinner tonight, we were seated near a mother who virtually ignored her young daughter and harangued her son throughout the entire meal. We felt so sorry for the kids, and Shane said he finally had to just block the woman out for fear of making a scene himself. She complained that the food her son wanted to order had too many calories for an 8 year-old, yet she let him order it, then insisted that he finish it all, either in the restaurant or at home. She belittled him for holding his burger with two hands, insisting that he rest one hand in his lap and telling him that he needed to learn this skill if he ever expected girls to date him when he was older. She threatened to take away toys his grandma had given him because twice in the last month he'd not picked up after himself. She even harassed him about the amount of time it took him to go to the restroom (all the while I was thinking it was the only place he could go to get a little peace).
I felt so sorry for these kids. Everyone has bad days and impatient moments -- including me -- but it seemed obvious to us that this was business as usual for this mother. Had the food not already given me indigestion, listening to this conversation surely would have.
Here's hoping all of you have peaceful meals and pleasant conversations with your loved ones this season. If I don't get back to the blog before Friday, have a Merry Christmas! I'll see you again before the New Year!