Vacation — a mandate to eat out

I made myself perfectly clear as I began what was a lovely, long stretch of vacation time away from the newspaper.

(You missed me, yes?)

I told Better Half that we would be eating out every day, that it was my vacation, and no way was I going to go near our dusty stove unless there was a big bag of money perched there with my name on it.

That was one of my few vacation goals, and Better Half was very patient, very indulgent to see it fulfilled.

His first effort toward that was to wave farewell to me as I headed off to the Chicago area with my sister and brother-in-law to visit an aunt for a few days.

In retrospect, he looked almost too cheerful as I left, realizing he was off the hook for the time being and under no pressure whatsoever to please your highness.

He knew my meals would be someone else’s worries.

But I returned, and I was hungry and ready to feast elsewhere than at the Kiaski kitchen table.

Just as I’d mentioned we’d not be dining in any time soon, Better Half was quick to remind me that my vacation days were numbered, (down by three or four already,) and I could only expect special food treatment for a limited time, like those offers on TV that promise two for the price of one if you hurry-hurry and act right-now immediately.

I didn’t have any trouble deciding where we should go and eat, but I think we both suffer from some sort of menu reading and ordering disorder.

A menu can be a tricky piece of reading material to navigate, especially if it’s for a restaurant that you’ve never been to before.

In those cases, we need “a couple more minutes” a few hundred more times.

We end up ordering under duress, because there are so many choices, and we can’t take the deadline pressure.

And, of course, we’re starving, and everything looks good, sounds good.

Then we have order remorse.

We should have tried something new and exotic, after all it is my vacation.

That’s one school of thought.

Then we think, no, we should have settled for the tried-and-true.

That’s the other school of thought.

Better Half, for example, decided to have breakfast for dinner on one outing, which was fine. That’s simple enough to order. Eggs. Sausage. Hash browns. And a biscuit.

A biscuit?

Order remorse set in as that biscuit crumbled under the first swipe of his butter-laden knife.

“Should have ordered toast,” Better Half grumbled.

Probably.

That’s history now, and so, too, my vacation.

We’ll be returning to normal at the Kiaski ranch — just as soon as I dust off that stove.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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