A new Italian chain restaurant had opened in my neighborhood. Saturday was the day that my friends decided this would be a good day to have lunch and go shopping. I’m not a fan of shopping, but I do enjoy sharing conversation and a meal with friends, so I accepted the invitation. Being absolutely crazy for Italian cuisine, I was already aware that the chain restaurant’s offerings would not compare fully to the wonderful restaurants owned and operated by a local Italian family. But, none-the-less it was the best we had available to us, so I would make the most of it.
I have two rules when I eat at a good Italian restaurant; creamy Alfredo sauce (on anything), bread and tiramisu.
Italian food is rich, tasty and meant to be enjoyed to the point of exhaustion.
The pasta, bread and sauces are why we seek out these wonderful restaurants, after all.
The excitement of the day was building. I didn’t eat my typical breakfast that day because I wanted to be hungry for lunch and a beautiful tiramisu dessert. I finished my morning routine of cleaning, reading and entertaining my dog. I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up and ready for this outing. Now typically on a day off work, I would be found wearing jeans, t-shirt and a baseball cap. This day was different though, I was going to have lunch with “church ladies”. I decided to clean up my raggedy mug making myself as presentable as possible, while remaining true to myself. I left the baseball cap at home and wore a “blouse” with my jeans. I even put make-up on my face that day.
I arrived at the restaurant anticipating the lively conversation with my friends and of course, a hearty lunch. I was starving! One by one the ladies began to arrive and eventually we were all seated. With the pleasantries all said, it was time to get serious about the menu. Everybody had commented on how hungry they were and how amazing the menu appeared. “Oh, the lasagna looks wonderful”, our party organizer exclaimed, while another was practically a mess looking at the picture of the chicken parmigiana.
I pretty much knew what I was having, when I heard the biggest lie of the century. “This all looks wonderful but I think I’m going to stick with a side salad and a cup of soup”. I was in shock! The lady who made this claim was after all, the one who gathered us together in the first place. I knew she didn’t really want a salad. She wanted the biggest, richest, fattest plate of pasta in the place! Seriously! Who goes to an Italian restaurant and orders a salad; a side salad even?!
Well as is typical in a group of women, nearly everyone at the table began to lay aside their appetites, and suddenly all eyes were focused on the salad menu. I almost surrendered too, but no! I was in a pseudo-Italian restaurant and I have standards. When the waitress came to our table, I listened carefully as the other five women ordered their salads with some lousy light dressing, (on the side). When the waitress came to me, I proudly and hungrily ordered pasta with chicken to be smothered in Alfredo sauce with extra parmesan cheese (not on the side). We visited and shared the complimentary bread that was given us to enjoy while we waited for our meals. Finally, our food was being placed before us.
Each of the salads delicately placed before the others and then came my meal. I smiled as the others looked on saying, “I wish I had ordered that, it looks wonderful.” When I asked the lady who invited us there and whose mind was set on the lasagna why she didn’t order it, she simply responded, “because I need to watch what I eat”. I couldn’t help but think to myself, now you can watch what I eat too.
This experience and many like it have convinced me that women are liars. Nobody really goes to an Italian restaurant because of their salad menu. I enjoy a good salad and if I want to eat healthy and according to a “diet” I cook for myself and stay at home.
The next time I’m asked to join a group of ladies at an Italian restaurant, I’m going to order for everyone at the table and ask for extra cheese on everything. And…I’m going to wear my baseball cap!
Anybody want to join me?
This post was written by Amy L. Potts
Amy is a much sought after motivational speaker who shares her personal story candidly with humor and with passion. She was a guest columnist for a year in the Kansas City Star’s – Faith Walk column and her writings have been published in several publications. Most recently, her writing was published in a devotional book called, “You Belong: 52 Stories to Strengthen your Purpose, Faith & Relationships” which was a companion to the BELONG Tour live event for women. In addition to her work that was published in their book, her blog post “You’re Beautiful” was featured on their website and recently noted as one of the BELONG Blog: Top 10 Posts for 2016. A truly great honor!
Amy will be doing a lot more writing in this coming year as he prepares to write her first book. We hope that you will check back often to see what is happening here. More importantly, if you are encouraged by her writing and know someone who would also be encouraged, feel free to share the link.
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