It is a question that will come up at some time for everyone. It can inspire happiness and joy —
… but also dread, for the answers to this question can call up frustration, rage, confusion, or a dark swirling vortex of all three.
Sometimes it will be asked out of the blue. Sometimes it will engender conversations so nonsensical and fruitless that 30 minutes will go by without anything meaningful said. Sometimes one person will see it coming, and to avoid the oncoming froth of violence will hang his/her head in resignation and sigh, “Whatever you want,” but inwardly seethe with resentment.
But know this: At some point, this question will be asked. Maybe HUNDREDS of times. And the situation gets worse the more people are involved in answering it.
It is (of course):
“Where should we eat tonight?”
Usually, Bjorn and I are on the same food wavelength, which is to say we like everything and will eat (almost) anything.
Recently, however, we found ourselves spiraling down that eaters’ enigma. We were in the unenviable positions of feeling peckish close to closing time for many restaurants. We jumped in the car and started throwing around options.
“Vietnamese?” I queried.
“Naw, I’m not hungry enough to enjoy that,” Bjorn said.
“Mexican?” Bjorn asked.
“No, I’ve been eating that alot recently,” I said.
On and on it went, through various countries and cultures, each one discarded based on taste, feeling, cost and/or geography.
By then, we were perilously close to having to settle for an all-night diner, so we decided to park in downtown Chico, hop out and let the remaining open restaurants be our guide.
I couldn’t stomach the thought of a big burger so the Bear and Burgers & Brews were out. I finally caved to Mexican so we headed to Aca Taco but it was closed for a private party. A bar had fish tacos, but the going price was two for $9 (Seriously? What, are they laced with gold?) The open Chinese place had no one in it. Hot dog stands got a no (but smelled lovely). And while we both love Pita Pit, we just weren’t feeling up to it that night.
“Bleh! Urgh! Arrgh!” When I’m feeling hungry and frustrated, sometimes only non-words will do. Bjorn understood exactly what I meant.
“Let’s go to Celestinos,” he said.
Finally, something that made sense. How can anyone say no to cheese and carbs, the two wrongs that just taste so right?
Pizza. It’s something everyone can agree on.
Bjorn with the great pacifier.
Jammie Karlman is the entertainment editor for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JammieKarlman