I think of my relationship with restaurant meals as a life cycle story. When my daughter was itty bitty, whenever we could afford to eat out, it was a big deal. We would order French fries for her and, as the rest of her meal, she would share some of whatever was on our plates, trying this and that, figuring out what she liked (and didn’t). (You would think I would have lost some of my “baby weight,” but not so much; I suppose I should have left those French fries alone!)
When she got older, of course, we would order her a “kid’s meal.” That sufficed her for a few years and I often had leftovers of my own to take home. (My puppy was very happy, if a little chubby herself!)
This rule did not really apply on Friday nights. From her fifth birthday forward, when Yoko’s first opened her doors, those were reserved for dinner at our favorite sushi place. Yoko herself became a family friend, and dinner there was always family style, with plates of sushi and sashimi placed at the center of the table and reaching for tidbits, not only allowed, but encouraged. This was when we discovered that my daughter’s love affair with raw salmon was far greater than my own, while my adoration of Ahi and Hamachi sashimi far outweighed hers. (My husband, the family Japanophile, with black belts in four different martial arts, ate it all.)
In fact, in order to ensure that we had “leftovers,” we had to order take-out on top of whatever we had ordered for dinner. There were never any true leftovers from Yoko’s.
It was also when Yoko would indulge this little girl with her favorite dessert, bringing Fried Ice Cream to the table without us even ordering it, and refusing to charge us for it. To this day (this past Monday, in fact, after her weekend destination Tampa wedding event), my daughter ordered it so that her new husband could try it. It remains her best-loved dessert.
Then there came a time, when my daughter was even older, that we could finally order her a meal of her own. Sometimes she would finish it, but most of the time we both had some leftovers to enjoy later.
Cycle of Life
When she was in her teens and growing like crazy, she would eat her own meal, and then start taking bites from my plate, as well. That was actually when I did lose some weight. That was also when she occasionally discovered that those foods that she used to dislike she had actually come to appreciate as her tastebuds matured.
There will come a day, I know, when my appetite will have declined to the degree that my husband and I will share our meals, perhaps by the time we become grandparents. My dad and his girlfriend did when they were older so it will come as no surprise. I expect then that the entire cycle will begin anew with my granddaughter’s meal sharing plan.
This is true or will be true for many of us. It is the cycle of life. At Open Palm, we can help you at any stage of your life. You might find that your tastebuds, like my daughter’s, change as time passes. However, these changes may be more stressful, affecting more people, and requiring more discussions, than a person’s changing preferences in food. If it’s time to face the changes in your marriage, Open Palm Law can help you facilitate the difficult conversations to come. You don’t have to have all the answers, but Open Palm can help you ask the right questions.
We offer the services to help you throughout the changes in your life.
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About this week’s author, Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.