Every Tuesday my family goes out to dinner together. Last Tuesday my parents chose their favorite Chinese buffet they've been frequenting for lunch. It just happens to be on my mom's work route, lucky her. Now, I'm not a picky eater by any means, but when it comes to food I don't like to risk vomiting all night. I was actually pretty mad at my parents for bringing me here since I'm unemployed and don't have health insurance at the moment. I don't think they were being very considerate of my situation.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the restaurant were all the passive aggressive notes. "Please take all you want, but please eat what you take." I mean, that's kind of common sense for buffet goers. I don't think people purposely load up their plate with the intention to throw all the food away. "Ice is low, please do not waste it." I'm sorry, but how do you waste ice? Are you supposed to crunch every last cube you take? Are you supposed to wait until it melts before you can leave the restaurant? I just don't get it. I expected a sign in the bathroom indicating how much toilet paper I was allowed or directing me to let it mellow if it's yellow.
The other thing I thought to be kind of strange was the fact that none of the food was labeled. My dad and I found ourselves arguing over a specific dish. He said it was squid, I said it was chicken. I didn't know it was possible to confuse the two, but we were sure confused. There was also something I believed to be chocolate pudding. I wasn't about to test that one.
Over the years I've realized that my parents don't actually like things because they are good. Instead they like the novelty of things and places. They talk up restaurants called #1 Chinese Food and places like the Moapa Paiutes Gas Station/Fireworks Shop/Beef Jerky Outlet/Convenience Store/Restaurant/Casino like they are Disney World or Ikea. "Oh wow, but you just have to try this almond boneless chicken, its the best I've ever had". Well great, and I'm sure the next 24 hours spent curled up in the fetal position on my bathroom floor will be well worth it. "But where else in the world can you buy a turquoise dream catcher, mountain goat jerky and play slots at the same time!?" Ummmmm...you got me there, Mom.
After talking up these places for years and years or months and months they will finally bring us there. My mom will jump out of the car, leaping with excitement and I will be standing behind her going, "You've got to be kidding me".
I give my parents credit though. They do these stupid things together and really get a kick out of it. They go to hole-in-the-wall restaurants and casinos together. They polish their rocks and make their dog clothes together. They do other weirdo things I can't think of at the moment, but trust me, they do things. They've been married over 30 years and they just love love love each other. And its cute. Just not when they're trying to drag their kids along with them.