There are a few rules by which we must abide. One seems to be that an adult must never order from the kid’s menu. To that, I say baloney…with fish fingers.
To paraphrase a fictional cinematic Nazi, I know what people are capable of when they abandon dignity.
At the table, I was raised properly. I was taught: do not plant your elbows, don’t eat with your hands, and order properly from the menu; if dining alone, order something else to accompany your meal; when eating with others, order conservatively. There are a few faux pas that ne’er shall the adjusted adult do: never just order booze, and never ever order from the children’s menu.
However, it is the latter that I discovered to be po-faced nonsense.
I stumbled into this Eden by accident. Like Alice, I tumbled down the rabbit hole as a result of chasing my feelings through a bout of gastroenteritis. I was late for a very important date with the toilet, and I didn’t want to push it. But, while I might have been wary, I was also hungry. I approached the bar, sheepishly, as the bar patron with a hat held court. The face narrowed when I asked if I could order off the kid’s menu, fearing that my head will be struck from my shoulders, or worse, risk a jibe from the patrons.
He said yes, but I changed seats as a precaution.
As I emerged from my gut maladies, my mind remained changed. I couldn’t shake the idea that remained: I’d eaten from the kid’s menu, and it was fine. Great, even. It was cheap, it was sensibly portioned and, perhaps most great of all, it was a trifle naughty. The danger element was the kicker. That, and the fact I got change back from the transaction.
The challenge lies within, and nowhere else. If you can confidently point to it on a menu, then the worm has turned for you.
But, like all social trials, like cross-fit, or religion, it is only how you handle the reaction from those you know – or those you would wish to be intimate with – that has merit. Quickly, I supposed that the crucible for this new wave of thinking was on the menu at my next Tinder date. In order to choose a control, I chose someone that I had little to no vibe with. The juvenile culinary choice would break the date. Something to be repeated afterwards, or anonymously painted on the walls of Facebook. (“…So, he ordered from the kid’s menu.”)
Oddly, it was the drinking that brought me undone, as I hadn’t factored in the lesser potion size to go with my adult drinking. The dinner passed without incident, no comment was made about my teensy tiny fish and chips. In fact, she congratulated me for opting for the crinkle fries, as it reminded her of her childhood. Sadly, that potato wasn’t enough to breadcrumb her realisation. It was only until afterwards did I spill my guts and divulge the features of my grand scheme. There was a certain affront taken, but I’m unsure what; whether she didn’t care to be the laboratory rodent, or whether she didn’t care much for the amount of glee I had covered my dory in – but it was suddenly time to go. The train trip home confirmed my unmatched status. It’s just as well, as the coffee shop nearest my house doesn’t have a kid’s menu. It was never going to work.
What did I learn? Perhaps that the positives outweigh the few negatives, but it is that the negatives are only truly registered when you point them out. The challenge lies within, and nowhere else. If you can confidently point to it on a menu, then the worm has turned for you, my dude.