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You know you dine out too often when...

Your preschooler likes to play restaurant instead of playing kitchen. And when pretending to be your server he turns to you and says, "How are those first bites tasting?"

~TDQ

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      1. Ever "send it back" so see how he reacts and what he does? :D

        2 Replies
        1. re: Midknight

          HA! We'll have to become more demanding diners!

          ~TDQ

        2. When the server asks you if you will take the order from the table in the corner.

          1. My brother and I used to play "drive-in". My sister worked at the drive-in down the road from our house. We ate there every Thursday during the summer because my dad was in a golf league that day. This is going to make me seem old, the hamburgers were 5/$1. Anyway, we kept the cardboard tray that held the sodas, we kept the waxed paper cups and the waxed paper straws and lids. We cut up cardboard boxes to be the window where the order was taken (think old Dairy Queen with no indoor seating and outdoor ordering). I told that story to the kids and I got "paper straws? You are really old."

            1. You know you have been dining out too often when you call your home for a dinner reservation.

              1. When you do eat home, your wife tells you what's for diner and you respond " do you have any specials tonight?"

                4 Replies
                1. re: jrvedivici

                  My mom used to tell that we had to eat what she cooked because she was not running a restaurant.

                    1. re: John E.

                      We've got just the opposite: often I'll have 4-5 choices, all pre-prepared. The Mr. has gotten used to having a menu from which to chose at home. So used to it that I have to remind him that I'm not really a short-order cook.

                      1. re: pine time

                        If I'm going to pull something out of the freezer, I might ask the night before, but other than Sunday breakfast, that's the only time I give options before the meal. It's not really a dictatorship, more like a benelovent monarchy.

                  1. I grew up in the restaurant biz and always played that game, love it! My dad loved it when I said we had "turn the table".

                    1. One night, my wife started clearing the table while I was still eating and I asked her, "Do you need the table?".

                      1 Reply
                      1. Quite a few years ago, we had some friends over for dinner. The first arrivals were a mom, dad, and 2.5 year old son. The dad had just successfully launched a self-published book on fat-free cooking, and had lost a bit of weight. (His wife was very clear that this was HIS obsession.) While we were having drinks and chatting, he gave a long, impassioned sermon on the virtues of his chosen food-style, on the importance of home cooking and severely limiting fat and salt and sugar, on the need to eat lean and mean.

                        At the end of this monologue, the next set of guests arrived, and when the doorbell rang, the little boy immediately lit up and said, "Pizza man!"

                        1. "too often???"

                          what is "too often?"
                          my goal is to eat every meal out.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Older Bro B and SIL have been married 43 years. The first 10 years of their married lives they lived in NYC and ate out 21 meals each week, Since moving to the suburbs in CT they eat out a minimum of once per day and have delivery or takeout the other two meals.

                            The only time a meal has been served in their home that was cooked there was twice when my brother hosted birthday parties for SIL and her SIL came from NY and cooked for the party.

                            Personally I don't think this would have worked if they had ever had children.

                            My paternal grandmother didn't cook. She lived on the first floor of a two family home and her parents lived upstairs. All meals were taken at my great grandmother's table. When my father turned 6 and started school my grandmother was forced to get a few dishes, cutlery, frying pan in order to make my father breakfast before school. 7am was too early to go upstairs and disturb my great grandmother. After my great grandmother died in 1944, my father and uncle were grown. My grandparents then ate lunch and dinner out the rest of their lives. In NY they had an apartment, but 6 months a year for 35 years they lived in a hotel in Florida. When asked why they didn't have a house or apartment, as it would be much less expensive, my grandmother replied. 'If I had a kitchen someone might expect me to use it......'.

                            1. When there's no more room in the refrigerator because it's stacked full of doggie bag containers!

                              1. We did not eat out often as children but restaurant was way more fun to play than kitchen because it was more interactive. Kitchen can be a solo game.

                                1. You know you eat at too many pubs when... your daughter, playing server, announces the special of the day is bacon stew and "we have Hops and Robbers (local microbrew) on tap!".

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Sorry, but what is this dining out too often? Can there be too much dining out?

                                    1. Give him a few more years and he'll be playing 'high-end dining!'

                                      1. When I'm so looking forward to a home cooked meal, and it can be something as simple as meatloaf, mashed tatties, and a couple bottles of red. Dining in my comfy clothes on the deck.

                                        1. The extended family is gathered for Seder. Grandfather rises and asks,"What makes this night different from all other nights?"
                                          Four year old: "I know!! Mommy cooked!"
                                          CP

                                          1. You know you dine out too often when when your favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.