Life & Love & Lessons Learned

The Special

As a mom of three school-aged children, a business to run and a serious lack of babysitters, it’s not very often that my husband and I go out for dinner. In those rare occasions, however, I find myself at the same restaurant, ordering the same appetizer & entrée. It’s like I’m in a scene from the movie, “Groundhog Day.”

My husband rationalizes because we seldom get the chance to go out, we want to go to a restaurant that we love, order food that we love, and not be disappointed. Yes, I suppose that does make sense. I mean, he is an engineer. He’s very smart. He makes a good point.

But last night was different. Our waitress, Wendy came to our table and within minutes shared the weekly specials. When I heard “scallops…with lobster…a bed of risotto” my head exploded. “Those are all of my favorite things!” I exclaimed.  Yes, I’m a child. Food makes me happy. My favorite foods, all in one dish? I mean, c’mon! Wendy laughed, and said, “I love nights like this!”

And since I’m ordering the special, why not go crazy and order a different appetizer? So, damn the calamari, and give me the fig & beet arugula salad!

When the dinner arrived, it was beautifully plated, and tasted better than anything I’ve ever ordered at any restaurant, ever.

Wendy came over and asked how our meal was, and I said, “This is so amazing, please let the Chef know. He needs to put this on the regular menu!” When we got back, I started thinking how easy it is to go to the same place and order the same thing, because it’s safe. You know the outcome. It will be delicious. The risk of spending a rare night out and not being satisfied, is a risk you’re not willing to take.

It may sound silly, but ordering the special last night mattered. It was the best meal I’d ever had, and I never would have known, if I’d stayed in my comfort zone.

How often in our daily lives do we choose the safe route?

We stay in jobs because the fear of leaving and not finding something else is too great. We live in our little squares of land, never venturing beyond our level of comfort. We have dreams, ideas, passions…but we hesitate to act on them because they are unpredictable.  But what if…

Next time you are faced with doing the routine, comfortable choice, or the Special –  choose…

The Special.

Written 2017

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