Watch out for the fork, if you didn't ask first
Did I ever tell you about the time I almost was stabbed in the back of the hand with a dinner fork? It happened when I was out to breakfast with a friend at Cheap Charlie’s. I had just sneaked my fork over to his plate to grab a bite of his hash browns. It wasn’t until that moment that I knew there are people who really don’t want to share food.
Possibly I didn’t stress that enough. I’m telling you, he was so anti-sharing that his reflex reaction was to try to stab my hand with his fork!
Before you write me off as some rube who lacks the table manners God gave a housecat, let me say he was (and still is) a very good friend and not just a casual acquaintance. I would not try to grab a bite of just anyone’s hash browns if I didn’t consider our relationship to be close enough that this would be OK.
The problem of course was that he didn’t think it was just not OK, he had been raised in a family where pilfering a bite of food from someone’s plate was enough of a crime to get you sent away from the table.
Poor fella …
I’ve always shared my food and I always order at a restaurant with this sharing plan in mind. Recently I was enjoying a luncheon with a room full of women I had never met. Everyone’s food looked so good, I had to remind myself to focus on just MY plate! Usually when at a restaurant with my girlfriends, each of us orders a different dish and thus we get a chance to try many different meals.
And did you know there are no calories in even the most decadent dessert if you share it with your girls?
At the fast food drive-through, I’ll ask my husband to just "factor me in" when it comes to fries or a Diet Coke because I don’t want a full serving for myself. At a restaurant we often share one appetizer, one salad and one entree because these days the portion sizes are so big it will feed two people. If he wants to eat the whole thing, he’ll warn me beforehand. You know whenever he does this, it always ends with "Ugh….I shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing." (Score one for the sharers!)
In short, I was lucky to find someone who was a "food sharer" like me.
Or maybe I made him into one?
These days we head up a food sharing family. It works to our advantage in that getting kids to say yes to a bite from my plate seems to be less intimidating than a full serving of something new. The best part is I can grab a bite of a corn dog or chicken strip instead of ordering one for myself. It’s like being a kid all over again!
The high water mark for our little food-sharing family came while we were eating at Eddy’s on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs earlier this summer. We were enjoying a midday brunch when, without prompting, all of us reached to the plate next to ours and ate a bite off that person’s plate.
It was choreographed as smoothly as a water ballet, which I’m sure we couldn’t repeat even if we tried.
The key is to make sure the youngsters understand not everyone is up for the sharing of the plate so be sure to clear that with the rest of the table.
Also, make sure your fork is faster than the other guy’s.