The Chef 1991Not only am I awesome but also I suspect my processing, communication skills, and taste in food are approaching perfect. Let me explain.

My husband and I like to eat out a lot. We can cook. And we do cook. Sunday nights we look at our calendars, find out if we’ll both be home for dinner each night the coming week. If it’s a yes, we alternate who is responsible for planning, cooking, and putting dinner on the table. We have some simple, nutritious, tasty meals to offer each other.

Some evenings the planner/cook/supplier may suggest, “Oh, let’s just go out.”

We live in Tucson, Arizona near multiple places that are vying to fulfill our appetite wishes. Burgers, wraps, steak, patio dining, pasta, Thai, Italian, Southwest, organic, gluten-free, or carb-laden. We’ve got it all. Each of these establishments is nearby, quick, not too expensive, and usually employs youngish servers. Almost all employees are youngish in comparison to our ‘maturing’ era.

Invariably no matter what we order, we’re told that it’s “perfect.” First time I heard that my order of pumpkin spice soup was perfect, I thought it was the chef’s special. But my scallops, side of broccoli, and house salad were perfect too. “Perfect” brings my choices, my wants, and food desires to a level that makes my taste buds tingle. Perfect.

Did the servers all take the same server training course? Were they told, “Ditch that boring “okay,” or the more bland response, a simple nod?

Server, if you are really into it, diversify your acknowledgment. Pull up that mental vocabulary file from your high school class or college application. Make my choice “sparkling,” “delicious,” “inspired.” Yes, it’s a compliment to my good judgment. But there is also an implied contractual agreement in progress here. The establishment must plan and cook, and you, Server, must place that turkey, cheese, and lettuce wrap in front of me with a flourish. You must live up to this expectation, so that when I take that first bite, I’ll close my eyes, lean back in rapture and breathe, “Perfect.”