EDITORAL PREFACE: This topic has been bouncing around my head since the weekend (wait, it’s only Tuesday!?) so I am glad to finally get this down…I welcome any thoughts or comments you might have, as always!
This weekend, the hubs and I took a nice trip down to Central Virginia to enjoy the gorgeous weather; both driving and doing some light hiking amongst the trails and vistas of the Shenandoah National Park.
(source) No, we didn’t see bears, but any excuse to have cute cuddly bears on my blog is reason enough for me. Maybe we’ll see these guys on a trip in the Spring! 🙂
Since it’s a so-so far trip, we decided to spend Saturday night over in the town of Waynesboro – but if you know me, you know that we didn’t rough it – in fact, it was far from it! We stayed at a Residence Inn that was obviously still quite new – and instead of being surrounded by pastoral fields and quaint cottages and farmhouses, the landscape was dotted with suburbian staples like McDonalds, Outback Steakhouse, Target, Starbucks and the like. However, we did want to try something ‘different’ for dinner, and that is what brought us to The South River Restaurant and Wine Shop.
For lack of more elaborate description, the restaurant was comfort food, presented nicely. Take a look at the menu – and you vegans that might be reading it….please tell me what you would have ordered! 🙂 I did the South River House Salad, asked for the Thai dressing on the side and called it a day – fortunately for me, it was a really big (as the menu indicated) and supremely satisfying salad! Yahoo!
ANYWAY – believe it or not, my tasty salad is not the focus of my blog, but rather, my observations of other patrons in the restaurant whilst I chomped away at my veggies – see, I think that since my vegan experiment began, I’ve become even more engrossed in the choices people make when they go out to dinner – do they order appetizers? Are the options they choose on the healthier side? Do they all contain meat? Do people have a hard time deciding (like me?) or know what they want right away? Does the ordering follow any kind of schematic or theme? Do they get a drink…or two…or more?
So many questions, but none more enticing than this one: does a person’s gender subconsciously cause them to desire certain items? Or, is it more about societal notions?
Before I started my vegan month, it never occured to me that as a female, this challenge might be easier just because of that…that I am a girl. Girls can be vegetarians, or vegans, so what? Right? But when you hear a guy doesn’t eat meat, that makes him less manly. Here are some examples: Ask Men posted some ‘manly vegetarian meals,” a discussion on Yelp and heck, why not throw in a little cartoon:
But really, even without throwing in the vegan and vegetarian dialogue, are there certain foods that our manlier or more feminine than others?
I noticed, at the table next to us, an older couple (like most of the people at the restaruant, really) that were enjoying their side salads, when their entrees arrived. The server that was bringing their main courses was not the same one that had taken their order, and thusly, she would not have known who ordered what. However, on the large tray she sat down, there were two meals: a prime rib and a fish dish. Can you guess where she sat each one?
Hmm, you might see where I am going with this – and yes, the woman was the one who had actually ordered the steak, and so, the server apolegized profusely and swapped them and while she didn’t seem to even bat an eyelash at the incident, her dining partner was clearly perturbed.
Now, I have no way of knowing if that man was just a grump, or if this happened often, or there were any other deep-seated issues associated with what I had observed, but it got me thinking – how do these ideas enter our mind? Is it advertising? Peer pressure?
Have you ever thought about what your food says about you? Yes, we have all heard ‘you are what you eat’ but – what does that really mean??