We went out to dinner last night. No place special, no special occasion. It’s nice to go out now and then as a family. In all truth, we do it way too often. If the designated cook (we alternate) had a rough day, if I’ve fallen down on the job in the grocery shopping department, or if we just feel like it there is a good chance we’ll opt “out.”

Our choice last night was IHOP. Like I said, no place special. I was nostalgic for it. Nostalgia turned out to be a disappointment, as it so often does. It was okay, but not like I remembered.

As we were eating another couple were seated next to us. I’m guessing they were a son and his mother – he being 50ish, she running on 70 or so. And it was the day before Mother’s Day. The waitress obviously knew them since she told the man what he wanted to drink before he asked for it.

My ears perked up when the waitress came back with their drinks to take their orders. The man placed his order and then told the waitress, “She’ll have…” this, that, and the other thing.

It struck me as odd. It has been ages since I heard a man place the order for a woman. It used to be commonplace, but as women have become more independent, the practice has fallen away.

I would never dream to order for a woman. I quit ordering for my daughters when they hit about 10.

I find no fault in him doing this. I don’t know their circumstances. His mother may be hard of hearing, or a bit senile for all I know. Or it may just be the way they do it in his family.

But I am glad it struck me as odd — that a man ordering for a woman just sounds out of place to me now. I am not nostalgic to go back to those norms.

  3 Responses to “These are the good old days”

  1. It’s so great to hear from you Jon! Don’t feel bad about not posting in so long – I have you beat by a year, I’m sorry to say. This post, interestingly enough, reminds me of one of the reasons for my absence, from both writing and socializing. Without getting into all the details,(maybe I should use them for my own blog post), my husband divorced me late in 2012. The shock robbed me of my ability to write and it wasn’t until a year later that I was able to stop crying and begin writing again. Then I was laid off the job I’d held for thirteen years….needless to say I started with the emotional roller coaster all over again. But I digress….
    What I’m able to see now, (that I was blind to at the time), is that my husband had complete control over me. Ordering for me when we went out to eat was one of the ways he maintained that control. Of course I didn’t see it as such; I’m sure I believed it was sweet, romantic and if anyone tried to convince me otherwise I would’ve laughed at them.
    I believe that the man ordering for the woman CAN be a romantic notion but only if they’d discussed what she wanted to eat before the waiter or waitress arrived to take the order. You’re right, it is nearly an ancient practice and one that I would most likely have mixed feelings about if I witnessed it today.

  2. Good to see you blogging again.
    The wife and kids love IHOP. That was our Mother’s Day treat as well.
    Interesting encounter. Some traditions should be preserved and others I’m glad to see fade away.

  3. Nice to see a post from you. I’ve been remiss myself lately, though am going to get back to it once I finish my new website. You’re right–I hardly ever hear men ordering for women anymore. Did the woman talk much of the evening? Just curious. Maybe this is a story ;)

    Peace, Linda

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