Subourbon Mom

Salad Bar Panic
September 27, 2012, 11:12 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , ,

You know the saying “the things that annoy you the most in other people are the things you don’t like about yourself?” I recently had that proven to me.

For years I have been frustrated by Daughter #1’s inability to make a decision…about anything. Especially shopping.

Shopping, a painful experience for me on a good day, is excruciating when there is a clothing choice to be made with Daughter. I remember the day I was bragging to a friend about Daughter’s careful shopping habits, looking in all the stores before deciding which skirt to buy. That was such a half-full way of looking at it.

Now, I find myself tapping my feet impatiently as I shrug my suitcase/purse higher on my shoulder and wait. For Half an hour, Daughter agonizes over red, blue or yellow shorts, all of which she will never be allowed to wear to school because we don’t live anywhere near the Dukes of Hazzard.

Must she touch EVERYTHING in the store?

Then there are the multiple fitting room sessions, as she puts first one pair of jeans on, then another, then puts the first pair back on and so on, biting her lips and turning this way and that.

“They look like they’re painted on.”

(Annoyed glance from Daughter.)

“Why don’t you get a size bigger? I’m pretty sure they’re going to shrink up in the wash.”

(Eye roll, fitting room door clicks shut.)

“Are you sure that’s the signal you want to put out there?”…”You know, boys like a little mystery, a little something for the imagination.”

The comments flow out of my mouth like vodka cranberry cocktails after a night at The Beach (long story), with a small bit of superiority. At least I can make a decision.

Well, a week ago, I faced up to the fact that the saying is true.

I went to a new salad bar restaurant, designed a lot like Subway, but with salads you can choose from, or you can create your own.

Excited at the prospect of eating girl food after weeks of eating at Chipotle with Hubby, I enter the line behind six other women. There were three men in business suits eating already, but they looked so uncomfortable I was laying mental bets they would bolt before I even got to the cashier. I grabbed a menu and began looking, when my stomach clenched and I gritted my teeth. There were so many salads, all with at least five ingredients, some of which I didn’t even recognize. And that didn’t even count the create-your-own option!

My heart began to race…I quickly decided to get one of the salads someone else had already decided would harmonize with most people’s taste buds. Then I saw the display of salads inside the case, and I broke into a light sweat. There were so many! And they all looked so green and healthy, with vegetables and fruits and even fish that made a kaleidoscope of colors on each plate!

I lurked behind the women in front of me, trying to view each salad, hoping the choice would get easier. I analyzed them as if I were analyzing murder suspects in a police line-up. Annoyed as my head darted in and out of the line, the other women began closing ranks.

I tried not to look at the salad bar itself, all of the ingredients lined up in shining silver pans, as if to say, “Pick me! Pick me!”

My face flushed. My hand went to my throat. What to choose? What if I picked wrong? I’d be stuck with a mediocre $8 salad when I could have had an outstanding, unique creation of my own!

Then it was my turn. I stepped up to the bar, looked the college graduate behind the counter in the eye and took the easy way out:

“I’d like the blue cheese salad, please.”

It only had four ingredients. In my panic of indecision, I fell back on simplicity.

Then came the list of dressings to choose from. Completely cowed, I mumbled something like “Whatever you think is best,” and cringed my way to the cashier.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I saw myself frowning the last time Daughter shopped, impatiently browsing on my phone and texting my annoyance.

I was so busted. It’s hereditary.

Perhaps there are places that can help with this, like “decision rehab”–we should probably both go. I’ll just add it to the therapy she will surely need in the future.

But I will never, ever take her into the salad bar restaurant.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Libby – Kristin told me about your blog so I signed up!! Am so enjoying your writing!!! Hope all is well with you and yours.

Hugs – Katherine


Comment by Katherine Payne

Hilarious! Especially for those of us who know and love Daughter #1. Danny


Comment by Danny

Taking wife and mother into a department store and watching them shop for petites: Oh God, let me find a chair to sit in!


Comment by Tom Fuhrman

Another great read. I would love to go to this “decision rehab” place…sign me up! ha ha


Comment by stephaniehudnell

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