I guess every family has their quirks.
Maybe some people don’t spend a half hour to 45 minutes deciding what pizza to order for lunch. However, I have gone through this procedure more than once. It is one of my grandparents’ quirks. (You don’t want to know how long it takes to decide on having pizza for lunch in the first place).
It goes something like this:
We are visiting dad’s parents – Bema and Bopie. It is only about 10:30 or 11, but Bopie (who has been married to Bema for 50 years, so has learned to ask this question early on) asks:
“So what are you guys going to do for lunch?”
“Oh, well, I don’t know. It’s up to the kids. What do they want to eat?”
We are all standing around in the kitchen, the coffee drinkers sipping on mugs full of coffee – Bopie always makes both a pot of leaded and a pot of unleaded when he knows we’re coming down for a visit, so there is plenty of coffee there. The non-coffee drinkers are just standing around, drinking nothing. No one says anything. So Bema proceeds to give us several options.
“We could order in a pizza, we could send Bopie downtown to pick up subs, we could all go out to eat at the Chinese food place – or somewhere else if you want. There’s the Old Country Buffet, but I don’t know how their lunch menu is. I know they have pretty good breakfast stuff, but I don’t know if you want to risk trying their lunch stuff. Or you could order Chinese food in, if you don’t want to go out to eat, but want Chinese food…”
This goes on for several more sentences, as Bema exhausts what seems like all the food possibilities within a thirty mile radius.
“So what do you guys want to eat?”
No one has a real preference – we don’t care what we eat. But we know that if no one says anything, Bema will widen the radius to fifty miles and start exhausting all those food possibilities. So Ben speaks up:
(sip of coffee) “Well, I don’t know about these guys, but pizza sounds good to me.” (another sip of coffee).
Bema looks at the rest of us. “Is pizza OK with you guys? Because if you don’t want pizza, we can always get more than one thing – we don’t have to just have pizza. Bopie can always stop in and pick up a sub for someone while he’s in town, if…”
“Pizza’s fine.” someone pipes up, and is accompanied by several nods and grunts of agreement from the others.
With this decided, now comes the task of deciding where to order the pizza from. Bema produces about a dozen menus from different pizza places in the area, and starts running down the pros and cons of each pizza place.
“Well, Anna’s has a decent pizza, but you can’t always depend on the crust. Carl’s has a good crust, but they don’t always put on enough sauce. We could always get Pizza Hut, if you guys like that stuff. Sometimes Pizza Hut is OK, but other times it can be pretty disgusting. Oh! Becky brought home some pizza the other day from somewhere I’d never heard of before. I don’t know if it was any good, though – I didn’t try any. Becky! What was that pizza you brought home the other day?”
Aunt Becky comes into the kitchen. “What pizza I brought home?”
“The other day you brought home some pizza, remember?”
“Oh! That! No, you don’t want that. It was gross – didn’t you try any?”
“No, I didn’t try any. That bad, eh?”
“OK, so I guess not that, then. Hmmm, where else is there? I know there’s a pizza place we drive by on our way to church, but I have no idea how they are. We’ve never gotten it there. We could always try it though. Where’d Bopie go? He’d remember the name of the place – I don’t remember what it’s called.”
Bopie, hearing his name, comes back into the kitchen. “Whatcha you looking for?”
“The name of that pizza place we pass on the way to church.”
“What – the one right down the street from that new drugstore?”
“There’s a new drugstore there?”
“Yup. Just opened up a few weeks ago.” He turns to us “I don’t know what they were thinking, putting in another drugstore – there are already about five drugstores in the area. But they bought up that lot and put one in. You know, there used to be a little grocery store on that lot years ago, but they closed up a while back, and it’s just been sitting there ever since. Apparently these guys bought it up to put in this drugstore. Anyway, this pizza place she’s talking about is right up the street from there. I’ve never been in the place, so I don’t know what kind of a pizza they make, but if you guys want to give it a try, go for it.”
“Oh!” Bema is looking through the stack of menus sitting on the table in front of her. “Here’s a menu to that place TJ and Johnny are always going to. They claim that their hamburgers are really good. There’s pizza on the menu, too. We could always try that. Of course, I don’t know how the pizza is – it’s just the hamburgers that they’re always raving about. I would suppose they make a decent pizza, too. We could try them.” She picks up the next menu on the table. “Oh, yeah! There’s always…”
You get the idea.
After several minutes of this, she pauses long enough for someone to speak up:
“Pizza Hut sounds OK.” The reason they say Pizza Hut is because they can’t remember the name of any of the other places mentioned.
“Is that OK with everyone?” Bema asks, and we all nod or grunt our agreement.
Next comes the task of deciding what to order from Pizza Hut.
An old Pizza Hut menu is pulled out and looked over, and someone looks up Pizza Hut online, pulling up what is supposed to be their current menu.
“What do we need – a couple large pizzas?” Bema asks as she flips through the menu.
“Yeah,” Ben says “we usually just get three of the dog lovers.”
“The meat lovers?”
“Right – the dog lovers.”
“You’re your father’s son… So is that what you guys want? Or would you like to try something different.”
“That’s fine” someone speaks up, and the rest nod or grunt in agreement (we really are such a talkative group).
“OK, then. Oh, what kind of crust do you want it on? It looks like they have a normal, a thin, and a stuffed crust. Gee, a thin crust sounds good. I wonder how that is? Have you guys ever tried it?”
“No,” it’s Joe who speaks up “we’ve never really tried any of the different crusts or anything. We generally just go with the normal.”
“Just the normal for everything, eh? Well, would you like to try the thin crust, or do you want to just stick with regular? It’s whatever you guys want – the thin crust sounded good to me, but don’t feel as if you have to get it if you don’t want to – whatever you guys decide on is fine with me.”
“Well, we may as well give the thin crust a try. Should we get one pizza with thin crust and the other two regular?”
“I guess that’ll work… Yeah, that should be fine. How about wings? You guys want wings?”
“I don’t know how they are, but we might as well get some.”
“Well, we have tried Pizza Hut’s wings before, and they can be pretty nasty. We don’t usually get them, but if you want to try them…”
“I suppose we might as well, since we’re getting the pizza anyway. We’ll just try a few of the wings. What kind have they got?”
“Mild, Medium, and Hot.”
“Well, we don’t want the hot ones. I don’t know… should we try the medium ones or play it safe and stick with mild?”
Shrugs and grunts are her answer.
Bema turns to Bopie.
“Are you going to want any?”
“Well, I’d like to try them”
“OK, then we’d better stick with mild, since you don’t like the hot ones, and you just never know what you’re getting with medium. Sometimes medium are good, sometimes they’re way too hot. Do we want anything else? Breadsticks, or anything like that?”
I wanted breadsticks.
“Well, they sell them by the half dozen and the dozen. What do we want – a dozen or so? What do you guys think? Are you all going to want breadsticks, or is it just Naphi?”
“I dunno. We’ll probably eat them.”
“So more than a dozen, you’re saying?”
“Do you think a dozen and a half will be enough, or do we need more than that?”
“I dunno. That’s probably alright.”
“Well, you’ve got three pizza’s and a bunch of wings, besides.” Bopie says.
“OK, then I guess we’ll just get a dozen and a half breadsticks.”
“That ought to do it.” Bopie says “Are you all set, then? Should I call in the order?”
“Oh, I suppose so. Can anyone think of anything else they want? We’ve got soda here already, so I guess we don’t need any soda, unless you guys want a different kind then what we’ve got.”
We shake our heads and mumble “No, that’s fine.”
“Oh, wait! Look, they’ve got desserts, too!! Let’s see, what should we get… hmmmm…. What do you guys want for dessert?”