I Think I’ll Pass…

For me, one of the best parts about growing older is no longer feeling the need to keep up with current trends.  The only social media I use is Facebook; I recognize almost no one in People Magazine; my home decorating style is hopelessly old-fashioned, and I never follow the latest fashion styles. (I don’t own a single pair of skinny jeans.  Partly because they don’t look comfortable, but mostly because the world has enough problems these days without anyone having to look at me stuffed into a pair of skinny jeans.)  In most areas of my life, I’m able to easily ignore fads and trends, and am quite happy to do so.

Sadly, some trends are easier to avoid than others.  My husband and I enjoy dining out, and  up until a few years ago, we used to especially enjoy trying to new restaurants.  We’re lucky to live in a large city where new restaurants open frequently, and it was fun to find a new place to eat that offered great food, good service, and reasonable prices. The problem is, most new restaurants also tend to be rather trendy, and I don’t particularly like, or even understand, most of the new trends in dining out.

IMG_1387Some I find simply annoying, like referring to the person standing behind the bar as a “mixologist” instead of a bartender.  Isn’t mixing drinks what bartenders have always done?  I know that many new restaurants and bars offer a huge array of complicated drinks, but I honestly prefer a simple glass of white wine with my meal.  And I don’t like feeling guilty about wasting the talent of the restaurant’s “mixologist” when I order it. (Although my son made up for it when we took him out for his birthday dinner and he ordered a smoked martini.  And yes, it was actually smoking when it came to the table.)

Other trends I find truly off-putting, like the new “communal table” seating.  I don’t go out to eat because I want to be squeezed into a bench at a long table that reminds me of lunchtime in my high school cafeteria.  I don’t like having to watch what I say because I know the strangers on either side of me can hear my conversation perfectly, and might even decide to chime in.  Nor do I want to know all the intimate details of their lives, unless they’re up to something especially interesting or illegal.  Also, I don’t want to be sitting close enough to other diners that I’m not only tempted to steal a french fry off their plate, but I’m actually able to do so if they are silly enough to look away for a second or two.  Fighting temptation is not one of my strong points.

And it might be my age, but I don’t like the high ceilings, concrete floors and general industrial warehouse decor that so many new restaurants choose, because it means the noise level in those restaurants is really, really loud.  My hearing is still pretty good, but in those settings, I find myself asking my husband and friends to repeat themselves far too often.  Sometimes I just give it up and smile and nod at whatever they are saying, hoping they aren’t asking for a loan or if I’d like to babysit their grandkids for a week while they go on vacation.

These days, it’s become fairly rare for my husband and I to try a new restaurant, as we find ourselves sticking to a few “tried and true” favorites where we know the noise level will be low, the tables set apart enough to ensure a private conversation, and no one is pressing us to try a drink that emits smoke.  I know that someday, the latest trends in dining out will probably be something more to my liking.  I also know that I’ll need someone to tell me about it, because, as is the case with most new fads, I probably won’t be paying attention.

46 thoughts on “I Think I’ll Pass…

  1. LOL! Times are a changing. The beauty of growing older is we get to choose what we want to participate in or not – and don’t need to feel guilty about it! Be You Ann! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fun post, Ann! I’m imagining you stealing fries and asking your neighbor to pass the ketchup. 🙂
    I haven’t run into communal dining yet but if I do, I’ll exit. Quickly. I’m at the age where I don’t care what’s trendy unless the trend makes me happy. That’s the beauty of growing older, isn’t it?

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    • Yes, it really is! I’ve avoided the communal dining tables as well. I’ll read about a new restaurant that has opened, and think, “that sounds good,” until they mention the communal tables. And then I’m done! (Because I really would steal the french fry!)

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  3. Ha ha….I’ve never even heard of these things! I’m so out of the loop. I don’t even own a TV, so I wouldn’t know. Honestly, I don’t even like to eat out or be in crowds as you might understand in my business or these days. These restaurants sound awful! Gosh, eating with other people you don’t even know? Jeepers. Good grief.

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  4. Smart of you to know what you like and go with it (or stay away from it). Sometimes I think these trends are very “Emperor’s New Clothes”. In other words, everyone is afraid to say what’s ridiculous and right in front of them. You’re not afraid. Good for you!

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    • I think you are right…probably many people don’t like them, but they think they’re “supposed to,” and therefore convince themselves they do. One advantage of old age really is no longer feeling the need to do that! Thanks for the comment!

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  5. I’m with you Ann. Give me a simple glass of white or red wine with dinner and a nice cosy table for two where you can talk without having to shout. Forget the communal dining and trends … your time out is yours to enjoy!

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  6. I guess the reason for the tall ceilings and bad sound systems is probably because most people are generally on their phone and not really having a conversation. I refuse to go to restaurants with the bad sound where I’m screaming at the person in front of me. It has happened a few times that my friend and I text each other because it was so loud and we couldn’t hear each other. Along with you, I’ll pass on these trends too.

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    • Yes, it is crazy to go somewhere where you can’t even hear what the person right next to you is saying! I just don’t see the attraction, but as you say, it might be a result of the general lack of communication we have these days. Some trends really aren’t for the best at all!

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  7. Lol! Great post! And I can totally relate to that! I might be a bit younger but I also resist most trends 😉 You just have to go outside an everyone looks the same! Same hair, same clothes, same glasses… there´s no originality in that. And this communal dining really is something best to be avoided!! Isn´t it enough that I hear everything about someone else´s private life when I´m sitting in the tube?! Wish you a lovely weekend! xoxo

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    • Yes, following trends doesn’t allow for individuality, which is something we all need, no matter how old we are. Good for you having figure that out at a younger age. For me, having the courage to ignore trends and go my own way is something that has come more slowly through the years. And I know what you mean about hearing everyone’s private life while we are out in public. I hate it when people are talking so loudly on their phones that you can’t miss a word! Have a great weekend, too!!!

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  8. I must say I gave up on restaurants years ago, Ann, after it finally sinking in that the pleasure derived from the experience never outweighed the displeasure entailed in earning enough to pay for it. Restaurants here in England are notoriously expensive and pretentious compared to those in many other nations.

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    • Yes, the worst part about dining out is when you get the bill at the end of the meal! We tend to stick to more casual, and cheaper, restaurants where the price isn’t so very much more than what it would cost to cook at home. Or so we tell ourselves. I suspect if we ever actually did the math, we would realize that we could save quite a bit by giving up restaurants!

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  9. Lol…I laughed all the way through this as I was nodding my head. I’ve only run into communal dining out in Lancaster it Amish country but the truth is too many restaurants have tables that are so close it feels as if you’re sitting together and can’t help overhear what’s going on next to you no matter how you try to avoid it. As for the French fry thing, I’ve been soooo tempted too many times…:)
    Whatever happened to just serving good food and service at reasonable prices.. I don’t know of a person who has stopped going to a restaurant that offered quality simply because it wasn’t trendy enough for them. Style vs substance. If you can mesh them together that would be great but if I had to choose one, good food is always a priority.
    Fun post, Ann..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, George! I’m with you…what happened to opening a simple restaurant that served good food at sensible prices? There are still some around, but sadly, not that many of them are new. I don’t want trends when I go out to eat, I just want a nice meal, a comfortable atmosphere, and a wallet that isn’t completely empty after I pay the bill. As for communal dining, I avoid the restaurants that have them, but I know what you mean about others where the tables are right on top of each other. It’s the same thing! And those french fries are within reach….

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  10. I have run into communal seating, typically when it’s outdoor and they’ve used picnic tables. They’re not that bad if you’re on one end and someone else on the other, not even as close as some restaurant table seating. Just the same, if I see a restaurant that “features” communal seating (and family style dining), I’ll pass and leave it to the extroverts.

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  11. This reminds me of a time we were standing in a very long line to get into an event. The couple behind us started arguing over the shirt he chose to wear. She chastised him and he fought back, very verbally. I was afraid to look at my husband for fear the couple would see the amused look on my face. Then again, smoking drinks, illegal activities, fries within reach….there’s a certain appeal…. 😉

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  12. Excellent post – I’m also not into sharing communal foods. It annoys me that restaurants often serve large hors d’oeuvres with no serving utensils. Soon everyone is reaching in with their own used fork to get a small section of it.

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  13. Uh, ahem, I have to admit I do wear skinny jeans, they’re actually hugely comfortable (if you don’t buy them three sizes smaller than you need them as lots of teenagers do) and they are a nice contrast to the suits I wear at work. I also, ahem, would love to try that smoked martini (though I wouldn’t refuse a good glas of wine either). And, oops, I also like those industry warehouse style restaurants. My favorite one is very beautiful to look at. The owners were very smart, gave the whole thing a zen atmosphere and organized the ables in sections, the music is soft and it’s actually rather private and relaxing. If you avoid the community tables, that is – which I always do, seriously. 🙂 Had so much fun reading your post, laughing out loud a few times and blushing along the way. What a different a few years can make.

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    • Oh, trust me, no need to blush! I’m just at that age where some of the fads don’t appeal to me (I no longer have the legs for skinny jeans, even the ones that fit properly!), but we all have our own tastes, and that’s what keeps things interesting. I could do an industrial warehouse style restaurant if it was actually quiet. And you might want to try a smoked martini, as my son said it tasted pretty good. Thanks for your comment…it was really fun to read!

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