I have a friend at work whose family has, what I deem, to be a horrifying tradition. When they go out to dinner, they all order whatever entrée looks good to them; then they each take one bite and pass the plate around to everyone else at the table. Are you kidding? If I order a $35 petit filet mignon medium rare with creamed spinach and shoe string potatoes I ain’t sharing it with anyone…not even the woman who birthed me!
My colleague thinks it’s strange that I’m not a “sharer,” as she calls it. So it was even more bizarre when traveling on business recently we found ourselves at a tapas restaurant in Washington D.C. having a great time. (And it wasn’t just because of the Sangria!)
I maintain that I am indeed a “sharer,” but only when the occasion calls for it. For example, I love tapas: little plates of Spanish yumminess to share with another. And I’m a big proponent of pizza…Chinese food…the sushi boat…and fondue (ooh fondue!). All foods meant for sharing.
I especially like sharing food on a first date. I believe there’s a lot you can learn about the heart of a man if only you share food with him.
Take the whole ordering thing. How does he approach the situation? I like a man who takes the reigns in a relationship, yet understands the importance of compromise. So when I go out on a food-sharing date, I look for someone who scans the menu, makes suggestions, but allows for plenty of input. And because sometimes I like to be indulged, it’s great if he doesn’t mind that I order the barbequed eel sushi when there’s no way he’s having any part of that!
A girlfriend of mine in Atlanta has another food selection theory. She thinks that men who shy away from spicy food are boring in the bedroom. While there’s no need to give either of us heartburn, some red pepper flakes on our pizza may spice up more than just the pie if you know what I mean!
Now I’m not looking for a Rockefeller, but I’m a little wary of guys who only choose the cheapest of menu items. Don’t be alarmed fellas. I’ll never order the lobster – or the most expensive wine — if you’re paying. I don’t think that just because you were born with a Y chromosome you should have to foot the bill all the time. So once in a while you’ll catch me digging out my wallet too.
There’s lots more sleuthing to be done once the food actually arrives at the table. What’s his first move? Does he dig right in, or offer you some? You don’t need to be Inspector Clouseau to know that this is key in discerning basic sharing skills.
If he offers to serve you, he’s likely the same kind of guy who will open car doors for you and do other wonderfully gentlemanly things.
But before you get all caught up in this grand gesture, beware! What’s the SIZE of the portion (yes, there’s always a catch)! A man who splits his food with you right down the middle is fair-minded and is looking for an equal partner. Of course, he could just be a little too finicky, and a bit persnickety.
I like that peanut butter commercial I see so often on TV where two brothers fight over the last sandwich; the mom lets one brother cut it in half, but the other gets to choose. If you’re an assertive girl, take knife in hand and split the dish into two slightly unequal portions. See which one he chooses. Of course there’s always the off chance that he may actually be just a little hungrier than you, rather than displaying any dog-like behavior! (Okay, so a few of the kinks in this theory still need to be worked out.)
The surest “tell” however is when he offers you something of his – a sip of his drink, a bite from his fork. You’ve hit the jackpot if he actually feeds you! It’s got Mark Antony and Cleopatra written all over it. And who doesn’t want to be Cleopatra – well, except for the whole dying in vain thing of course. (And I’ll give up this column space to any woman who can get her man to actually peel and feed her grapes. Any man with a brain that is!)
Sure, some girls will foolishly venture out on a date without these tips … without their trench coats and spyglasses. Those are the same girls who just let life “happen.” Who don’t keep a detailed accounting of their date’s faults…who just want to enjoy his company and get to know him better. You know, those girls who are out on dates right now while I’m home writing this article!