I’m used to being teased by my in-laws. My geriatric tendencies toward early dinnertimes, my defining red hair and the fact I’m the lone liberal in all of Indianapolis suburbia offers plenty of fodder for their mocking trough, and I’m usually happy to oblige. But I had to lay down the law the other night after being subjected to intense criticism regarding my choice of steak preparedness.
I had just agreed to split the tantalizing South African lobster and filet mignon combo with a sister-in-law, when I suggested we order the meat medium-well. She scowled at me and replied, “Medium-well? Are you crazy? That’s ridiculous.”
Disappointed and without any other meal-sharers, I ordered an individual 8-ounce filet, medium-well. The appalled server had to ask, “But with a hot-pink center?” She asked twice for clarification, certain she misheard me. Of course this brief exchange garnered a whole herd of comments from those sitting near me, all along the lines of “Geez, Danielle, why don’t you just ask for shoe leather?” Calloused to such beef-inspired hostility, I ignored their remarks and anxiously awaited my dinner.
A short while later, a perfect-looking steak arrived. When I cut into it, however, the center was extremely red. So I did what any unsatisfied customer would do and sent it back, amidst cries of outrage and perhaps embarrassment from the table. I even overheard Doo’s dad mumble, “If she was going to order it like that, she should have ordered chicken.” I naturally called him out: “Randy, I’m going to enjoy my steak just as much as you’ll enjoy yours, so let me order it how I want!” The “damn it” was implied.
My meat returned, and once again, it was too raw for my liking. Begging the server not to spit on it or allow the cook to brand it with a swastika, I sent it back once more. Finally, on the third presentation, I received a steak prepared to my liking.
Was my behavior obnoxious? I don’t think so. I’ve tried to eat rare meat and simply can’t do it without dry heaving. And when I dine out, I expect to get exactly what I order, especially if it’s expensive. I know my in-laws appreciate this on some level (subconscious though it may be), even if they can’t really understand it. Their teasing material was getting old anyway; it was time to beef it up. Peace out.
By Danielle Wilson