Has this scenario ever happened to you?
You’re on your way home from visiting family that’s about 4 hours away, and you want to get something relatively inexpensive to eat. Maybe something like Applebee’s but not a chain. You’re not familiar with the area, but see some good restaurants. After picking what looks like and inexpensive place you’ll like, you enter the restaurant, and ask the hostess to seat you. She cheerfully obliges, and on your way to your table you see that everyone is pretty much dressed like you, so it has to be a casual place. You can’t help but smell and see succulent dishes being served to the other patrons. You think to yourself, “Damn I’m good at picking value restaurants.”
You get to your table and are seated, and the hostess lets you know that your waiter will be with you in a minute. You pick up the menu and open it to the entrees…
…to see that everything is $25+.
After you and your dining partner silently and uncomfortably flip through the rest of the menu, you look at each other. “Well, we only live once,” one of you nervously chuckles. Visions of numbers being added up dance around in your head. Not good, not good.
You flip through the menu again, maybe to see if there was a misprint or the decimal point was put in the wrong spot or if there’s the non-appetizer dish that’s under $15. It only seems like everything is getting more expensive.
You finally decide, “Let’s just leave. Before the waiter comes and takes our order.”
“OMG, can you do that? Have you ever done that before?”
“Yeah, once. During a business trip.”
After surveying the area, you look for the fastest way to get to the exit. In your mind you think, “1, 2, 3, GO GO GO.” You get up, controlling the urge to sprint. You make your way to the exit, looking behind you to see if your dining partner was sniped by a waiter. “We’re gonna make it,” you tell yourself sheepishly.
Almost to the exit, you see the hostess resume her position at the greeters podium. Your mind is saying “Abort!” but your legs continue to move towards the exit. You manage to flash a smile at the hostess on your way out, muttering, “We were looking for something more casusal.” Your partner zooms by, head down, no eye contact. You finally manage to push through the doors, and let out a sigh of relief. You made it out to dine another day.
(Yeah, I could have just wrote, “Have you ever sat down in a restaurant, saw the prices were too high, and then walked out?” but that would have been soooo boring.)