As I was waiting for an elevator, I overheard a man talking on his cellphone, arranging lunch with a friend.
“Hey, Joe, can you meet me at the Plaza Grill for lunch today?” he asked. “Great! See you at noon.”
That was it. I couldn’t believe it! He had made a luncheon appointment within seconds. I was surprised, because women cannot do this. For them, lunch is not just an engagement; it’s a complex negotiation.
To understand the subtleties involved, listen to one side of a telephone conversation betwixt two elderly women arranging lunch. Too often, the conversation goes something like this:
“Hi, Myrna, it’s me, Shirley. You busy? Well, how about lunch today? Tomorrow would be better, you say? Let me see… I have a doctor’s appointment at ten o’clock, but I should be out before noon. You know how it is in the doctor’s office. That’s right … you never know.
Working Out the Details
“Where shall we go? It’s doesn’t make any difference to me either, whatever you want is fine. No, no, it’s your turn to choose. Well, what are you in the mood for: Italian, Indian, Chinese? I’m okay with any of those. Well, maybe not the Indian food so much. It sometimes has a tendency to upset my stomach.
“Have you tried the new soup and salad place? I forget the name, but the prices are reasonable and they let you select the ingredients for your salad. Fresh? Very fresh and you’ll love the tomato bisque. You can check the menu out on line, if you like. The place is a little on the noisy side, but good service. The atmosphere? Well, I’d describe it as having a ‘relaxed ambiance,’ if you know what I mean. You okay with that? Terrific! It’s located on the corner where the old bookstore used to be. Yeah, that’s the place. Parking? No problem. There’s a small lot in back of the building. And, I have a couple of coupons for free dessert.
“You want me to pick you up? Well, you came by for me last time, so it’s my turn. Besides I’ve got the car cleaned out. What time shall I come by? Well, it all depends on whether you want to be ahead of the lunch crowd or after it. We might have a better chance of getting a window seat if I come by about 11:30? Is that too soon? Are you sure? You would rather come by for me? Well, okay. Then make it 11:45 and that will give me more time to get back from the doctor’s office. Okay, see you tomorrow.
Opps! More Details
“Oh, Myrna, wait a minute. I just remembered, tomorrow is Monday and the soup and salad place is closed that day. Tell you what. Let’s decide where to go when you get here.
“By the way, what are you wearing? I’ve been wanting to see your new blue jacket. Yeah, wear that. Me? I’ll just keep on what I wore to the doctor’s office. No use changing. All right, see you tomorrow. Sure, it’s fine with me if you want to ask Verna to join us.
“One more thing, Myrna. If it rains, we might want to wait until Wednesday. I know…yes, I agree, we need the rain, but you know how frizzy my hair gets when it’s humid. I’ll check the forecast and give you a call tomorrow and we’ll finalize the details.”
The lunch ritual is one that is played out by women across the land every day. They want to nail down the details, even if it takes several phone calls or emails. Men have learned that sharing a meal need not be complicated or over-planned. Kids are even more spontaneous when it comes to meal times.
“Hey, Mikey, wanna come over to my house for peanut butter and jelly?”
“Sure. Let’s go.”
It doesn’t get any simpler than that.