Yes, There’s a Difference Between Men and Women Diners
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.”
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.
The incident prompted me to write about the difference between men and women when it comes to lunch arrangements.
To understand the subtleties involved, listen to one side of a make-believe telephone conversation betwixt two elderly women preparing to eat out. Too often, the conversation goes something like this:
The Lunch Ritual
“Hi, Myrna, it’s me, Shirley. You busy? Well, how about lunch today? Tomorrow would be better, you say? Let me see. Hmm . . . I have a doctor’s appointment at ten o’clock, but I should be out before noon. You know how it is at the doctor’s office. That’s right . . . you never know.”
“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, Mexican, Chinese? I’m okay with any of those. Well, maybe not Mexican so much. It tends to give me heartburn.
“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 on line, if you like. The place is a little on the noisy side, but good service.
Nailing Down the Details
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 park 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.
A Meandering Journey
“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 Ballet
For women, planning a lunch requires the skills of a seasoned choreographer. It often necessitates several phone calls or emails to get everyone in step. Men have learned that sharing a meal need not be complicated or over-planned. For them it’s meet, greet, eat, and be gone. 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.