IS a meal out with your elderly parents looming? Here’s how they’ll take all the fun out of it:
Getting dressed up
You’ve told them it’s just a carvery on a retail estate, but nonetheless your dad willl don full suit and tie, mum will be in her best earrings and they’ll both be horrified that you’re wearing trainers. It’s a pub, not the Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 1935.
Constant inane questions
Once seated expect a barrage of pointless queries including: where the toilets are, what the toilets might be like, whether the manager is the owner, if this is the same place Don and Denise went to for their wedding anniversary in 2014, and a fretful conversation about how much the tip will be.
Expressing prejudice against food
As they peruse the menu, strange opinions will be expressed. Any duck dish will be rejected because it’s ‘just fat’. Cauliflower gives you wind, apparently. Heaven help you if you’ve gone for a Chinese dish because that will never fill you up.
Depending on your parents, they’ll either get surprisingly pissed on one drink, or not drink at all, making you feel as if you should get alcohol counselling for ordering a second glass of Merlot.
Menu choices that defeat the point of eating out
With a range of fancy gastropub things like lamb shanks or guineafowl, your parents will decide they want a plain omelette with chips. Don’t bother arguing – they’re still suspicious about getting a free basket of bread rolls.
Awkward interactions with staff
Your dad will consider himself a top comedian if an obliging waiter smiles at zingers like ‘Beats cooking for myself!’ Expect callbacks to this early hit throughout the evening.
You booked it. You drove them there. You put up with their bullshit, paid for it, and left a generous tip. On the way home your mother will take a call from your sister and describe the whole experience as ‘nothing to write home about’.