Question for Spouses and Lovers; If your lovin’ was named after a restaurant, what would it be?
I didn’t ask my wife this question. But rather I recently asked what’s her favorite restaurant. Her answer was Citizen Kanes Steakhouse, a nice little spot in the St. Louis County municipal town named Kirkwood. I took her there for our one and only visit during our most recent anniversary.
Citizens came highly recommended by someone whose name escapes me. But he or she had enough credibility to make break out in ‘big shot’ mode and make dinner reservations for what was sure to be a wonderful, but pricy experience.
I was correct about all of the above. The experience was awesome. Sitting at a cozy little table in the corner upstairs, we enjoyed wine, appetizers and a steak that we both agreed was the best either of us ever had. The service was nothing short of outstanding either. We left the restaurant feeling extremely satisfied and thoroughly impressed. We promised ourselves that we would visit again at some other special occasion.
Part of what makes a restaurant experience unique, is the combination of meeting a primal need (eating for survival) and the extras that tap into another sensual desire which is to experience pleasure. Eating touches four of the five senses. i.e., sight, smell, touch, taste. (You can get the fifth sense of hearing if the food is sizzling when you receive it.)
I liken the primal needs and pleasures of food to love and marriage. Each partner embodies the restaurant service provider, as well as the one seeking to satisfy a hunger within. To sustain health, we each need a steady diet. Being fed once a month, week, or any random day is not going to make for a healthy and sustainable life. However, food isn’t the only essential for creating an enjoyable dining experience. There is also the atmosphere, the lighting, the décor. A restaurant can have the best food, but if the atmosphere is not appealing to the eyes and nose, or if the host is not professional and inviting, even if the customer endures long enough to try to meal, the negative presentation can taint the entire experience.
The finest dining establishments entail minutia towards the slightest of details. This includes the ingredients as well as the preparations. The temperature and time in which to prepare certain items. There isn’t just the main course, but the wine and the appetizers. In order to succeed in providing Five Star service, I have to be on top of all the little details that make my abode a welcoming paradise. Relationship food isn’t just functionally natural, it’s also emotional and spiritual. It’s wrapped in a blanket of security and protection, fun and sensations. I am the owner, the greeter, the server, the chef, and the general manager. My #1 goal is to satisfy my customer so much that she never desires to eat at any other establishment. I must be versatile and nuanced enough in becoming all things that I may please one.
Perhaps you think this is all kind of over the top. That it doesn’t take ‘all of that.’ Here is something to consider. Your lover is your customer. And your customer is going to be hungry. You may think your customer should always just show up at your doorstep. But don’t sleep on this; There are many restaurants to choose from. All of them with signs advertising what it is they have to offer your lover. Some restaurants cater to the cheap date. They deliver fast food in just a few moments. You can get drive-thru service; go to the window, make a request over the loudspeaker, (phone, email, IM) and ‘wham bam’ receive services without even getting out of the car. Some go above that, perhaps he/she would have opportunity to sit down a while and enjoy a meal. The experience may not be so good that they want to go everyday, but perhaps there is something on the menu they enjoy. Other businesses go the the very top of the food chain. (Pun intended) And get this, none of these restaurants care about where your lover dined previously. They will welcome his/her business now! It doesn’t always take that much effort either. Hell, nowadays one can even get a meal at a gas station!
And so it is with your lover. My goal is to represent the best of what my wife desires, (the most flavorful steak ever with all of the extras) while being able to quickly convert to something she just wants to snack on. Even she doesn’t want to eat steak every day. In my eyes, when it comes to taste and service, the customer is always right. As the service provider who wants her repeat and exclusive business, I must adapt according to what she desires on the menu at any given moment. I am her personal chef. And I have to be open for business at all times.
The purpose behind the goal, is that as she goes about her business and she sees the lights of golden arches, spots the brightness of the castle; as she passes by that spot that sits outback, she won’t consider stopping in because she’s already full and satisfied.
So I ask you, what is your loving like? I want my lovin to be like….Citizen Kanes~