Just like desk surfers the world over, my mother uses her work Internet access to troll the web. However, she now uses it to watch Check, Please! Bay Area. In a matter of a week, my Minnesotan mother had watched all of season one and got caught up with season two. I got an email from her announcing, "I am addicted to Check, Please!" which is a pretty powerful sentiment, considering she won't be able to visit any of the featured restaurants on a regular basis.
However, she and my dad are coming out here next week, and I have a feeling I'm going to need to fast a full three weeks after they leave our fair city. Ironically, when we started planning their trip, they had two main desires, The Slanted Door and Aziza. Once I secured those choice reservations and reported back, my mother said the immortal words that she says before every trip, "We don't need to eat out every night."
As long as I can remember, my mother has said every time they came out to visit me in Ann Arbor, Boston, and San Francisco. She said it when our mini-van hit the road for the annual five-day, five-night trek across most of the western United States. (We had a mammoth red Coleman cooler stuffed with bricks of cheese, summer sausage, crackers, and other such tidbits to fend off the need to eat out every night.) She said it when the entire family descended on Friday Harbor and learned about a whole host of new restaurants that had sprung up during our year's absence -- Duck Soup Inn, The Driftwood, and the sadly-closed Gollywobbler always, always topping the list.
"We don't need to eat out every night." Those words were still ringing in my ears when we talked to my parents last weekend. Funny thing: it would now seem that after watching the highly influential Check, Please! Bay Area, my mother has developed an appetite for quite a few more nights. "Where's that deli? It sounds so good -- is it easy to get to?" "How about that Mexican restaurant in Berkeley? It's been a long time since I've had good Mexican food." "Ooh, I really liked the sound of that Absinthe -- maybe we can go there for a light meal."
You know what? I have this odd feeling we will actually be eating out every night.