Unhappy Burger

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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33 Responses

  1. North says:

    Fascinating… and when you presented these arguements you were overruled? Southerners are indeed nothing like Minnesotans or Nova Scotians.Report

    • zic in reply to North says:

      Or Vulcans. @north doing his best Mr. Spock today.

      aspies unite, or is that an oxymoron?

      I’m with you, Will. I think I’ve probably been the lady-in-charge-of-food who overrode my loved ones’ heart-felt desires in this way. On their behalf, I apologize. I’m sorry you were not listened too as carefully as you deserved.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to North says:

      I guess there are some counter-dynamics at play.

      Some of it is Good Host vs Good Guest. When my folks or in-laws come and visit me, they will defer 100% to where we want to eat. I could recommend an Indian Seafood place (Dad hates seafood, both prefer traditional), and they’d shrug and say “I’m sure we can find something there to eat” whereas I am sitting there scrambling to find something that has some crab cakes because Mom loves them and can’t get them at home. I think there is a tendency towards “not imposing” where, in my view, it shouldn’t apply.

      Meanwhile, for me, scarcity pretty much trumps all. I tend to strategize, as far as that goes. Sometimes to the point that I rarely eat at the less scarce places because “I can always eat there”…

      With the in-laws, or at least some of them, I think that they may not be able to imagine it not mattering very much which fast food place you eat at, because they don’t like fast food at all. I actually have a couple of them agreeing (or at least pretending to) that Happy Burger is better than most fast food, but it’s still close enough to the “this has to be interchangeable” category (and free coffee!).

      But yeah, I lose in these discussions most of the time. I am probably not making my case very well. Except breakfast at HB’s. Dad not only (finally) gets it, but takes me to HB whenever he picks us up at the airport, as a matter of course.Report

      • Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

        My husband was just explaining to me that being a Good Host to my mom involves making her envious of where we live (to be fair, she is in a lot of ways powered by envy and jealousy. if she didn’t have someone to be envious of, she’d have to confront how blah/bland her own life is.)

        Every person is different, and good host behavior changes to the guest.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    For what it’s worth, the only reason we’d avoid going to Happy Burger in Colorado Springs is because my cousin died while eating there.Report

    • Patrick in reply to Jaybird says:

      That’s either a really morbidly interesting story, or one zinger of a black humor joke. I don’t know which, so I’m laughing at the joke, which makes me feel like I might be a terrible person because the actuality of whether or not you’re joking is in quantum superposition.Report

  3. Rufus F. says:

    My mother has a seafood place near her that she absolutely loves, so when I visit her, she makes a big deal about how we’re going to eat there and I am dutifully excited about it. On the drive home, I stop by a Roy Rogers only because we have none of them near us and I have fond memories of eating there when I was on the road crew after high school. I also make sure to buy a few bags of Utz Crab Chips because, well, I’m right about those being great.Report

  4. Tod Kelly says:

    That’s really odd that you’ve had that experience so many times. If we had an out-of-town guest and he or she told us they really want to eat at a specific restaurant, I can’t imagine saying anything other than “We’d love to!”

    There are only two reasons I can think of where I might actually push back on a specific restaurant request:

    1. If the place they asked to be taken was uncomfortably outside what I thought I could afford to take them and still pick up the whole tab.

    2. The place they asked to be taken was Denny’s.Report

  5. Kazzy says:

    My wife and I argue about things like this, in large part because she takes the deferential side regardless of the dynamics (unless I’m prominently involved, in which case I get no deference). So, if we are visiting someone, of course we let them decide because we are mere guests. And, if someone is visiting us, of course we let them decide because they are guests! If we visit someone, we bring a gift. If someone visits us, she gets a gift. Bless her heart but, seriously, she’s fucking up the established order of things!Report

  6. aaron david says:

    My stepmother will do things like this. In the city that she and my father live in, there is a restaurant that I love, which is a bit of a feat as I am not very food oriented. Last time we visited, when talk of dinner came around, I suggested this place, and everyone said great, lets do it. Except her. Nope, we had to go to some ginormous chain BBQ place,with trough sized plates and mediocre food which no one liked – except her.Report

  7. ScarletNumbers says:

    Every year when I visit my mother on Easter, there is an Easter Basket waiting for me. Normally there are Cadbury Creme Eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs, among other goodies.

    However, one year, the Easter Bunny switched to Cadbury Caramel Eggs. I just figured they were out of the good ones. When this happened three years in a row, I started to complain. It was explained to me that the Easter Bunny thought I liked the Caramel ones. Now, I do, but the Cadbury Caramel Egg is basically an egg-shaped Caramello, while the Cadbury Creme Egg has a unique filling that is heavenly

    My sister started to make fun of me for complaining, but I told her that if the two varieties are next to each other on the shelf and they cost the same, why not get the one I like better?

    Yes, I still get an Easter Basket; why do you ask?Report

  8. Chris says:

    Man, what a burger that is.

    Assuming Happy Burger is what I think it is, I go there for the Bob eggs and the chicken strips. I dunno what that says about me and burgers. (And I only go with at least 4 drinks in me.)Report

  9. Plinko says:

    The whole ‘good host’ vs. ‘good guest’ thing gets at the heart of a frustration I’ve had with living in the South for a while.
    The Mrs. and I often disagree about manners and politeness – she’s a hard core stickler about certain things but we both share a a dislike for visiting any of her relatives that revolves mainly around food and eating.

    A couple of weeks ago we were discussing that basically came to this realization – that where I’m from a host takes extra care to make the guest happy. I had to tell a girlfriend once to be judicious in expressing a desire for specific foods or beverages because my friends/family would try to fulfill them and feel guilty if they could not or had not.

    Down here, the hosts present what they believe the dinner/party/experience ought to be and could honestly care less what the guests prefer. There’s a protocol to follow and that is all that really matters.

    As a midwesterner, I find it extremely rude to see it in action – a good example being that one wouldn’t give a second thought to serving shrimp for dinner when they know my wife has a shellfish allergy.

    That said, it’s definitely true that, in my experience, Southerners definitely throw much nicer parties. And, more often than not, we really don’t need for every experience to be catered to our pre-existing preferences. That mitigates things for me a bit, but it’s very hard for me to overcome my strong bias in favor of being a good host overall.Report

  10. Reformed Republican says:

    I discovered Happy Burger when I moved to Texas. I love it.Report

  11. JustRuss says:

    I can’t see how this is even a question. You’re coming from far away and this is your only opportunity for months/years to eat at a place you love. Your hosts can eat wherever they want the 364 days a year you’re not there. Gee, who gets to choose?Report