Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Open Letter to Campisi's Dallas

Restaurant Manager
Campisi’s Downtown
1520 Elm St, Ste 111,
Dallas, TX 75201

Dear Sir or Ma’am:

I wanted to tell you about my experience today at your restaurant. I had a to-go order of one small pizza. Which obviously got lost. I waited quite awhile. But I did finally get my pizza. With no apologies, no explanations, and no offer to change my order to something you might have been able to produce faster when you figured out there was a problem. It was delicious.

I suppose if I had complained, you might have offered the apology or explanation. And the fact that I didn’t get ugly and quietly waited for my food probably seems like a good thing for you. Less hassle.

But here’s the thing - I won’t be back. Love your food. But I only have so much time on a lunch. I’d like to be able to eat without rushing. And I certainly don’t want to spend my lunch arguing with your counter staff. It’s bad for my digestion.

This is not the first time I had to wait at your restaurant. I decided today that it will be the last time. You’re a popular place. Losing one customer isn’t a big deal. But while I don’t complain to you, I will complain to anyone who will listen. Loudly. I know a lot of people who work downtown. I go to bars in the area, and really I have no problem bad mouthing you to a complete stranger. But still, I’m just one person. How much damage can I do? Just remember, there are a lot of quiet people out there who don’t complain. At least to you.

I’m not going to sign this letter. I’m not looking for some sort of recompense. Or even a response. I’m not sure you’d bother even if I did. All I wanted to do was share my experience. So you can just think of me as

A Quiet Customer

[And yes, in case you were wondering, this is how I decided to break my healthy food fast. And yes, I really am mailing the letter.]

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

12 items or less

Okay, so Mo and I were talking about the Sandra Bullock thing. You know, the dirty dog husband. The sex rehab (probably the next best thing he could find to dumbass rehab). Will she take him back? Should she take him back? Totally up to her. Marriages have survived worse. But really, what he did and the way he did it would be hard to forgive, and purt near impossible to forget.

But I have to admit I'm biased. And though, I am not immune to the rascally charms of one Jesse James, the truth is, if I'm being really really honest, the truth is, I hope that Sandra Bullock is at the grocery store (because in my mind she does her own grocery shopping), buying TV Guide and a pint of Chunky Monkey (because what else do you do when you get your heart broke?), and she looks up to see . . . Keanu Reeves (because, also in my mind, all celebrities live in the same neighborhood and shop at the same grocery store). She'll look pale and sad. And he'll look like he's recently had a shower (because it's MY fantasy, and I get to say what happens). She'll say "Hi" very quietly. And he'll say "Hi" quietly too. And then both say "I . . ." at the same time. Then he puts his hand on her arm, "I'm really . . ." "Thanks." Then they're both quiet again. Then he looks at her and she looks at him. And they both just know . . . And they both wheel their shopping carts into the sunset . . . together.

Okay. Again. It's MY fantasy and I get to say what happens. Cause I just know they belong together.

Beyond the pink,8599,1976402,00.html

This is a movement I can get behind. I’m really very glad I grew up before the princess-pink explosion. By age 6, I was a tomboy. I liked jeans and tennies. I climbed fences. I did NOT like dolls. I ran around, biked the neighborhood and tried to get to the top of anything that wasn’t moving. My Dad was proud that both his daughters could bait their own fishing hooks. And as a result, I’m an adult woman who has no fear of changing tires, can hammer a nail with aplomb and know that my hands are for doing things, not just really sophisticated display units for pretty nails.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a fluffy-pink twin-set as much as the next girl. And I’m not entirely immune to a bit of bling. But I know that the world is full of choices for me. And I’m not any less of a woman because I choose to step out of the girly box.

And that’s what worries me. That girly box is getting really, really full of images that are really, really pretty, but it also shrinking. At a time, when women truly can be anything, we’re raising girls who are getting a smaller and smaller picture of what “anything” is. Stand still, be pretty, and people will do things for you. The more people do things for you, the less ability you have to do for yourself. Will those girls not be attracted to the sciences because the microscopes don’t come in pink? Will be growing up to be President be less attractive because it’s not as good as being a princess?

And I definitely don’t think this should be the end of pink. Pink is a great color. But there’s a rainbow out there. Little girls, and little boys, should be free to grab any color they want.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The art of the compromise

Well, the road trip was great. I was able to keep my Zyrtec at a sufficient level to cope with toxic pollen levels. The sky was blue, the air was warm. And if you can’t have a good time rambling Texas hill country, there’re really no hope for you. I’ll post some pics from Fredericksburg and San Marcos tonight.

And, since we’re coming to the epic end of the processed food embargo, I’ll go ahead and say it, I did have a few little indiscretions along the road. One was at Kreuz Market, where we stopped for smoked beef shoulder, jalepeno links and the Potato Salad of the Gods. One, they do not provide forks. As the sign notes, your fork is at the end of you arms. What they do provide is sliced white bread with which to convey your smoked meats to your mouth. And while I can see sausage as a finger food, shoveling slices of smoked beef into my mouth with my mitts is just one step to far. And, no, it was not artisanal, stone ground, brick oven baked wheat bread. ‘Twas plain old generic sandwich bread. And, it was good. The second was (and really how much temptation can one woman reasonably be expected bear?) a Mexican Coke. Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby. And after 5 minutes of deep, personal, agonized deliberation, I drank deep. If you have the opportunity to eat lovingly hand-crafted barbecue and a Coke made with cane sugar, and don’t take it, you have truly allowed your morals and personal honor to be horribly compromised.

In the end, that’s going to have to be the way this goes on. Making those individual decisions. I feel so much better limiting the amount of processed food that I eat, I don’t see a way I can go back. My allergies are lower, my skin is clearer, I’m sleeping better at night (probably directly linked to the allergies). But if I’m going to continue, I’m going to have to go in with the clear cut understanding that sometimes you will chose differently. You may go to a diner that has outstanding pancakes, made from scratch, melt-in-your mouth and lighter than air. But chances are they are going to bring you maple-flavored sugar water and butter-flavored spread to put on them. Don’t miss the pancakes. There are too many fantastic things in life. I’m going to make the commitment to do whatever I can to keep myself on the food straight-and-narrow for most of my meals. And when I get the chance to sin, I will sin BIG, and make sure it’s worth every naughty, naughty bite.

TIME: Quotes of the Day