Daze of My Life: To Know Me is to Have Fed Me
Daze of My Life
To Know Me is to Have Fed Me
Talk about misjudging a person's character; now I'm lots of things, many of them good, but one thing I definitely am not is, your "go-to-guy" with respect to fine dining. I'm your "go-to-guy" concerning sports and chocolate. So when the Silver Team service leader at my local Audi dealership, a man with whom I've had only a car owner-car repairer, all business-type relationship, and one not involving any more depth than "How much?" and "How long?" - as it relates to my car, asked my opinion about what upscale restaurant I might recommend for an important date he was planning, I tried not to stammer and stutter my way through a response (surprised as I was that he was asking such a question of a person he barely new).
Now those who know me, know, fine dining is hardly my area of expertise. But my car repair person wouldn't know that; he only knows me from the few phone conversations and in-dealership appearances I've made dropping off and picking up my car and discussing its various problems. Never had we, until this most recent exchange, ventured anywhere beyond the basics germane to car repairs, warranties, cost, rental car, etc. Either he's a desperate loner with no family or friends anywhere in the world with whom he could make such an inquiry (which I doubt very seriously since he mentioned other recommendations that he had already received) or he thinks something of me that nobody in the entire world who has ever known me or spoken to me for two seconds would have ever thought.
Don't misunderstand me, though. I take no offense at this man's total and complete misjudgment. Nor do I gain any flattery from it. Rather I'm more amused by its amazing inaccuracy. How could he be so wrong? Did I ever say or do something that lead him to believe that I could be a source of useful restaurant information? Granted, I am older than this person but older doesn't automatically make me wiser. More experienced perhaps, but not necessarily more reliable, and certainly not more reliable with respect to recommending a restaurant, and a restaurant/dining experience that would contribute, quite frankly, to whatever progress he was hoping to make with this woman, a woman with whom he was having a budding relationship. (And how do I know the nature of this relationship? Because I asked him before I answered his question. Not only did I think it relevant, it also gave me time to fashion an answer to his question.)
He offered the names of a few restaurants people had recommended; asked me if I had heard of them (some I had, some I hadn't), and said, in reply to my initial question, that he wanted to start out around Chevy Chase, Md., near where his date lived. I mentioned a few places, one in Chevy Chase where my wife Dina and I had been to on a couple of occasions, and of course I mentioned the restaurant in Rosslyn, Va. where Dina works and which is absolutely a fine dining establishment and one where I could actually vouch for the quality of the overall dining experience. Then I backed away from any more restaurant recommending (I know my limitations). I wished him good luck and apologized for not being any more helpful. I didn't want to dampen his enthusiasm, but I couldn't help feeling a little sorry for him; he asked me? What was he thinking?
Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.