Almost every restaurant has a version of the ritual of pulling back the curtain and asking the client to introduce themselves. After a while, the waiter will ask: “Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?” and then they will proceed to ask you about yourself. Usually, the questions are about your experience at the restaurant or your job title.
You will usually be asked several questions about your life before being placed into one of the three categories:
Then, the waiter will begin to ask you the questions from the menu. In some places you will be asked about a past love interest. You will hear about his/her shortcomings and you will hear about yours.
At some places you will be asked about a friendship that you lost, or you will be asked about a time when you were hurt by him/her. You will hear about how you didn’t think twice about letting him/her go but that now you are seeing someone new and you are grieving the loss of the old relationship.
At some places you will be asked about an ex that you no longer have a relationship with. You will hear about the good times you had with him/her, and you will hear about how it hurt you that he/she was so harsh on you when you were together.
At some places you will be asked about someone you were in a relationship with before you met the opposite sex, and if you said yes to the questions from the menu, you will hear from the waiter that the person is ready to be introduced to the guests.
If you answered no to any of the questions from the menu, your waiter will continue to ask you questions without ending the conversation.
When I was in a few of these restaurants, this is what I heard when the waiter went to the kitchen to bring me soup during my first trip to Paris. “Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?”
If I had to name the first thing I remembered about being in that restaurant, it would be the “8900-7666, Marseille, Paris, LA7, France” written on the menu.
The waiter would continue to ask me these questions even though I didn’t know who I was supposed to answer the phone to. I was asked to describe my situation and what I was experiencing. I was then supposed to describe my experiences with being an expat in Marseille and describe the city’s life center.
As much as I tried, I couldn’t outrun my anxiety. The more I hung up the phone, the more my heart was beating. I was feeling so overwhelmed by what I was going through.
I cried a lot that night.
You might not believe me when I say this, but I’ve been through enough divorce stories to know that nothing is ever as it seems.
I mean, I know I wasn’t crazy to be crying in the middle of a meal, but I’m here to tell you that even if I was on the other end of your tear-jerking, I could’ve smelled it on my breath.
Your emotions are telling you things are getting out of control, but your brain is in charge of when and how to react.
Everything that happens to you is part of the long-game, and you have to make the best of it, because any one moment could be your last.
Back to my food fight — I told you that my feelings towards that menu I didn’t eat? They weren’t the worst parts.
The food fight itself wasn’t even that bad. My anger was due to overloading and overwhelming emotion.
Your anger is normal, and it’s okay — we all get flustered when our emotions are running high, too.
It’s the different thing to grief, which is a very different thing to grief.
It’s the way your body is responding to the news, or the dose your body is getting from the pills.
Whatever it is, just remember that you’re in control of it. The pills will get you through, though.
You might not feel like talking to your spouse about it, but please talk to your partner.
It takes two to tango.
It’s not your job to fix everything in your marriage, but it does belong in your hands.
My goal isn’t to change your husband. That’s impossible, and I don’t want to make his difficulties my own.
I’m just trying to save my marriage.