I took my parents out to dinner tonight as a belated mother’s/father’s day present. I asked where they wanted to go. My mother said ”steak.” Great, I’m back in Nebraska, why not get some Nebraska beef, I thought.
My mouth starts watering for Whiskey Creek, which is not too far away from the house. But my mother mentions a great buffet she knows. I think ”hmm..steak buffet. Well, ok, I’m game.”
That steak buffet ended up being the Golden Corral. My first thought was my parents didn’t want to make me spend a lot of money on them, so they chose a cheap steakhouse where the different flavors of soft serve was just as important as the quality of beef. That theory was quickly laid to rest when my mother annnounces how much she liked the steak here.
Now, I’m not a food snob, but I must say the food at GC was less than stellar. I looked around the room and felt sorry for the people who had to eat here. The way people line up to get their steaks cooked by some scurvy looking cook (who looked like a ferris wheel operator) and even the layout of the buffet tables made me realize it wasn’t the steaks being corralled, in fact it was the customers.
Moments later, a friend of my father’s greeted us at our table. He was a pretty quiet guy and he didn’t say much, and he looked rather uncomfortable. His three boys were quietly eating a few feet away from us. I thought to myself, why are you forcing your kids to eat this stuff? As he walked away from our table, my father informed me his wife had died from lung cancer two months ago. I glanced back at their table and they were all quietly eating like before, eating what could have been the best meal they’ve had in a while, for all I know.
I realized at that moment, sometimes the food is not that important, but what is important are the people you’re with. I was lucky to have my parents there with me. My mother cutting into her steak with contentment and my father enjoying the soft serve. And me? Well, my steak was just fine.