Open Thread: Whining and Dining

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The last time I went to a restaurant in the Before Times (my term for Pre-pandemic life), I met my pal John G. at a Brit pub in my neihorhood.

We talked about how weird it was to see all the stats about the increasing number of COVID cases. Our table was thisclose to another one and we had to shout a bit to hear each other over the conversations at the other tables, the clatter of silverware and plates, and the sound system blasting “Music to Eat Your Food Quickly By.” (The speakers always seem to be right over my table.)

Then two years passed of eating at home. Quiet, peaceful, hear-yourself-think dining.  I recently began dining out again and I realized…

…I’m out of practice.

Whining and Dining

Now I have to search for a table away from the speakers.  And I don’t eat Sunday brunch at the usual time anymore…because while I like small kids, they don’t have a volume control.

And, of course, there’s the ‘let’s seat the older lady/ladies near the waitstand/kitchen” syndrome.

I also notice portions have gotten smaller but the price tag has gotten bigger to compensate. And, of course, there’s the ‘let’s seat the older lady/ladies near the waitstand/kitchen” syndrome.

I don’t know, maybe it’s me. Have I gotten too picky/persnickety about dining out – with all my pet peeves? How about you? Let us know in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to

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