Sunday, May 4, 2014

I See... The Best Chinese Food Ever!

Those who know the Mormon Third Eye well are familiar with my insatiable food hobby- simply put, I like eating it. We have a dangerous marital tradition where my wife asks me to assign her cooking a grade 1-10. I abhor grade inflation, and so we both agree that the average outstanding dinner runs between 6 and 7, and on rare occasions, when the planets line up correctly, we enjoy a 9 or 10. In fact, in our culinary universe, the difference between 6-8 and 9-10 is purely situational. On this scale, a glass of water to a near-lifeless man dying of thirst in the desert would be rated a 10, whereas two pounds of luscious barbecue ribs eaten after a long visit to your favorite steak buffet restaurant may not even warrant a 5. 

Last Friday evening we achieved the zenith of Chinese takeout- a rare moment in the history of our family, where the planets lined up, and the situation produced the ultimate grade- a perfect 10!  It was the best Chinese food ever!  However, before I tell you the rest of this story, I need to tell you another story.

Another Story

Our YSA daughter’s long road to marginal self-sufficiency has been littered with perilous twists and turns.  Due to a messy combination of physical and emotional trials, she did not start college until her early twenties. Her quest to prove to the State of Maryland that she was worthy of one of their sacred driver’s licenses is the stuff that superhero stories are made of.  There were countless hours of driving practice with her parents and instructors, and years of wrestling with health problems, which led to failing an embarrassing number of road tests. However, she courageously fought through the deep loss of self-esteem brought on by continual defeat at the hands of the Motor Vehicle Administration, and last Friday afternoon she finally passed the road test and became street legal!  It was a great day of joy for the entire family.

The Rest of This Story

We have been blessed in our little backwoods hamlet of Hampstead with a local excellent Chinese food restaurant. We have spent many Friday evenings enjoying General Tsao’s chicken and beef and broccoli takeout. I find comfort in the restaurant manager’s familiar response to my takeout order in a staccato Chinese accent- “Be ready 15 minutes!” This Friday evening, however, we assigned our daughter, who had struggled several years to obtain her license, to make her inaugural solo trip with her new license by driving up the street to pick up our favorite General Tsao’s chicken and beef and broccoli. I watched her slowly exit the driveway of our house and navigate up the street with an indescribable sense of parental pride. It was witnessing history in the making- she was finally, finally on the road, on her own.

She texted us the family code phrase “I have the package” right after she picked up our order. After parking the car in the driveway, but before bringing food back into the house, she cleverly texted again “the eagle has landed.”  We really enjoyed our meal that night- the best Chinese food ever- a perfect 10!

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