The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

How to Life

Despite there being a wealth of material in this campaign season I can be snarky about give powerful insight on and my strong personal views, I haven’t  felt a need to comment on it here.

Until now.

Within 15 minutes of each other last week, I saw two similar Facebook posts from people in my network.   They don’t know each other and couldn’t be any more different.   One is an old friend from high school who’s a very successful banker, gay, and splits time between Chicago and London.   The other is a divorced co-worker living in an Oklahoma suburb, is a computer programmer and is the daughter of a military family.

The high school friend is an art lover and his feed is filled with pictures of exhibits and concerts from around the world.   He’s always checking in at famous restaurants like Heston Blumenthal’s 3-Michelin-Star The Fat Duck in England



The co-worker has a little bit more of a “normal” life – spending time with family, watching football games, going to local events.  On a few different occasions, she’s enjoyed special dinners at the corporate-owned, decidedly non-haute cuisine…


Both of them posted the same type of political message – “How the hell can anyone in their right mind vote for THAT Presidential candidate?”  –  but coming from different sides of the fence.    Predictably, their friends were similarly incredulous.   (I’m sure you can guess which side each of them was on.)

It was striking to me that here were two sets of people who were completely unaware of the other side, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.   It’s completely natural for people to seek out their tribes.  The tribes bring shared interests and experiences,  bring joy in good times, and support in bad ones.   Once people find their tribe, it’s understandable to stay in it.

Maybe that’s the problem?

I’ve seen this all too often with food.   That co-worker once mentioned she’s never had brie.  I was at a party last week where someone told me she makes meatloaf for her family at least three times a week.     Hell, just today I met someone who’s never been to Chipotle.

This has always blown my mind.   There’s a world of different cuisines and millions of  restaurants making their versions of those cuisines.    What would happen if people make it a point to try a new food once a month?   Just once.   You don’t have to love it, just try it.  If you do like it, then now you have something new to look forward to.  If you hate it, you still have about 90 more meals in the month to make up for it.

Now think about how that might work beyond food.    What would happen if you checked out at least once  – and with an open mind – life outside the tribe?   Try a new TV show.  Listen to a new genre of music.  Check out one of those clothing stores at the mall that you always walk by but never went in.  Eat at a fucking Applebee’s.

There’s a good chance you’ll go running back to your tribe vowing never to do that again.  That’s OK, you don’t have to love the outside thing.    Or maybe you find you really like it.   Or maybe, if you went in with an open mind, you could at least see the appeal.

If that happened then you’ve successfully experienced the thing that the world needs more of – empathy.


(That all said – I will never go into a fucking Applebee’s. )



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

15 comments on “How to Life

  1. Liza M.
    November 7, 2016

    Ha! As soon as I read the Applebee’s line, I was going to comment. Then I read the very last line of the post. Agreed!

  2. talkavino
    November 7, 2016

    Have to admit – never been to Chipotle (for no reason at all), and I don’t have a problem with Applebee’s :). But I perfectly hear you about politics – can’t wait for this terrible spectacle to be over…

  3. Appetite for Wine
    November 7, 2016

    Bravo! Great post! I work in a small office; just seven of us. We have a tradition of going out to lunch together every Friday – restaurant choice rotates each week. As nice as that sounds, there are restaurants, nay, entire cuisines, that are permanently off the table because one person “doesn’t like it.” (I happen to know that in at least one case, the naysayer hasn’t even ever tried Vietnamese food, but it’s still nixed.) I love the idea of venturing outside the tribe! Heck, if I had never overcome my anxiety about going into that first, hole-in-the-wall Viet restaurant, I would never have discovered how amazing the food is! What is it “they” say? “Minds are like umbrellas. They only work when open.”

  4. Next Stop: TBD
    November 7, 2016

    Great post! Was just yesterday saying I’ve never been to Taco Bell. Maybe I’ll begrudgingly try it after reading this. But I’d better not like it! Ha

  5. anotherfoodieblogger
    November 7, 2016

    I am glad you put in that disclaimer about Applebee’s! We went there once when our daughter was a toddler and it was a horrible experience, both service and food-wise. Did you see the new Times cover photo? It’s both candidates holding a large sign, smiling from ear to ear, that says “Then End is Near!” LOLOL

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      November 7, 2016

      I didn’t see that… I know I’m in the minority but I have enjoyed a lot of it. But yes, it’s time to be done!

  6. thewineraconteur
    November 8, 2016

    Interesting view. Of course I may never turn on my television set again after thirty some years away from it, I am just happy. I will admit that I am one of those that is very insecure about trying certain types of food. I remember the great line from The Pope of Greenwich Village “Hey Barney, don’t eat that crap! this guy is selling instant hepatitis.”

  7. Pingback: How Art Can Help In Post-Election America | The Food and Wine Hedonist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 7, 2016 by in Dining, Stuff and tagged , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: