My Dinner With Irma

“Where should we eat?” I asked my family.

No reply. Not even a look up from their devices.

I stood empty and disappointed like Ferris Beuhler’s teacher… “Anyone? Anyone?”

“How about Chinese?”

This creates a sense of elation in one, deflates another, and I sense a form of tempered ambivalence in the one who just wants everyone to get along.


Groans all around.

“Hamburgers? Pizza? The sandwich joint?”

Nothing. But they’re all hungry. And I know they have ideas, tastes, and opinions. I just can’t pull them out when we decide to eat out. So I have to decide and bear the silent, smoldering wrath of whichever one doesn’t like my choice. This is my dilemma every time meal choices are in the offing.

Why can’t people just have an opinion and make up their mind?

Speaking of making up their mind, I had dinner with Irma Monday night. Understand that I live 300 miles from the east coast and 300 miles from the gulf coast. I have strategically and intentionally located myself to be close enough to readily enjoy the ocean without having to deal with those pesky hurricanes. Sure, we have weather issues here – ice and the occasional tornado. But ocean storms typically peter out long before they reach us and leave us only with wind and rain. This Irma though, she became a large, angry woman totally incapable of making a dinner decision – which makes her perfectly suited for my family (let me be clear – not the large, angry part, only in her indecisiveness).

We didn’t really prepare for our dinner date. I didn’t buy flashlights, batteries, bread, or milk. No, my crazy Atlanta neighbors tore the shelves down for those. I’m somewhat of a fatalist when it comes to that kind of thing. If it’s meant to be…

Sunday told us that she would still be a Cat 3 storm when she came knocking on Atlanta. She already had trouble deciding. She skipped the South Beach scene and decided Tampa was more to her liking. As she drove north and made her way across the state line, she turned on a dime and went west deciding Alabama was on the menu. Oh, she blew at us fiercely as she went past – dropped a bunch of trees and left millions without power. Spiteful hussy.

We didn’t lose power at my house. We live in the woods, yet surprisingly had no tree problems either. Two of my girls were home with us and one wayward daughter stayed at her school where they lost power and she had to eat cereal without milk for dinner – a choice made for her. We had fun hazing her by texting pictures of all of the power we were consuming at home. It wasn’t much fun after her phone battery died.

Then darkness fell and our stomachs rumbled.

“What do you want to eat?” I asked.

Absolute silence except the remnants of wind straining the treetops outside.

I wish someone in my life would make up their mind!



*Note: Although our brush with Irma was light, my thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by her wrath.




13 thoughts on “My Dinner With Irma

  1. Oh twitter is nuts with people making light of the Irma, it’s a good thing you are one of those people. Our hearts do go out to those severely affected.
    In my house, I let everyone except the little ones, prepare their dinner by themselves. The little ones are easy to pacify and convince.

  2. Great piece, Mark, but older guys are different, so much easier to get along with.

    “Whaddya wanna eat?”

    “I dunno.”

    “Burgers and beer?”



    “You guys are easy. Stan, you drive.”

    “Low on gas.”

    “Okay then, Daryl, you drive.”

    “I ain’t riding in a Ford…”

    And so it goes.

  3. i’m glad you all made it through safely and i do feel for all those who have suffered as a result of irma. in the case of ‘i don’t know’, i say just go for broke and pick something you like. people may realize they have more of a vested interest in it the next time you ask. if not, you’re eating well –

  4. Glad to hear you are also safe. Please be patient with me as the clean-up and catch-up around here is going slow. Our blogging friends have been great about our plight!!

Join the Conversation

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s