Small Plates

My husband and I celebrated our ninth anniversary at a fancy restaurant in Phoenix that is known for their unique small plates. It was a wonderful meal, with over 20 courses that included a baby kiwi sandwich with beet tartare, black truffle nachos and carrot soup with a raisin oil. Everything was presented in the most beautiful way, and each bite was savored. Most of our dinner conversation centered on taking turns admiring the creativity and thoughtfulness that went into each dish.

The next day, over spaghetti at home, we were sharing our dining experience with the girls. We told them of all of the different things we ate — the small portions of perfection — and the opportunity to try so many different things.

My five-year-old daughter didn’t look overly impressed. Nodding, she acknowledged our effusive praise of the dinner with the words, “I’ve been there.”

“No, no you haven’t,” I replied defensively, oddly feeling the need to convince her of just how spectacularly special this restaurant was by going into even more detail about the different courses.

She shrugged and repeated that she had. That she had tried these small plates and also liked the meal.

“What’s the name, then?” I pressed. “When did you go there? Who would you have gone with?” I irrationally interrogated.

She casually took a bite of spaghetti. Chewed. Swallowed.

“Costco. Last Saturday. You and dad. Probably had even more samples than you had because I ate the cracker and cheese one twice.”

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.