I must be getting old.
In fact, I know I am and you know how I know?
Here’s how: I finally get it why lunch specials for seniors cost less and are smaller portions.
Back in the day — which, I swear, was two, maybe three years ago — I just thought those old folks who bought the senior lunch special did so to save money.
After all, the prices on those specials — on any senior menu — are usually a dollar or two less than the regular entrée. And, they have smaller portions … but, again, I thought it was all about saving money due to living on a fixed income.
After all, I’ve heard sinister stories about starving old people living on canned cat food and the like.
I also remember that it wasn’t that long ago I realized, with some dismay, I was old enough to demand a senior discount at Gattis Pizza. Not that I’d ever take advantage of that, mind you …
I thought about this the other day while dining on a Jr. Tender Combo (with gravy, fries and a diet soda) and realizing that I would eat only one of the two tenders included in the meal.
In my defense, they were Very Large Tenders but still …
It wasn’t that long ago that, when I indulged in that particular guilty-fried pleasure, I ate four of the things and devoured all the fries that came with them … and would rob my wife of her remaining fries (and maybe even one of her tenders).
Pizza? I’d eat three-quarters of a medium, thick-crust meat lover’s pizza at one sitting. Two flame-grilled hamburgers from my backyard cooker were standard fare. Plus, beans. And chips. And cobbler. And ice cream. And a beer. Or three.
Lasagna? Gimmie three helpings. And don’t stint on the bread sticks!
There’s a somewhat apocryphal tale that circulates around my immediate family about my ability to consume an entire package of Oreos in one sitting. I don’t recall actually committing this act but neither can I deny it, in good conscious.
Heck, even when we’d patronize a white table cloth restaurant, I’d look askance at the smallish portions of tenderloin or wild, fresh-caught salmon and add a hearty helping of appetizers to the order, simply to make sure I had enough to feel full.
Now, a properly prepared 4-ounce tenderloin is sufficient. Hold the appetizers.
Saves money, sure … but I simply no longer order what I won’t eat and I have come to terms (sort of) with the fact that I will never again wrap myself around a rare, 16-ounce ribeye. Not at one sitting. Nor, possibly, even three sittings.
Not a particularly healthy diet, I know — never mind all the grease, the portions would have choked a normal person living in a place where french fries isn’t its own food group.
Now, I know that many of my regular readers are a bit older than I … and a lot of them still consider me to be a young whippersnapper. I accept that moniker with about as much grace as you’d expect (not much).
I also know that more than just a few of them are chortling at my realization that I don’t need to wash down my tuna sandwich with double-fistful of potato chips.
But, I LIKE potato chips!
And, evidentially, fried chicken.
Still, at the tender age of 60-mumblty-mumble, I finally begin to understand. It isn’t really the price, it’s the portions.
But, I have found a bright side to this: Not only have I lost some weight this past year, I command a sharp senior discount at the movies. I like movies.