Makena committing to the first restaurant he sees and feeling weird about leaving after realizing he can’t eat a thing is not a far-fetched idea because this very thing happened to me.
Many years ago my wife and I were trying to decide what we wanted to do for dinner. I forget what exactly she wanted but it was a safe, routine choice we’d made countless times before. I, on the other hand, wanted to explore the town and go to a restaurant we’d never tried before. I was, for whatever reason, unusually insistent upon getting out of the house to the point where we almost got into an argument over it. I tend to seek out new experiences wherever I can, and that night I was stubbornly determined to get my way.
My wife finally relented and we hopped into the car to go exploring. We scanned the block of restaurants in that strained silence of not wanting to trigger a fight until I finally pointed to a place I’d never been, featuring a cuisine I’d never experienced. My wife was reluctant but I insisted we try it. She once again relented and we went in.
I picked an Argentinian restaurant. It was then that I learned that Argentinian cuisine is, quite literally, all meat. Makena’s declaration of “IT’S ALL MEAT!” was not an exaggeration of my experience. There was nothing that I, a vegan of over twenty years, could eat there. There were a few vegetable sides and one or two appetizers I could modify, but the menu also clearly stated “no appetizers only and no orders under a certain price.” I was screwed and it was all my idea.
My wife, on the other hand, was sitting across the table with a victorious grin on her face. It expressed both “this all looks amazing” and “ha ha I told you so” and I couldn’t be mad at her. This was the bed I’d made and I was determined to sleep in it. She even offered to have us go somewhere else, but like Makena I felt weird getting up and leaving after being seated by the servers.
In the end I was able to cobble together a dinner of enough vegetable sides and an appetizer to put me over the price minimum, and I treated my wife to a steak dinner. Did I mention everything on the menu was expensive as hell? Because it was.
That night I sought out an education in world cuisine and new experiences, but instead I learned my lesson.