Going out to dinner with your people can be a nice change of pace from eating macaroni and cheese at home, but it never fails that the friends you normally cherish outside of a restaurant quickly turn into one or more of the unsavory characters described below.
1. The person who refuses to have an opinion (until a decision is made)
He or she doesn't have a taste for anything in particular and doesn't care where you go to eat... until you choose Olive Garden and endure a temper tantrum about the farce of American-style Italian food and the perils of carbohydrate consumption.
2. The person who won't try anything new
Getting a bite at that cool new restaurant that opened? Forget about it. There's always one person who would rather eat at Giordano's for the rest of his or her life rather than venture out of his or her comfort zone.
3. The person who ruins appetizers
Your table will have unanimously decided on getting the chicken quesadillas, and you'll be imagining that first bite when...
"Oh wait. Can we get it without tomatoes, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream?"
You subdue yourself enough to keep from flipping the table over, but the one who ruins appetizers decides to add insult to injury: "We can just get it on the side or something."
Real talk: Ingredients on the side are not the same as ingredients on the food item. There's a psychological difference that impacts the taste. Picky appetizer people ruin meals (and lives).
4. The person who wants to share dessert
"Want to split the cookie sundae?"
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all know each dessert sharer is not going to get an equal portion, and you probably got a salad just so you'd have room for dessert. If you're not able to consume a full dessert on your own, you don't need dessert at all.
5. The person who gets embarrassingly upset about the server's behavior
Five minutes will have passed since you ordered drinks, and suddenly, your partner in crime is questioning the server's credentials and threatening to talk to the manager.
6. The person who needs too many condiments (and freaks out when they're forgotten)
"Can I get maple syrup for my fries and a side of balsamic dressing for my sandwich?"
Ten minutes after the food arrives.
"HOW COULD THAT IDIOT FORGET MY MAPLE SYRUP AND BALSAMIC DRESSING? I CLEARLY ASKED FOR MAPLE SYRUP AND BALSAMIC DRESSING. It's not that difficult to bring maple syrup and balsamic dressing!"
7. The person who gets skeptical about splitting the bill with two credit cards because he or she doesn't want to pay
So you forgot to ask for separate checks, and neither of you has any cash. You take out your card and tell your fellow diner you'll ask the server to split it when...
"I don't know if they can do that. I don't know... Maybe we should just put it on one card. I could always just pay you back?"
8. The person who will "get the next one"
A rare breed that survives from the bartering days, the person who will "get the next one" likes to order four cocktails, two appetizers, the surf 'n turf and the chocolate soufflé and then spring their "get the next one" shenanigans on you once the bill comes.
9. The person who somehow forgot to bring his or her wallet
10. The person who's literally eating all of your fries
It started innocently with a, "I'm stealing a fry, hehe," but now this person is taking handfuls of fries at a time because suddenly, their quinoa seems a lot less appetizing than it did before.
11. The person who's offering you the gross stuff on his or her plate
"Want my turnips?"
The turnips? No. You don't want them for a reason, and I feel the same way.
12. The person who's sharing a bite of his or her food, but they're putting it on your plate next to some food item(s) you don't want it to touch
YOU TAINTED MY MASHED POTATOES WITH YOUR CHICKEN PARM! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!???!?!
13. The person who's seriously too picky to eat out
"I just have a question about the menu... who supplies your Parmesan cheese? Do local farms provide your meat? Is your entire kitchen gluten free? Where are your vegan alternatives? What does 'medium well' mean to you? Has the restaurant had any health code violations in the past 90 days?"
14. The person who under-tips
I don't what you've heard about this person, but you can't get a dollar out of them to contribute to the tip your server deserves.
15. The person who snatches the bill and determines what everyone else owes
No one elected this person your table's comptroller, yet here they are hogging the bill, trying to impress everyone with their basic computation skills. Ironically, someone else is always paying for this individual, too.
16. The person who insists on sitting at a booth or table
Whenever the restaurant has 50 open tables, it's inevitable that you'll be dining with someone who plainly refuses to sit anywhere but in a booth. It's even worse when you see several spacious booths perfectly suited for your group, but one naysayer (who will have to use the restroom at some point during the meal) will complain about being "trapped on the inside" and insist on sitting at a table. And let's not even mention people who unilaterally refuse to eat inside May through October.