Columns

Miscommunication leads to a "balanced" meal 2014.08.13

By COLLEEN LEDDY

You’d think after 32 years of marriage David and I would have the whole communication thing down. You’d think—but you’d be wrong.

A few weeks ago, for example, we made an unexpected trip to Toledo to take care of a couple issues with our Prius. We had left town in a mad dash, racing to arrive before the dealership on Central Avenue closed. 

We made it, got the car serviced, and set out for the next stop—well, what I thought was the next stop—buying hummus at Tiger Bakery. We were discussing where we would eat dinner as David approached the driveway leading out to Central Ave. Traffic was heavy both ways, and we were still discussing dinner options. 

I had pretty much figured that we should eat at Tiger Bakery since we were going there for the hummus and they have a great selection of fresh and delicious salads, felafel, spinach pies and loads of other Middle Eastern fare at really reasonable rates. Still, David had been non-committal when I’d mentioned it earlier, so I started running down some other options.

“Well, you don’t want to go to Jing Chuan,” I said. (We had just eaten there when the kids were home.)

“Tiger Bakery is to the left, but you probably want to turn right,” I said in my most understanding voice.

But he thought I meant he should turn right because maybe there was somewhere else I wanted to eat in that direction.

I meant “You probably want to turn right because we’ll be here all day waiting for a break in the traffic, but we really want to go left.”

And after turning right, I thought he would get in the left lane and turn into the first driveway so he could turn around and head for the hummus.

I learned that left-turn lesson from my college friend, Laurie Smith, who learned it from her father who taught driver’s ed. It’s one of those “life hacks”—things that make your life so much easier. 

I love hacks. I am a sucker for those Facebook links to lists of life-changing information, not to mention those lists:  “Top 10 Superfoods to Reduce Belly Fat” (almonds, watermelon, beans, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, apples, tart cherries, pineapple); “33 Amazingly Useful Websites You Never Knew Existed.”

But the hacks—that’s where it’s at. 

“10 New Life Hacks that Will Change Your Life,” “24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever,” “The 50 Most Brilliant Life Hacks Every Human Being Needs to Know.”

The best hack ever, the corn on the cob hack, isn’t among the ones above, but it really is life changing. I don’t remember on which hack list I first saw it, but I’ve since found this You Tube video on how to cook corn on the cob so no strands of cornsilk remain after it’s cooked. You could just Google it, but here’s the site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U10MkdbzS54.

But, I have digressed.

David stayed in the right lane, apparently awaiting further direction from me. When I told him to go left to turn around a la Laurie Smith, he thought I meant at the stoplight. 

So, he went down to the light, made his left turn and then, at my urging, turned left into the old K-Mart parking lot and came back out onto Holland-Sylvania Road with plans to turn right on Central and proceed to Tiger Bakery. 

In the process, he noticed a new restaurant, Balance Pan-Asian Grill on the corner of Central and Holland-Sylvania that looked interesting. 

“‘Pan-Asian,’ that sounds pretty good,” David said. 

We can’t communicate, but we are simpatico when it comes to changing plans in mid air. We figured, what the heck, let’s try it. So he turned right on to Central, back into the K-Mart parking lot from a driveway off of Central, and back out onto Holland-Sylvania. Anyone watching us from above from when we left the car dealership would have surmised that we were nuts, but we didn’t care.

And what a payoff when we got there. Balance serves really good, really fresh food at really reasonable prices—totally worth driving in circles to end up at their door. Is there a hack for that?