Natalie walked slowly around in her kitchen gathering all the tools and dishes that would be used for the cookout, “What a bore,” she thought. Natalie did not like cookouts, barbeques, picnics or potluck dinners.
However, her husband, “Where is he?”
Darrell had a different view of the experience. To cook outdoors was to him something of a mini vacation. But then he was not present for the great excavation of the kitchen to the outdoor station, which would be yet to pick up in only a few hours and be returned to the kitchen for the great greasy cleanup that would follow. “How is this any fun?”
Natalie continued her project until it was finished and decided to not complain about her dislike of the process; Darrell did after all get excited about these outdoors dinners.
The guests arrived and there was a rowdy playful spirit among them all. Those with children brought them of course, and there was a lot of gleeful noise that filled the air.
Natalie decided that she would be an observer, a mental note taker in her hope to discover why anyone would enjoy this type of getting together.
At the end of the outdoor affair and after the mess was cleaned up and everything was back in its place, she sat to write her mental notes onto a sheet of paper. These are her findings:
1. There is space and freedom in the out of doors that would never be enjoyed inside the house.
2. People feel comfortable to be picnic dressed, which would not be true if the food was consumed inside at the dinner table.
3. The parents do not find it necessary to guard the children’s drinks so carefully, or the food they may drop.
4. The fresh air is invigorating. People who spend so much time inside are warmed and liberated without the walls that make up so much of their lives.
5. Darrell, she noticed was the Host busily serving and cooking, not being merely the sidekick for her, but rather the main Honcho.
6. It is true, she noted, that while there is a cleanup of items used outside, she did not have to clean the floors, nor put away dishes, since plastic is, without self condemnation, disposable.
As she showered that night she decided that in all truth the minuses were minimal compared to pluses regarding cooking out or cooking in; “It’s a good trade off,” she concluded. “Maybe I can learn to enjoy these cookouts.”
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