“What do you wanna do?”
“I don’t know…what do YOU wanna do?”
Let’s face it, we have all been there. Whether it be trying to figure out where you want to go for a quick, mid-week meal, or deciding how you want to celebrate a momentous event like a milestone birthday, all of us at one time or another has sat, slack-jawed, staring blankly at another human being, internally cursing them for being such an indecisive asshole that they cannot even articulate what they feel like eating, like, within the next half hour (pffft…seriously?!?!), all the while of course being completely oblivious to the fact that we also have no idea what or where the hell we want to eat either.
Unfortunately, in my experience, these instances grow more frequent, and at times more volatile, as one gets older. I am not sure if this is because our taste buds become more refined, significantly limiting the acceptable “go to” options that were once so much a part of our basic survival skills that our 21 year old selves, even when sloppy drunk at 3:00 am, knew the exact location of every 24 hour by-the-slice pizza joint and fast food outlet within a 15 block radius, or, if these innate abilities, like so many others, sadly simply diminish with age.
Perhaps as we get longer in the tooth Mother Nature expects us to have the hunter/gatherer shiz all locked down, and assumes that if we have lived this long we must have acquired the requisite skills to ensure that we are both adequately fed and sufficiently entertained, at the very least to a level where we are not putting Stephen King-like revenge curses on our friends and loved ones simply because they cannot decide whether they want to go out dancing or for Dim Sum.
On the other hand, perhaps we have just gotten lazy in the wake of having so many choices and such a high level of convenience laid at our feet by the magical interwebs?
Regardless of either of these possibilities, I have compiled a list of simple steps that will ensure you never again have to suffer the consequences of bad karma racked up from wishing that your BFF develop lizard-like scales over their entire body as a result of your code red hanger levels and/or their indecisive assholedry.
1. The main factor that contributes to the success of an evening out is engaging in an activity that you really like to do.
If you don’t really care for sushi, admit it, even if you find something on the menu you will eat you know that this choice completely obliterates the possibility that you are going to have a stellar meal. Life is way too short, so if given the first world luxury of choice why not pick a restaurant that serves a type of food that you really love. Ask yourself what your favorite type of food is, take that answer, and move on to step two.
2. Find an atmosphere you are comfortable doing that activity in.
Maybe you really love dancing (hellz knows that I do), but if you did not enjoy the downtown club scene at 22, you sure as heck are not going to dig it at 40+. It will take less than 5 minutes of mind melting dubstep beats and one trip to the bathroom to realize that no matter how much you love shaking your groove thing, the Red Room is not the place for you to do it. Define your comfort zone, admit to the style of music that caused you to rack up that $500.00 chiropractic bill after slipping in the shower during your epic, one night only dance show, and find a place that spins those tunes!
3. Find your Homies!! AKA, Yelp is your new best friend!
Vancouver is as diverse as all get out, so unless your thing is observing nocturnal marsupials from the southern hemisphere by light provided exclusively from headlamps fueled with authentic, Victorian era candle wax, chances are you are going to find a place that you will feel comfortable in, doing the thing that you really love to do.
Yelp is da bomb, and has helped me and the bf find the best breakfast food in Kamloops, British Columbia, (*waves at Hello Toast!), and the raddest little jazz club in Portland , Oregon (*high fives Jimmy Mak’s for their amazeballs Etta James tribute, on the weekend of my 40th birthday, no less). Think old school yellow pages, but with reviews, and ratings, and stuff.
If this little app can serve me that well abroad, imagine what it can do in our own hometown! If you are unfamiliar with Yelp and want a quick start “how to” lesson that will teach you how to apply the info that you determined through following steps 1 and step 2, take 1 minute and 21 seconds of your life and check out this tutorial.
Have you had success with Yelp at home, or abroad? Or perhaps your thing is observing nocturnal marsupials from the southern hemisphere by light provided exclusively from headlamps fueled with authentic, Victorian era candle wax and you want to rip me a new one for so quickly dismissing your niche hobby? Either way, I would love to hear from you in the comments section, below!