Home > Uncategorized > Week Two: I go to Le Bec Fin

Week Two: I go to Le Bec Fin

I’m posting here my column which appeared in The Mercury last week. It’s partly about my trip to Le Bec Fin, but also about my reasons for taking on this 52-week “Do Something Different” Challenge. But before I get to that, I’ll give an update about how things are going so far. Good, I would say. Good on the planning end, at least. And great on the doing end. Not so much on the blogging end. I’m still working on that. But I would have to say that I’m overall pleased with how things are going. My next blog will be about reconnecting with a good friend and taking in the Pennsylvania Ballet together in Philly. I’ve also made plans to eat at an Indian Restaurant with two friends, take a pottery workshop with my daughter and son, and I’ve signed up for a much needed bike maintenance class. Most exciting of all–I’ve ordered tickets to see Elton John on tour. Ask me when the last time was that I saw a big name person in concert? Uh, that would be never. Here’s my column:

  It’s the end of January and it’s a safe bet that most people have either forgotten about their New Year’s resolutions or broken them.

   With my tendency to procrastinate, I’m just getting around to making mine. Obviously, avoiding procrastination didn’t make the list this year. Nor did losing weight.

   It has become increasingly apparent that I will never achieve a resolution to lose weight. I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately—twice a week, up from zero most of the time. Last weekend I spent half an hour sweating and keeping my heart rate right up near the maximum and so managed to work off 160 calories. That is the exact calorie count of four Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, which I consumed in about one minute and twenty seconds the moment I arrived home.

  Nope. I’m done with weight loss resolutions. Instead, I’ve resolved to spend 2011 trying things I’ve never tried before. I’ll be writing about some of those things here, and also in my blog on The Mercury’s Town Square page, where I’ll be writing about one new experience each week.

  Oh, you’d be surprised at all the things I’ve never done in my life. I’m embarrassed to admit some of it.

  I’ve never tasted Thai food. I’m not sure why. There are Thai restaurants around, and I’m not averse to trying new foods. I just haven’t done it. I’ve never been to an opera, volunteered at a soup kitchen, gotten a massage or even ridden a roller coaster.

  And for all the things I have never done, there are just as many that I haven’t done in so long it would be a new experience to do it again. I’ve only been on a sailboat once.  I only went snowboarding once. Okay, I’m not going to try that again (snow is slippery, and there was nothing to hold onto). But, it’s literally been 20 years since I spent a day at the Art Museum of Philadelphia, and that’s only an hour away, for heaven’s sakes! Unless you hit traffic and then it’s four hours.

  I have a lot of excuses for not doing new things. I have plenty of other responsibilities like helping with homework, going to soccer games, making dinner. Working. Besides, like most moms, I never do stuff for myself.

  But, hey, here I am, somewhere slightly past middle age—unless I live to be 102, in which case I’m exactly at middle age—so it’s time I quit making excuses and started doing new things.

 Because, while my excuses are valid, it’s also true that it’s easy to avoid new experiences because they require effort and planning. And sometimes they make us a bit uncomfortable. If I get a massage, does someone have to touch me? Uh, yeah, I think so. If I go on a roller coaster, won’t I get scared? Actually, I believe that’s the point.

 To get my resolution off on the right foot I did something recently I’ve never done before. I went with friends to Le Bec Fin, in Philadelphia.  If you are not familiar with it, Le Bec Fin is a 40-year-old French restaurant that I’ve been reading rave reviews about for most of my life.

   So, when Philadelphia’s Restaurant Week rolled around this month, five friends and I decided that Le Bec Fin would be the restaurant to try. If restaurant week is something you’ve never tried, it’s a great experience, with participating restaurants offering a three or four course meal on a fixed price menu.

  Whenever I try something new, I always worry about stuff in advance. Like what to wear. And what to order. And if I’ll feel like I don’t belong in a fancy French restaurant whose website promises “an intimate and luxurious environment.”

  I’m pretty sure I wore the wrong thing, having chosen slacks over a dressier skirt. And even though two of my friends researched the menu in advance (discovering that celeriac soup was made from celery root), the menu was still confusing, and in fact had changed, so we were forced to ask the waiter questions about things like pork pate and skate wings.

  It didn’t matter. The food was amazing, though the serving sizes were very French. My delicious order of scallops came with exactly two scallops. I have no complaints. I’m not a really big eater, and I didn’t have to worry about having no room for dessert.  As for feeling like I didn’t belong in a fancy French restaurant? We belonged just fine. We joked with the waiter. We had deep discussions among ourselves about things like bra shopping. And we had fun.

  Because even if you worry in advance, even if you do wear the wrong thing or don’t understand the menu, ultimately, trying new things is fun. And if what you’re trying is a French Restaurant that serves great food in small portions, you won’t even have to work real hard at the gym to work it off.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 15, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Indian food is awesome.

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