Saturday, August 7, 2010

General Tso's Chicken

I had an interesting day today, in light of yesterday's post.

My family and I went to the Indiana State Fair. It was a lot of fun. We saw animals (and fed some of them). We tried ridiculous food, including deep fried butter and a "chocolate pig," which is a chocolate sundae with almonds and BACON (don't worry—none of us ate a whole serving of this stuff ourselves). We learned quite a bit about cockroaches and Japan (not in the same building, mind you), and got to see the "Candy Man," a Japanese street-style performer who made elaborate candies (blindfolded!) and liked to play tricks on his audience members. We saw so many amazing things, and it was a wonderful day.

My husband and I planned to have a date after the fair while my in-laws watched our son. We were going to see Inception, but the showtime was too far off, so we decided to see Dinner for Schmucks. It was my suggestion, since I'd heard it was funny.


It had a few laughs, but was disappointing overall. Kind of a tired premise, except for the actual dinner. Neither of us were impressed, and we both walked out of the theater feeling bummed.


We decided to pretend we hadn't even seen a movie. We'd just sat together in a theater for two hours. That made it a little better. We then opted for Chick-Fil-A for dinner, but when we got there, we realized the coupons we'd brought were for a CFA on the other side of town.

Boo again.

Not that we had to have coupons, but that was really the only reason we chose CFA. We then decided to try for some Chinese, but on our way out of the parking lot, we spotted a Sonic! The elusive Sonic, whose commercials we've seen on TV for years, yet there's never really been one around to go to! We chose Sonic.

We pulled in, and while I knew what I wanted immediately, my husband took a long time deciding. An absurdly long time. Think of the longest time you've ever spent choosing menu items at a fast food joint, and then multiply it by 10. It was that long. He just wanted to get the right things, since we don't hit Sonic very often! I finally pressed the "order" button, and the woman on the other end said, "Welcome to Sonic! Will you be paying by cash or credit card?"

"Umm, credit card?" I said.

"Sorry, but our credit card machine is down," she replied.


"Yes. Sorry. It's been down all afternoon."

Boo again.

So we pulled out of Sonic.

At this point, my mood could have really bottomed out. I mean, we saw a lousy movie, tried two different restaurants, and were generally having a lousy date. If there was a time to feel grumpy, this would have been it.

Instead, we both started laughing. Hysterically. I mean, I nearly had to stop the car, I was laughing so hard.

We spotted a little place called China Bistro across the street and made a beeline for it. We walked in, ordered, and sat down. We were still kind of laughing, so in my prayer, I made sure to ask God that this would be the best General Tso's chicken my husband had ever had (he's been searching for a good one ever since we moved to Indy).

Now, I understand God is not Santa Claus. I asked for the General Tso's chicken as a joke, and I'm pretty sure God knew to take it as such. But, wouldn't you know? That was the best General Tso's chicken my husband had ever had. And I agreed. It just topped off the date perfectly.

We laughed some more. My husband made a point of saying, "I love that we can have a date that bombs this badly and still laugh together about it."

What's funny is that, when we were at Sonic, I realized I had a choice. I could pout and get grumpy and throw a tantrum, but what good would that do? I chose to laugh. A lot. I chose to see the humor in the situation and laugh instead of taking it all too seriously. After yesterday's blog post about letting my day take a faceplant, I chose something else, and it made all the difference.

Lessons learned today:

  • Blogging can be therapeutic. Who knew?
  • Stress is a choice. (See this blog post from SimpleMom.)
  • Laughter is also a choice. (See this video from The Human Face.)
  • God doesn't mess around when it comes to General Tso's chicken.


P.S. - God knows that General Tso's thing is a joke, too. Just clarifying.


  1. Oh my goodness, Rachel. Loved this post and the one under it! Could SO, SO relate! My husband and I have quite a few dates like the one you described. And I can't say that our reaction has always been hilarious laughter! ;0) (Although we have gotten better at planning things out, so we avoid driving around endlessly looking for somewhere to eat and resort to choking each other -- thus negating the need for food! ;)

    You are so right, though, it's about what we chose to focus on -- the positive or the negative. I'm sorry to say my natural inclination is to focus on the negative -- the things I did wrong, how I could have changed the present if I'd only do this or that in the past.

    I taught middle school for a year. Loved the kids ... but, without going into details, the school was just not a good fit for me at that time in my life. I could have handled some things better, but my heart was with those kids. Some administrators and parents badmouthed me to their kids when I left the school. I was devastated. But, like you, I have to trust that God had a purpose for me being there and the heart that I had for those kids will be the thing that they'll remember.

    I'm loving your blog. ;0)

  2. Cute story.

    We also get Sonic commercials without a Sonic. It's so annoying!

  3. Ok, so, someone needs to tell the Sonic lady that when you give someone two options, they should both be available.

  4. I loved your post, too. It's funny...I wrote about the same subject a few days ago. The words are so different, but the message is the same! Choosing how to react changes everything!

  5. It really is so much easier to be happy about things that happen and consider that usually - yes, usually, they could be a whole lot worse!

    Thanks for linking up your first ever post - you will see there is always something going on over at my blog - hope you make lots of new friends with the various link ups - check back often ... but I will remind you by computermail (just warning you!)

    and now your first evah post has another COMMENT!


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