From “D is for Dining Out,” in An Alphabet for Gourmets, by my BFF Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher:

I had a happy beginning in [the] neglected art and much abused privilege [of dining out], one that has sheathed it in unfading pleasure for me when it is done well. When I was no more than five or so my father and mother would begin to prepare my spirits for Easter, or Christmas, or a birthday, and when the festival rolled around, there I would be, waiting to greet it…on the pink velvet seat of the region’s best restaurant.

I admit I am prejudiced about it. I seldom dine out, and because of my early conditioning to the sweet illusion of permanent celebration, of “party” and festivity on every such occasion, I feel automatically that any invitation means sure excitement, that it will be an event, whether it brings me a rained-on hamburger in a drive-in or Chicken Jerusalem at Perino’s. The trouble is, I’m afraid, that I expect people I dine with to feel the same muted but omnipresent delight that I feel.