The Dessert Dilema

The following conversation is based on factual events. I did not make this up and have relayed it in a manner as close to the actual events as possible and as memory serves.

I was out to dinner the other night, enjoying a sophisticated meal with two good friends at a lovely bistro in the city.

We had finished our main courses and were discussing dessert. Dessert at this establishment is always a contentious affair, as the standard menu offers many delights but alas the specials also offer equally enticing options, making the decision about which dessert to order a serious one, plenty of potential for regret and disappointment.

So keeping this in mind and the formidable decision before us, one can then understand why dining companions may want to split the risk and share the dessert experience.

Each orders a different pudding and they can sample each other’s; a simple and effective technique employed to avoid disappointment.

However, my dining companion Mr ‘A’ had reservations about this idea, in fact he down right refused to ‘share’ his pudding with his fiancé (Ms ‘A’ – our friend of ‘dumpling sauce drinking’ repute) or with anyone else at the table.

It was decided. The boys would have their chosen pudding to themselves, and Ms ‘A’ and I would share each other’s.

I ordered pecan pie and Ms ‘A’ had Mandarin Soufflé with Liquorice cream.

Congratulating ourselves for our diplomacy and generosity we listened as Mr ‘A’ explained why dessert sharing was such a difficulty for him, a treacherous path of trepidation and regret.

He went on to describe how sharing his pudding will only ever result in a negative outcome. It will always be a lose/lose situation for him and he will therefore not participate.

When I asked him why, he explained it as such, more or less…

Outcome A)

Mr ‘A’ samples the pudding of his dining companion and he likes it. He likes it more than his own. The outcome?  Regret.

Regret that he made a poor choice, regret that a superior and more delicious pudding painfully entices him from another’s plate. Regret that he tasted said pudding at all and must now finish his own, now less appealing meal.

Outcome B)

Mr ‘A’ samples the pudding of his dining companion and he does not like it more than his own. The outcome? Well, this outcome has two serious implications; a bad trade and a threat to the enjoyment of the meal in front of him.

So here we have a situation where Mr ‘A’ has not only traded a bite of the winsome and wonderful dessert that lay before him for an inferior one, he has also put his own meal at risk. Mr ‘A’s dining companion might agree that indeed his pudding is the superior choice and therefore feel a certain ownership over said pudding, consequently helping themselves to one more and possibly many more mouthfuls.

Because Mr ‘A’ agreed to ‘share’ puddings, he can’t now, by any polite means, refuse his companion’s preference and desire to ‘share’ his clearly more superior pudding.

Mr ‘A’ has a point.

So friends, when you enter into the dangerous contract of pudding sharing, proceed with caution. Because, as Mr ‘A’  has explained, the supposed risk reduction in pudding sharing can only lead to heartbreak and regret.


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