If someone comes to my door and tells me they’ve brought free food, it doesn't matter if it's a take-n-bake pizza, a brick of frozen Costco lasagna or a seven-course gourmet meal served on the best china--I have the same exact reaction; “Free food!!” Oh yeah, and gratitude.
Assuming the food wasn’t fashioned from road-kill or one of the neighbor’s terriers I’m pretty happy with the thought that nourishment appeared, on its own, at my house. When this food arrives, I’m going to over-indulge, undo the top button of my pants and watch TV. I think that most guys share my same sentiment towards “free food”.
So friends, what could go wrong with the concept of free food? We’ll let’s say your neighbor is grief-stricken because her darling terrier (the one that treats your lawn as a litter box) or her Great Aunt Mabel, "passed". The woman is inconsolable. To assuage her grief the neighborhood women’s cabal offers to bring meals to the mourning family. Inevitably, one of the meals is assigned to your spouse. Suddenly worry and “what ifs” arrive and free food becomes foul.
Your spouse will worry that the food she serves you (lasagna bricks and take-n-bake pizzas) won’t be good enough for the neighbor. Their free meal also has to include salad, home-made bread, dessert (you don’t get any because you’re dieting) and a beverage; otherwise “it just wouldn’t be a meal.” She worries the hand rolled sole fillets topped with seasoned scallops and crabmeat she made will be dry or cause an allergic reaction in one of the neighbor kids. She agonizes over timing the delivery to ensure the food arrives piping hot and frets that Glad-Ware won't be as acceptable as the traditional Tupperware.
Finally, the appointed day arrives and your kitchen is filled with baking, basting and broiling. Your wife makes two extra trips to grocery store to acquire the just the right herbs and fresh vegetables (“after all, it wouldn’t be a meal . . .”). Finally, the meal is prepared and packaged for delivery. Anxiously you set your own table because you think you’ll soon be feasting on sole fillets, scallops, crabmeat, fresh bread and maybe if you’re lucky, some dessert.
You help your wife load ALL the food into the car so she can "Danica Patrick" hot and fresh to the neighbors. Suddenly you realize there aren’t any sole fillets, scallops, crabmeat, fresh breads or desserts left for you—just dirty pots and pans. And worse, since your wife is exhausted from slaving in the kitchen all day, your chances for getting some “compassionate service” of your own vanished with your dinner. Dejectedly you break out the mini-wheats, curse “free food” and the neighbor’s stupid dog.