The other night, Hubby and I found ourselves childless, so we went out to a steakhouse to celebrate. Okay, maybe not celebrate, exactly, although, to me, any excuse not to cook is a reason to celebrate. Now I like a good steak, which generally can only be prepared properly by professionals who work at steakhouses. Somehow, the ones I try to make at home never come out the same. (We’re talking shoe leather.) But I can’t stand beef that is still bleeding and mooing. My meat has to be good and dead and brown. So when the waiter asked how I wanted it cooked, I said medium-well.

“I get it,” he said. “With just a little bit of pink?”

I squinted my eyes and pressed my thumb and finger together. “No more than that much.”

He assured me my wish was his command as he rushed away to put in our orders.

When my steak arrived, the only thing brown on it was the two millimeters on the outside. I cut into it, and I swear it bellowed. I am generally used to having my steak served rarer than I order it, but the large slab of pink meat was more than I could choke down. Reluctantly, I sent it back, once the waiter made an appearance a few minutes later.

I hate sending food back. Not only does everyone else enjoy their meal while I sit there starving or filling up on salad and baked potato, but I’m always afraid I’ll irritate the kitchen staff and they’ll drop my food on the floor or spit on it or something equally disgusting to get even.

A few minutes later, after Hubby was mostly finished with his steak, my steak returned. The waiter asked me to cut into it and see if it was better. As I did so, I would swear nothing had changed. Did the waiter just run it by the grill and back out to me? Did he set it by his water pitcher while he attended to other diners and then return it to me? Did the cooks think I would be deceived into thinking they’d actually put it next to fire? I was only drinking water, so fooling me was not so simple.

Wrestling with whether to just eat the raw meat or send it back a second time, I finally decided, doggone it, I wanted it the way I wanted it. I’m getting old and set in my ways. Besides, for the price I was paying for the steak, I felt I should have it my way, and we weren’t even at Burger King where having things your way is their motto.

“Look,” I said. “Take it back and burn it!”

The waiter’s eyebrows shot up. “Burn it?”

“Yes, burn it!”

Long after Hubby had finished his dinner, and my stomach was full of lettuce and potato, my steak came back for the second time, looking charred and shriveled. I cut into it. Brown. Yes!

“Perfect,” I pronounced, although I was no longer hungry. I ate a couple of bites, then asked for a to-go box.

The next morning, Hubby finished my steak for breakfast. Unfortunately, he likes his steaks medium-rare.