(idea submitted by Jenny B.)
It is a well document cultural phenomenon that Jewish Young Adult exhibit a strong tendency to order “special” meals at restaurants; meaning they display a high proclivity toward augmenting or adjusting existing items on any given menu to suit their liking. But there is also a secondary, more subtle, offshoot of this trend, whereby the JYA will simply send back food if they are not satisfied.
Whereas those JYAs who order “special” meals will tirelessly harass/irritate restaurant wait staff until they are satisfied, those JYAs who send back food simply cannot be bothered with arguing and appeasing until their meal is made to their liking, and instead prefer to quell potential altercations by disengaging entirely.
For example, JYA “Tessa” was recently disappointed with her Skim Extra Foam Caramel Macchiato at her local Starbucks on the Upper East Side. After taking one sip of the beverage, Tessa cut in line, returned the frothy cup to the pimpled teen behind the counter and stated vehemently that she demanded her money back, citing that the coffee was “not hot enough”. The teen immediately offered to brew Tessa another concoction, but Tessa refused, stating loudly “I don’t have time for your incompetence. I’m a paralegal in Midtown and I have stuff to do”, and stormed out.
It is hotly debated if sending back food emerged as a cultural singularity before or after ordering “special” meals. Current research suggests that sending back food predated ordering “special” meals, as the restaurant industry only became capable of making “special” meals in the late Seventies. Therefore, sending back food is an idiosyncrasy for JYAs that they share both with Jewish Adults and even with Jewish Elders, and is sometimes even a comforting commonality.
It is important to note that if a Non Jew is ever in the presence of a JYA who sends back food, it is not recommended to offer some of your own, as this would only irritate the JYA even more. Even though etiquette would hint at sharing your meal with the frustrated JYA, the Non Jew is advised to agree immediately with the JYA that the establishment does not deserve their money/time and suggest going to a different location.