I Call It Dating. You Call It Stalking.

My brief love affair

Sunday night I went out for a quick dinner at Chili’s. After our meal, our server presented us with our bill, which had one of those survey requests. Fill out a survey online and get entered into a drawing for $1000! Our server was very personable and very friendly, so I decided that I would actually go home and fill out the online survey, for the first time ever.

The survey started off normally:

1. I enjoyed my experience at Chili’s.
2. I would recommend Chili’s to a friend.
3. I would come back to Chili’s for my next meal.

The options for every numbered item were “Strongly Disagree”, “Disagree”, “Neither Agree nor Disagree”, “Agree”, “Strongly Agree”, and “No Opinion”.

I chose “Strongly Agree” for each of them and clicked next. The statements got a little bit stranger.

4. Chili’s is a place I think of whenever I’m hungry.
5. Chili’s is somewhere I can get something I can’t get anywhere else.
6. My experience at Chili’s was the highlight of my day.

I selected “Strongly Agree”, “Strongly Agree”, and “Neither Agree Nor Disagree”, then clicked next.

7. Chili’s food is exciting and amazing.
8. The atmosphere at Chili’s is inviting and welcoming.
9. I love Chili’s.

Wait, what? I love Chili’s? What type of survey is this? Am I about to enter into a committed relationship with a restaurant and all I have to do is say those three sweet little words? Is this worth getting one measly chance to win $1000? Am I ready for this type of commitment already?

At that point, I decided not to continue the survey. But had I forged ahead, I can only imagine what would have been next:

10. Chili’s fulfills all of the needs I have in a restaurant.
11. I have no problem eating at the same restaurant for the rest of my life.
12. I understand that going through the drive-through at Burger King would be cheating.
13. Of course I think that Chili’s has an attractive decor and entry way.
14. No, the new signage does not make Chili’s look too large.
15. Yes, Chili’s food is fulfilling, but sometimes I just want to skip the appetizer and go right to the entree.
16. No, I’m not avoiding meeting Chili’s parent company. I’m just busy sometimes.
17. I just stopped at Friendly’s for dessert. It was harmless!
18. What do you mean, I can’t come into Chili’s just wearing my day-old boxers?
19. Fine!
20. I’m moving into TGI Friday’s!

I think I dodged a bullet.

A blogger I’ve read for a while now, Kat, is undergoing some very radical surgery today. If it goes successfully, she won’t be able to turn her head either way for the rest of her life. Go read more about the surgery over at Mindy’s Soapbox, and then go give Kat some happy thoughts. She will have a hard time raising her two sons after this, so there is a donate button if you’re so inclined.

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44 Replies to “My brief love affair”

  1. Grant

    I’m sure if you had continued you would have come across text with hypnotic HTML suggestions. “You like Chili’s, don’t you? You will spend all of your time and money there, won’t you? In fact, you will just go ahead and have your paycheck forwarded to us, right? Input your credit card information in the following text box. Come…join us…don’t be afraid.”

  2. whall


    – do you agree not to bring mcDonald’s into the establishment and expect to eat food from both restaurants?

    – will you still love me when I’m just an OldTimer with Cheese?

    – The longer you dine here at Chili’s, I expect you to bus your own table.

    – no, I specifically said ‘gratuity’ not ‘gratuitous’

    – is that skillet bean queso in your shorts or are you just REALLY surprised to see me?

    – how interested are you in a Triple Play appetizer?

  3. BlondeBlogger

    Hahahaha! That’s awesome! Chili’s: “Do you like me? Check yes or no.”

    That’s heartbreaking about Kat. Will go send her good thoughts. My husband is facing spinal surgery (disc fusion or replacement) and his movement will be more limited. I’m worried sick about it so I can’t even begin to imagine what Kat is going through with hers being that severe.

  4. Little Miss Sunshine State

    You know if you move into TGIFriday’s, Chili’s will be dragging your ass into court every year for more money?
    It will want money to pay for the kid’s gymnastics camp, $85 jeans and a laptop for the 4th grader. It will need more money for the kid’s braces and 1/2 of the YMCA membership and swim classes.
    My brother moved out of Chili’s a few years ago and it continues to be very expensive. :banghead:

  5. Blondefabulous

    While living in Memphis, Chili’s ran a promotion for ribs made in several different styles. My, then 8 year old, daughter LOVES ribs. We went there and this tiny, adorable girl with huge eyes and loooong eye lashes tells the server…”Please mister, I’d like the two full slabs of baby backs, okay?” The server say alright, and brings her the dinner made for a full sized adult. She proceeds to demolish the ENTIRE thing! By the time the server comes back around with a box he thought my daughter would need, the dinner is nothing more than a pile of bones on the plate. THEN SHE ASKED THE MAN TO SEE A DESSERT MENU. That’s my girl!!!

    Yeah, I’d say my daughter LOVES Chilis.

  6. Miss Britt

    Just like a man – “Oh, fine! I’ll just move into TGIFridays!” instead of sticking around to make it work with Chilli’s!

    And where do you go when TGIFridays gets old and wrinkly and her boobs start to sag? HUH? HUH?!?!?!?

  7. Robin

    I’m pretty committed to TGI Fridays but it’s kind of a lot of work and sometimes I just want an easy meal. Oh and every once and a while I want to move it up a notch with The Cheesecake Factory…yeah there is a long line and it’s a lot of money but it makes me feel special.

  8. Evil Genius

    I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Chilis. They are a little too needy, and they are right next door to Fridays so when they see my car over there they are rude and distant to me when I come back. I’m thinking it might be time to make a break.

  9. Steph

    Good thing you stopped before Chili’s faked a suicide attempt to try and guilt you into staying.

    Not that I would personally know about doing that. In the past decade anyway.

    P.S. – Oh, and “Chili’s food is exciting and amazing”? Really? Who writes these things?

  10. NYCWD


    Been there.

    Done that.

    I’ve moved on to more playful fare more suiting of my mental age group.

    I’m all about Big Mac‘s special sauce today.

    Now if only I could get it as a Happy Meal I’d be alright.

  11. Avitable

    Danalyn, I like Friday’s chicken tenders.

    Grant, the background was all swirly and there was soothing music playing, too.

    Sybil, Chili’s won’t stop harassing me!

    Othurme, I know!

    Amanda, jezebel.

    Wayne, bus my own table – what’s the point of this relationship?

    Blondeblogger, someday cyborg bodies will be available to all of us.

    BE Earl, I just wasn’t ready, man.

    LMSS, I’m glad I broke it off before it got to that point.

    Jay, no, it’s them, not you.

    Andria, why am I an ass? I mean, specifically?

    Cris, the rear entrance is boarded up tight!

    Faiqa, I was lucky I got out of that relationship early.

    Crystal, I haven’t updated that blogroll in forever. I use my feedreader. I’ll fix it.

    Manager Mom, semen, actually.

    Blondefabulous, that’s a girl after my own heart, except for the eating ribs on the bone part.

    Hello, exactly! Does this mean I can’t even look at a saucy Brazilian steakhouse?

    Britt, I’ll just have to keep my ear to the ground to see what young, new restaurants are out there.

    SciFi Dad, how’d you guess?

    Selma, I wanted to give props to the cute waitress, though.

    Spin, you’re lucky – you could have gotten yourself locked into a relationship.

    Elizabeth, I should explore this open relationship thing.

    Evil Genius, I think Chili’s is a crazy bitch!

    Finn, I know. Did you see that I wrote it as “drive-through”?

    Pare, she’s got a nice rack, though.

    Steph, the survey was ridiculous – who writes “I love Chili’s”?

    NYCWD, at Friendly’s, they give a Happy Ending. Much better.

  12. Poppy

    I loved Chili’s in Vermont. The one near our old location in Queens… not so much. More than once I was very close to punching the servers in the face who passive aggressively ignored us when I was already in I’LL GNAW YOUR FUCKING ARM OFF mode when I sat down. Where we are now I assure you there are no Chili’s. Guyanese? Yes. Want some Guyanese when you come to NYC? (YOU BETTER BE COMING TO NYC. I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND.)

  13. Avitable

    Rhea, it was a narrow escape indeed.

    Always Home, I think you just added to that delicious topping with your own concoction.

    Poppy, I don’t think I’m coming.

    John, I hire a staff of writers.

    Stephanie, I love Monte Cristo’s. Too bad most of the Bennigans are closing down now.

    Kapgar, nobody wants naked dining. That’s just a bad idea all around.

  14. michelle

    Would you believe i’ve never had a meal at Chili’s?

    And i do love bacon, but i do not eat meat anymore so i do not indulge in a piece of bacon!! I wouldn’t say forever but possibly for a very long time!!!

    I will go support Kat! What a scary thing but she is very brave girl!!


  15. martymankins

    I do the Chili’s surveys sometimes.. not all the time. I already know I’m not going to win, and I’ve never had a bad experience in the almost 20 years I’ve been going to Chili’s… but if I do, I know that each and every visit will have an opportunity to speak my mind.

    For the times I do fill out the survey, I always give a glowing review.

    And yes, no one wants naked dining… Ewww!

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