Choosing where to take your parents for dinner is a tricky task. Your dad always complains about noise levels, so that rules out any restaurant with piped music or an open kitchen. Meanwhile Mum can't deal with communal tables, low lighting, cryptic menus, or small plates. A lot of the time, it's easiest to admit defeat and head for the nearest PizzaExpress.
However fussy your parents may be when eating out, it's nothing compared to Dan Nicholson's experience. His mum recently took to social media to post a scathing takedown of his choice of restaurant.
Last week Nicholson accompanied his mum to The Egg Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Liverpool, to celebrate his A Level results. Despite the restaurant regularly receiving glowing reviews (which is more than can be said for some vegan cafes), Nicholson's mum was less than impressed.
In a public shaming of her son's meat-free lifestyle, she wrote a Facebook status tagged at the cafe, saying: "Why can't I have a normal teenage son who enjoys burgers, pizza, n God forbid chicken kebab hey ho vegetarian restaurant n spicey lentils it is oh yum, going to hug a tree next [sic]."
Nicholson tweeted an image of the post and it soon went viral, receiving more than 2,000 retweets and 15,000 likes. Many vegan Twitter users replied with similar stories of disapproval from carnivorous parents. One wrote: "Okay my family would never post it online but they complained exactly like that when i took them to the veggie grill [sic]"
But Nicholson's mum's Facebook outburst may not be as scathing as it sounds. Speaking to MUNCHIES, Nicholson said that it was meant as more of a light hearted critique.
"My mum does like to post stuff like that on Facebook, she does rate herself as a bit of a joker and this post was hardly an exception. She shouldn't have been totally surprised [about my restaurant choice] considering I haven't eaten meat for the best part of a year, but usually we just go to meat-friendly places that have veggie options," he explained. "I personally didn't expect the huge response I've got, which mostly seems to be either 'Serves you right for eating meat' from people that can't understand it's a joke, or (well deserved) praise for The Egg Cafe."
And it turns out, she did like the food.
Nicholson continued: "She really enjoyed the food! She had the bean burger with some vegan mayonnaise. She's definitely grown more used to not eating meat, probably because of the amount of times she's had to cook for me, poor lady! I really hope she does [become vegetarian] but alas I can't see it any time soon, or any tree hugging for that matter."