Are You Checking All the Ingredients?

I once enjoyed a fabulous vacation in France. It was our 25th wedding anniversary and we had saved carefully for three glorious weeks in that amazing land.

Food, of course, is one of the great pleasures of France. My then-wife and I quickly discovered, however, that our Ontario secondary school French was utterly unequal to the task of decoding the menus. We finally found a gastronomical French-English dictionary and made sure to bring it with us every time we dined.


Because you can like six out of the seven ingredients, but the seventh can turn out to be…snails. Or frog legs.

Well, actually, it turned out that I quite enjoyed both the snails and the frog legs I had in France. They are magicians with butter and garlic…

But the point remains: six out of seven isn’t good enough, as anyone with an allergy knows all too well.

Recently, I enjoyed a television program in which an older married couple, both of them highly successful professionals and loving parents, discuss their eldest daughter’s plan to get engaged rather quickly to her college sweetheart. They think well enough of the young man, but they are unnerved by how fast the relationship is moving.

They talk a bit about options, but quickly agree on the only sensible course of action: “Well, of course they should live together first.”

This counsel is simply obvious to them—despite the dismal statistics regarding the relative success of couples who live together before marriage versus those who don’t. And what’s remarkable in this case is that the screenwriters clearly expect the audience immediately to agree as well. The matter is literally beyond debate as the scene ends and the camera cuts away to something else.