Remember waaaay back at the beginning of the Rational Living year when all the household members predicted that the self-imposed limitations on eating out would be the hardest part? And then in February I blogged this entry:
We are all surprised at how manageable the transition to reduced restaurant visitation has been.
It was like we were some bad-ass non-eating out ninjas who could quickly and silently whip up an easy dinner in the chaos of the day. Only a half-hour to eat between getting home and piano lessons? No problem! Running errands that conflict with lunch time? Just grab some snacks to tide us over until we eat a real meal at home.
Yeah, that was so February.
In the past few weeks we've definitely been experiencing a backslide in this category. An extra dinner out. Grabbing a quick sandwich while out shopping (who can resist the $5 foot-long with that catchy song?). And I was beginning to feel guilty about this slide, because we originally planned to reduce our allotted rationing points on the weeks we went out and because I'm very quick to feel guilt (seriously, it's amazing I'm not more religious with how quickly I can feel at blame even if I'm not).
We had decided to reduce our ration points during eating-out weeks because I had read in several sources general comments about how during WWII rationing consumers had to turn over ration points for meals eaten in restaurants. This made sense, since eating in restaurants would be an easy way to supplement rationing if points weren't involved.
So I did a little more research to see just how justified my guilt was for our recent transgressions. I had a hard time finding any specific information until I found this little gem. It's an article from the May 5, 1943 Wichita Eagle entitled, "Persons Eating Regularly At Cafes, Institutions, Must Pay Ration Points." Finally! Here was a historical source that would accurately admonish our current behavior and set us on a straight and righteous path when it comes to eating out during the rationing year!
The article clearly concludes:
OPA regulations state that all persons who consume eight or more meals a week in a restaurant, hotel dining room, hospital or institution which has registered as an institutional user of processed food, meat, and fats, shall surrender their ration books to the owner or operator of such places of business, and stamps will be removed by the management for the periods which stamps are currently valid. The books in turn will be turned back to their owners at the expiration of the period which the persons are receiving meals in such institutions. [bold added]
What? What? What? Eight or more meals a week? What? Seriously? You don't have to surrender ration points unless your eating eight or more meals out a week? I don't think I've ever eaten eight times out in a one week period, in my whole life!
Oh hell. Let me tell you, dear reader, that that foot-long sandwich is gonna taste a whole lot better without the extra side of guilt.