While we enjoyed a pretty short "Covid is over" window of normalcy this summer, meals with friends resumed in the most predictable way, having the exact same conversations and debates we had in 2019 and it was glorious. The biggest and hottest topic in my diverse group of friends has to be seafood, and beyond that the reason why they won't eat it.

I was born on the Gulf Coast. I lived on the Gulf Coast. A person cannot live near the ocean and simply not eat seafood. It just doesn't work that way. It may take a newbie weeks or months to have the realization that if it comes out of the ocean, it's delicious any which way it's prepared. While there's only one friend in the group that refuses to eat seafood because he doesn't know any better, everyone else wrestles with Lawton being so far from the ocean to enjoy natures bounty. Granted, being so far away makes for a slim selection, but therein lies the debate... Do you think Lawton is too far from the ocean to confidently order up something out of the sea?

Honestly, to not even try the seafood served at most restaurants here in town due to the Gulf being a whole state away makes me think these friends are just whiny little picky eaters that have grown tired of being thought of as lessthan for not wanting to eat "stinky" fish and junk. I think they've learned that by saying something like "We're too far from the ocean to chance it" they somehow come off as a smart diners.

I will give a caveat... Just because I feel comfortable eating the seafood at a handful of restaurants in town, that doesn't mean I'm always down for it. I trust the Orkin man when he tells me to steer clear of certain places. That's advice everyone should follow. But if I'm feeling some grilled shrimp would go good with my steak, or think scallops and squid might be the best appetizer for the group, I don't think Lawton is too far from the ocean. I mean, most seafood freezes beautifully, it's good to go for me. What do you think?

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