Readers, you might recall the last time I saw M___ he was making off with “my” Szechuan broccoli in garlic sauce (with brown rice). Before his great escape we’d made plans for dinner for the coming Sunday at 6pm.
Well, Sunday came and at 4pm I received a call from M___; he was running ahead of schedule and would be over in 20 minutes. I took stock of my un-showered self and a living room where drying laundry hung from every imaginable surface. “Sure thing!” I replied. Then, like a bat out of hell, I stuffed laundry into closets and cabinets and jumped into the shower.
As I was in a frenzy of cleaning I hadn’t the time to forage for food and by 4pm was subsisting on a banana and cup of coffee. I’d literally been massaging my belly in an effort to trick it into thinking a meal was coming soon.
M___ arrived looking calm and dapper in a light grey pressed shirt. I pushed my bangs off my face and ushered him into the living room, kicking a nip toy under the coffee table on the way. Then I asked him if he was hungry.
“Yeh, but I hate paying for food when I have so much at home,” he said. “But what do you want to do?”
Digging the heel of my hand into my stomach in an effort to suppress the growling sound I said, “Well, it’s hard to eat without spending money.”
He began back peddling, “I just mean I don’t want to spend a lot of money.”
Judging from the reaction to my last post, many of you would now be ushering M___ into a cab while stopping off at the corner pizza joint for a slice. But consider this: M___ was a tall, good-looking guy with a visibly rocking body. A hot-blooded male in my living room! How could I just give him the boot?
But why was it that all I could think of was food?
Food has always been an important part of life. When friends and I plan to get hang out, we first decide what we feel like eating. Then the process of negotiating where to meet begins. It might be a new place we’ve wanted to check out or an old standby where we know the perfect spicy margarita (fresh lime, lots of salt) and guacamole awaits us.
My friends and I use food to explore the city. I recall one of the first times I ventured into Brooklyn was the summer Nan and I researched the “best of” BBQ, Lemonade and burgers in Fort Greene.
When I announced to my friends I would no longer be eating meat, a multitude of my carnivore buddies were distraught. Was it the end of enjoying good meals together? Would the foundation of our friendship be challenged? Thankfully we were able to get past it and our friendships survived. But it was dicey there for a while.
Didn’t it make sense that I wanted in a boyfriend the same thing I wanted in my friends? Someone to partake in and appreciate the genius of white corn ravioli with a drizzle of truffle oil? A partner with whom to brave the hinterlands of Brooklyn on a quest for the best lobster roll.
Or should I just face the fact that if I continued see M____ I’d have to start eating before our dates?
Back in the apartment I decided the time had come for M____ to show his true colors. I handed him my laptop and suggested he find a place for dinner while I put laundry in the dryer. In the elevator I did some deep breathing, and while doing so, realized my pants felt baggy. My stomach did look a bit concave.
I prayed my date came up with a brilliant dinner option. For his sake and mine.