Thursday, July 26, 2007

How I Used Food to Get a Date

Some people say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I think the same can be said for a woman’s heart. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like cooking a good meal.

In my last post, on how I became a Mormon Foodie, I mentioned a recipe book that the local Relief Society had published. There was a recipe in there for a killer marinara sauce that I used to make for the girls I was dating, including the one I married.

With her, I went all out.

I was twenty-two and had come back from military service about a year or so prior. In order to pay my way, I had become was a licensed EMT, working at a nursing home, and was getting ready to go to college. At the time I was also living with my parents, paying them “rent” money. As long as I was going to school they were fine with me living there and helping out. Who was I to argue about such a sweet arrangement?

My Future Wife (MFW) and I had met on a blind date set up by her brother, and had been dating for a while. One day, I called her up asked if she’d like to go to my favorite Italian restaurant, and then to a movie. Her common sense having somehow left her, she agreed to go out with me.

When the time came, I drove to her house to pick her up. She was her typical vision of loveliness – blonde hair, green eyes. She was to 'sigh for' in a nice blouse and pair of slacks. I’d told MFW we were going someplace special.

After seating her in my car, an old grey Chevette hatchback that I thought was much cooler than it really was, and took her back to my house. I had arranged for my folks to be out of the house and we had the place to ourselves.

Taking her into the house, I revealed the ‘restaurant.’ I had set up a card table in the living room, complete with candles and a checkered table cloth. I set it with the best china my parent’s had. MFW gave me a look somewhere between, “This is interesting.” and, “What have I gotten myself into?”

After seating her, and making small talk, I told her I needed to go check on the waiter. I scurried away, took off my sport coat, donned an apron, a false mustache, and grabbed the menus I’d created for the evening. Heading back I acted like the typical Italian American stereotype, speaking in a really bad Italian accent and waving my hands like a madman. I offered her the menu, and asked where her boyfriend had run off too. She gave me ‘the look’ again, but played along.

The menu only included the things I had prepared for the meal, or course. Spaghetti with marinara sauce, green salad with her choice of dressing, and some kind of sherbet based dessert. That’s all I’d done so she’d have to take it or leave it. I even wrote that in the menu.

After pouring some water, the ‘waiter’ went back to the kitchen and ‘I’ reemerged. We chatted a bit about the ‘waiter,’ and, after she’d made her selection (given the range of her choices this didn’t take very long), I went off again to ‘find the delinquent waiter.’

This went on a few more times, with the ‘waiter’ complaining to her about how her boyfriend was a louse for leaving her alone in such a crowded restaurant, and ‘me’ wondering why the service was so slow.

The meal was a hit! It turned out very well and MFW complimented me at all the right times. After cleaning things up a bit (I didn’t want to leave a mess for my folks to clean up), we took off for the movies.

We both had a great time but, to be honest, I don’t remember what movie we went to see.

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