Location: Brooklyn Heights, NY
Scene of the Crime: La Traviata Restaurant
I was sitting at a cramped table in the back of my favorite restaurant with two good friends who, for the duration of this conversation, will be referred to as ‘Frankie’ and ‘Annette’ (of course they’re aliases). It was a Friday night after a long day of work.
Somewhere in between our second and third glasses of house wine, the hysterics broke out. Yes folks, it doesn’t take much for us (i.e. we are CHEAP dates). No, seriously, wine will do that -open Pandora’s Box. Every thought jumps out of your head and starts slapping you silly. Think not? Then come on down and watch; I guarantee you a show. We know we could get at least five bucks outta you, and that’s just about enough to cover another glass of wine.
Then came the moment of truth - the food arrived! Our lovely waitress sat before Frankie a plate filled with Porchetta on a bed of fettuccine, soaking in red sauce. Annette was served Calamari with linguine in a sweet tomato sauce, and for your stunning storyteller: Baked chicken on a bed of angel hair pasta doing backstrokes in the lemon-garlic sauce, little piles of pasta taking swim breaks on banks of ricotta cheese and chives.
First bite and I swear the pasta curled up and started massaging my back. The meal is so good that Frankie was later found leaning back in his chair, head against the wall, eyes closed . Annette was discovered moaning and repeating the words, “Why, why, why,”. While I am reminded of similar sensations; mid-summer in the kitchen cutting up ripe mango's, it’s fleshy pulp sliding through my fingers, the juice running down my arm - the stickiness.
Now, all I have to say is that when food starts doing this to you, it’s a warning sign. Get yourself a man, a woman, get something! Cause you’re just one step away from the vapors and they can knock you out.
See, I figure it this way: when food starts taking you places, giving you strange romantic-type notions, it’s because you’re missing a vital thing - companionship. If you've arrived at this place then you’ve probably noticed yourself become a slave to the #1 signs of loneliness: Ben and Jerry’s. You’re making one too many stops at the drug store and it ain’t for pantyhose; you are a willing participant in any “Buy three candy bars-get one free!” deal.
There is a void in your love life and you’re looking to fill it with Mister Right or Misses Right, or maybe just a Mr. or Ms. I’m-Comfortable-With.
You are vulnerable so please proceed with caution, because at times like this we are bound to make mistakes. Like, when you thought that last piece of cake at your cousin’s wedding would make you feel better. Puh-LEASE.
Good and healthy food - not unlike a good partner - can be filling. It can make you moan and leave you satisfied, but sometimes you can get a bad meal from an awfully good restaurant. It’s what I like to refer to as an “off night”. Give all restaurants leeway for this, but if they continually produce bad meals then you simply must eat someplace else. I think you know what I’m trying to convey. I know this is hard, when he or she…oops, I’m sorry we’re using metaphors here. What I meant to say was - I know this is hard - it’s your favorite place and you love that old jukebox that has those great song selections. But if the songs never change and the records start skipping, will you still keep feeding it quarters?
Be careful and don’t let your heart make all the decisions; use that noggin that God gave you. Having doubts? Don’t push them aside - investigate and weed the crazy ones out! Or else you’ll wind up like my friend.
There she was in the passenger seat of her date’s car, the destination supposedly a surprise. At a toll booth, her date throws the toll out of his window; it misses the basket, rolls under the car and when she goes into her purse to get another for him, he says, “Are you crazy? You think I’m gonna lose a perfectly good token? Just get out, lay down flat, reach under the car and get it for me, will ya?”
That type of insanity is just not worth a trip to Atlantic City, which is where they wound up, which is where she ditched him in Sam’s Salt Water Taffy Shack, hailed a cab and rushed home. That should never have happened. Not when a few simple questions would have saved her from humiliation and an expensive cab ride. Oh, and remember that these are not intended to provide rock-solid solutions to your dating disasters, but they are complied from friends who’ve had their fair share of loonies.
1. Do mental health problems/issues run in your family?
2. When I say the word, NO are you receiving mixed signals?
3. Do you have a jealous, prison bound or recently paroled ex?
4. What’s your favorite Vegetable? (Though I have never heard this being a way to determine mental unbalances, Frankie assures me that crazy people eat certain vegetables and that he’s known too many to be wrong. You can email me for a pocket sized laminated list for quick reference use at restaurants at firstname.lastname@example.org).
5. What’s your favorite color? (Yet another questionable theory, which makes me wonder if I should re-evaluate FRANKIE’S stability. Anyway, he says to beware, most unstable people know this one and will lie in a desperate attempt to protect themselves. “A foolproof way to be sure is to observe what color clothing they constantly wear,” he said. To this I said, “Well, won’t that take some time? You could be bound and gagged by then (and not in a good way).” He shrugged his shoulders. So now I’m guessing this one is not so foolproof.)
This list may not be a great help, but I feel better since I put the word out. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good Ben & Jerry’s flavor try Chunky Monkey, and if you’re going to be by a drug store anytime soon could you pick me up a Twizzler, Snicker or a Kit-Kat combo?