On a recent night, after I’d spent the day being rather hormonally-heinous to my husband-to-be, we were winding down the evening with a glass of wine on the couch, and he said “I love you.”
“Why?”, I shot back, with a little bit of sarcasm. (I know when I’ve been bad…)
He thought about it for a moment. “I love how much you enjoy eating.”
Now, this gave me a chuckle. First, because it’s true. I’ve been known to hum, moan, dance, wiggle, and sigh with pleasure while consuming something I find delicious, beautiful, or particularly satisfying. But I also just thought it was a silly answer to a silly girl’s question. Who loves somebody, even in part, because they enjoy eating? You can love someone for their morals, their kindness, their humor, etc. But their level of expressed delight over a delicately arranged connoli and foaming cappuccino? Surely that’s just extra fluff..
But now that I’ve had a chance to reflect a little more on his answer, I don’t think it’s so silly after all. If we just skim the surface of his response: a girl who loves to eat = a girl who knows how to enjoy one of life’s great pleasures. Might that enjoyment translate to other areas? Perhaps, ahem, the bedroom? Could we draw a comparison between a lady who picks at her iceberg lettuce and shredded carrot, primly placing her fork down on the table and dabbing at her pursed lips with a cloth napkin between bites…and a dame who douses her antipasto with dripping olive oil and sucks salty, thinly sliced prosciutto off of dewey melon slices with a deep, desirous, visceral hunger…
I just got a little warm.
Have you ever seen the scene in Flashdance where Alex eats the lobster? (You have to be at least 18 to watch it on YouTube.) You’ll see what I mean. Men draw an analogy between the way a woman eats and the way she…well…expresses herself in other ways. Remember this the next time you think a man will be turned off on a date if you slurp your spaghetti. You might find the opposite to be true. Unless he’s a pathetic excuse for a man, in which case, you don’t want him anyway. Only dogs like playing with bones.
On a deeper level, I know my husband-t0-be loves that we can experience the activity of eating and all that comes with it…together. He enjoys that we can sit side by side in a restaurant and share dishes, and is excited when I’m game to try new things (quail eggs, raw oysters) with him. Our trips out to eat involve lots of “Try a sip of this wine.”, “You have to taste this!”, “Try some of this sauce with that..”, and the like. Giving and taking. Sharing. Feeding each other bites from our forks. The other night, we shared a delicious Portuguese-style calamari appetizer (chorizo, banana peppers, saffron sauce, oh my), and at least three times thoughout our meal he expressed how much he loves it that we like to eat the same foods, and that he doesn’t have to miss out on eating things he wants to try because my food-window is too restrictive.
So now I understand that his response to my question wasn’t silly or joking at all. Thanks to our openness (and big appetites), eating together has become one more activity where we can bond, find common ground, and grow closer together.
Not everyone has the same palate of course, but if variety is the spice of life (and I believe it is) then try something new once in awhile. You never know what you might love, or who might be finding your openness and enjoyment a lovable quality in you.
“Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.” -Sophia Loren