I’ve written a whole bunch about my first date with J. If you scroll way back on the blog to practically the very beginning, you can read about it in depth if you’d like. But this post is about our second date, and about who J is, and about his amazing consistency and how much I’m still totally in love with him and that particular part of him after nearly 16 years.
First, a little background on J.
I’ve mentioned before that J is a lot like Jimmy Chitwood from the movie Hoosiers. That’s because J really did grow up in rural Indiana. And a consequence of this other than wholesome farm boy good looks and steadfast Midwestern integrity is that he’s not a very adventurous eater. J grew up considering pizza from a chain delivery joint as Italian food. He hadn’t tried much international or fusion style cuisine when we’d met. In fact, he hadn’t tried any at ALL until he was an adult working on his own, spending a lot of time away from home with a bunch of people who didn’t grow up in rural Indiana. And he’s not exactly a master chef either. (Check out the post Peanut Butter. Seriously.) So he wasn’t experimenting at restaurants or in the kitchen. Our first date was at a TGI Fridays. Not to insult Fridays (it’s still my favorite cheesecake), but they are a fairly tame and safe first date place. Everybody will like something there. It’s not a horizon broadening kind of a place to eat.
I’ve also written before about how J pays attention to me. He always has. He paid attention to the information I wrote on my dating site profile. Not just ‘woman seeking man’ and not even just ‘college educated feminist seeking committed relationship,’ but details like ‘loves to cook and addicted to watching shows starring celebrity chefs’ and ‘used to work at a high end catering service.’
He surmised that *I* was an adventurous eater. So as our first date was winding down (and I had *already* fallen really hard for him), J said, “I’d like to take you out again. Soon. Saturday?” Um…YES! “Do you like Chinese food? <I nodded here> *I* like Chinese food! <He sounded so proud of himself when he said it…it was adorable.> I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago with some friends at work. Where’s your favorite place to get Chinese food? Let’s go there.”
That’s where we went on our second date. J hadn’t tried any Chinese food until he was 31 years old, only a few weeks before I found him online. J ordered General Tso’s chicken on our second date, and told me the story of how he’d ordered that on his first try of Chinese food, based on friends’ recommendations, and that he really liked it, but they didn’t tell him not to actually EAT those hot pepper pods that come in that dish. He learned that the hard way. We laughed. He liked his meal at the place I suggested too. We go back there fairly often on date nights. We’ve celebrated some birthdays and anniversaries there. J has since tried lots of other dishes. And he’s eaten Japanese and Greek and Mexican food for the first time since we met (and now he likes them). He’s even traveled TO China for work once (he survived, but he did eat more than his fair share of granola bars on that trip).
Anyway, when J came home from his bike trip a bit early, we had a couple of free days together while The Boy was at school, and on one of those days, we took a motorcycle ride together, and we went out to lunch at ‘our’ Chinese place. The same place that we ate on our second date. (Yeah…it’s still there.) The same place we’ve celebrated some milestones together.
I like that J and I have ‘our’ places. I know a lot of people would think that a foodie like me would constantly want to try somewhere new, and I do enjoy trying new places and new dishes, but…there’s some real comfort and security knowing that we’ve been together long enough and have enough in common…we like enough of the same things…to have ‘our’ places. There are a few restaurants that we frequent and think of as ‘our places’ because of J’s consistency. These places are familiar, but they aren’t boring. And they aren’t only nostalgic for me. When we go there, I remember our past visits there, but we also make new memories every time. This trip to ‘our’ Chinese place we talked about how The Boy has begun playing the violin and he’s doing really well adjusting in middle school. And while we were having that discussion, I could remember J telling me that story about eating the whole hot pepper pod on our second date. That’s something special, isn’t it? I think it is.
This is maybe a bit of a rambling post, but I felt like sharing my long history of love with J, a man who cares what I like…who’s grown with me and gotten more adventurous since we’ve been together…but who also can make me feel safer and more comfortable than anybody else, no matter where we are, and who never gets tiresome or dull, no matter how many times we go to the same familiar place.
This was my fortune inside the fortune cookie the last time we went to ‘our’ Chinese place.
I normally don’t buy into this type of thing. But this one? Because of J?