Food and Chaime go together like ice cream and mustard- most people will recoil and cringe, but chances are you're going to meet someone who enjoys it just as much as you do and you'll both live happily ever after in fairy tale land. Until then, however, I particularly enjoy dates that do not involve food because it lessens my chances to embarrass myself through a combination of food choices and eating habits.
Almost a year ago I went on a date with someone we'll nickname "Tall Guy" (or TG for short, because he was 6'5''), and from the very beginning it was doomed. When we met, he had to practically carry my inebriated self down to the BART station and make sure I didn't throw up or fall asleep, or miss my train. The second date we went to a nice Moroccan restaurant my friend Kiki had taken me to before, and one of the waiters came up and made conspicuous winks, thumbs up-ed our dinner and told us he was going to dim the lights to "set the mood." The second date, we went to a crappy bar in the Mission and an amazing mexican place for a late night soak-up-the-alcohol snack. It was during this excursion that, with my mouth open, I exclaimed how delicious the burrito was and food kept falling out of my mouth. I am so classy.
The icing on the cake, though, would have to be the time we went to a very high end restaurant called Top of the Mark in Nob Hill. A beautiful hotel with a gorgeous view overlooking the city on a clear night is the perfect way to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Well, that's what it's intended to do.
The night started, as all bad dates do, on a terrible note. My boss' boss called me at 5:45 to tell me that the printers in every other office in the Bay Area have all simultaneously broken down, and we had a major conference the next day and needed to print things out. Of course, I was also the only one left in the office, and there were two reports I had to print out (10 and 12 pages apiece, respectively), 250 copies of one, 350 of another. For the next two hours I tirelessly ran around the office trying to speed the process up; one printer even kept breaking down. "Maybe we should plan this for another night...", he said. "NO! I mean...no it's okay, I'm looking forward to it. I just want to make sure my company knows that I'm dedicated to my job so that I don't get fired randomly."
Somehow I caught a ride to the BART station with one of my coworkers who always stays late, and frantically ran up the stairs, bought my ticket, and nearly killed myself running down the stairs as well. I can't remember, but I think I missed that train, too. Once arriving at the Powell Street Station, I could tell that the one day I forgot to wear deodorant was a bad idea. Also, there are about a million exits, I couldn't navigate myself out of a box if my life depended on it, and total time traveling and working I ended up being 3 1/2 hours late to my date.
Forgiveness aside, we catch a cab to the hotel and take the long flight up the elevator to the top. Upon arrival I see that the general manager of Top of the Mark is an old boss of mine, whom I developed a lovely aquantianceship with during my short tenure at my ex place of business. When we sat down at a table with a gorgeous view, we ordered our drinks (on the house, courtesy of my wonderful ex boss) and got started with the evening.
Not changing the subject, but during this particular period in my life, I was under heavy amounts of stress and thus stopped eating as a result. I lost 15 pounds and would drink myself under the table, frequently passing out in bar bathrooms and vomiting all over the place. I'm not going to lie when I say I'm a tad ashamed at my behavior, but when you let your exboyfriend take the car that you paid for, was in your name, out of the goodness of your heart because he threatened to hurt himself everytime you tried taking it away from him, as long as the deal remained that he would drive you to and from work everyday, then chances are you're going to develop some kind of unhealthy addiction. Mine was alcoholism combined with accidental anorexia. It's not that I wouldn't eat, it's that I couldn't-big difference, but anorexia nonetheless.
So in my state of mind, if I ever got hungry I would immediately order something, anything, it didn't matter because I had food in my stomach. The item on the menu I wanted was (you guessed it), strawberries dipped in chocolate.
Do you eat these on a regular basis? Does anyone know the reason why they pick steroid, beefed up strawberries? Does trying to bite into it, with chocolate dropping onto your plate and constant napkin use sound like a sexy food item to you? Because it isn't. It's like going to a sushi restaurant and ordering a roll that requires two bites to get down--it's the oddest thing you'll have to do--eat a roll in two bites when the second bite is just picking up the pieces that have strewn all over your plate. This is not the intention of the roll. You don't eat a roll in two bites. You eat it in one. How many times in the paragraph do I have to illustrate this? Do I need to include a picture?
This goes for strawberries, too. Not fun. The purpose is to delicately place a small, chocolate dipped strawberry into the mouth of your loved one, and eat. Not trying to cup your hand under their chin to make sure everything that falls off doesn't go straight to either the table or the floor. Suddenly the two of you aren't laughing, but sort of forcing yourselves to make some kind of noise as to not make the other think that this is just the worst date you've been on, ever.
Also, to Top of the Mark; the lack of lighting is great to set the mood, but please turn on just a small amount of light, and your plates to not feel like the table. Because when we got up to go swing dancing (which I lied about being able to do, when turns out he's an amazing swing dancer), you realize that your entire forearm is covered in chocolate, and spend the next 5 minutes trying to wipe off hard, dried chocolate and accidentally knocking silverware and plates off the table.