There are moments in life when food doesn’t matter. It’s hard for me to admit that, but it’s true. Some of those moments are so bad that your appetite just disappears. When you find out that your cat is sick and he’s not going to get better, I can promise that you won’t be hungry.
But there’s a flip side. It happens when things are so great that you forget food even exists. A phone call to let you know that you got the job. A mind-blowing solo at a concert that you accidentally wandered into. Watching a kitten ride a rottweiler like a pony (does that ever happen?).
Food may figure in before or after, but in that exact time period, you’re singularly invested in whatever’s happening right in front of you, and everything else just disappears. For me, the best of those moments is when I realize I’m falling in love with somebody.
I hope you’ve had this feeling. It’s one of the greatest in the world. You’re having dinner with someone special and from the get-go, you feel like you’re the only people in the restaurant. You could be at a long, communal table overlooking the ocean with five incredible courses, but the setting is merely scenery and the food just a brief reminder that you’re not alone.
You could be sitting in the same booth for four hours and all of a sudden you look up to find the restaurant completely empty except for the server waiting patiently for you to pay your bill. Hell, you could be in a greasy spoon diner with kids running around you and still get lost in the twilight zone of love. No matter what the situation, I cherish the tunnel vision that comes from realizing that you and this other person are basically in suspended animation together.
You can’t plan for a date like that. It just happens and there’s nothing you can do to force it. Actually, if you’re trying for one of those lost-in-time dates, there’s a good chance you’ll never have one. That’s because they’re based entirely on fate. They’re Fate Dates®. I know when I’m on a Fate Date® because I get a different look in my eye. A gleam if you will. It’s a thousand-yard stare that says “I want to take this in, every second of it.” I’m trying to take mental snapshots of the whole night because I know that I’ll be thinking about it for days. Scratch that. I’ll be thinking about it for years.
I’ve only had a handful of dates that have gone this way. They’re incredibly rare, like a lucid dream. And just like a lucid dream, when you realize you’re in one, you just want to hold on for as long as you can. Believe me when I say that I truly love food, but I love the moments when someone makes me forget about food even more.