15 years. That’s how long my husband and I have been a couple. 14 years. That’s how long we’ve been living together. 13 years. That’s how long we’ve been married.
Our relationship began with food, so it seems only fitting to look back at the fifteen most memorable meals/snacks/beverages of our courtship.
- Cafe mocha. Our first date was at Starbucks. We couldn’t decide on a movie, so we sat and drank and talked. And we confirmed what we suspected - we really liked each other.
- Taco Bell by candlelight. We both lived at home so privacy wasn’t easily attained. One Saturday night, we had Paul’s house to ourselves. Being college students on a budget, we brought Taco Bell back to the house and ate it by candlelight.
- Steak and top ramen. This was Paul’s attempt at cooking dinner for me. A t-bone steak (for a woman who isn’t a big steak eater) and top ramen. Later, after he knew he and I were in this for the long haul, he would opt just to make me top ramen.
- Tostadas. This was the first meal I cooked for Paul at my parents’ home.
- Johnny Rockets hamburgers. When Paul left school to work full-time, a Johnny Rockets was located nearby. We sometimes splurged on a meal there, sharing fries, and choosing songs from the tabletop juke boxes.
- Burger King. On the first night in our apartment, we brought in Whoppers and ate them on the carpeted floor. I can still see Paul wearing his white undershirt, dress pants, and a broad smile.
- Chocolate chip bagels. Early in our dating, Sunday’s were Paul’s one guaranteed day off. Unfortunately, I worked. But in the morning, we’d try to have a picnic breakfast in the park. I supplied the chocolate chip bagels.
- Eggs benedict. My absolute favorite way to enjoy eggs. I did not, however, like the way Paul’s stepmom prepared them - with tomatoes (a food that is on my list of “don’t likes”). I ate them anyway, a testament to my love for Paul and my polite upbringing.
- Cheese fondue. I thought it would be romantic. Instead, it was smelly - like a forgotten school lunch that was discovered under a seat on the bus.
- KFC. I was going to school across town, commuting on the bus. Paul had the day off. I asked him to make dinner. I got home and was told he’d walk over and get us KFC (again, not one of my favorites).
- Black Dog Coffee. In the days before we owned a car, Paul and I made it a “date” to go grocery shopping. We’d walk down to our neighborhood coffee shop, treat ourselves, then walk across the street and do our grocery shopping.
- Chicken caesar salads. That was our picnic meal of choice when we received a few free coupons to see concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.
- Hamburger Helper. When we first moved in together, I would prepare various hamburger helpers - relatively quick, relatively inexpensive, and if I prepared two boxes, we’d have enough for dinner and lunch the next day.
- Wontons. Living together, ordering in Chinese food, staying up late, snacking on said left-over Chinese food, flipping channels and watching informercials for Time music anthologies.
- Crepes. Within walking distance from our apartment, and offering me a glimpse of what I’d have to look forward to in Paris.