Must love food

Must love food

He must live to eat, not eat to live. Not in an unhealthy way, but in the way Guy Fieri chomps down on a twice-fried burger or pizza slice. He must want to try more things than Andrew Zimmern, and cook at least more than most New Yorkers. My ideal man: MUST LOVE FOOD.

You know the movie Must Love Dogs, it is about the kindergarten teacher that finally goes on a dating site and in the profile states the man she will end up with, “Must love dogs?” For me, I agree with the dog part, however, I want to change it to something else. I want him to love food as much as I do. My family lovingly calls me the “human garbage disposal.” I love all junk food, fancy food and adventure foods. Including ethnic foods you wouldn’t think of.

This summer one of my best friends in the whole wide world went to India, taking our nightly tradition with her. We would frequent Jack in The Box for their Munchie Meals. It was a nightly tradition that happened after we baked cakes with liquor in them (and consequentially drank the liquor), we would become hungry and head out into the night to obtain what we delightfully called our “Box of Shame.” After returning home with our Box, we would divide the delicious goods in half and plop down on the couch. Once on the couch, we would turn on a reality TV show I am too ashamed to admit I watch, and eat. It was the best. The food was good, but the company and drinks were even better.  When her plane took off, I sat at home, all alone, with ice cream on my lap and baseball on TV instead.

Yes, I’ll admit it: food is a huge part of my life. My mother spent my whole entire childhood either at her desk grading papers or in the kitchen. I would spend time watching her cook or bake and do my homework. The kitchen became a staple of our household. Now, at 25 years old, I find myself still gravitating towards the kitchen not in search of midnight snacks, but for love.

My friend, who mentioned in the previous paragraph, has family roots in India and the food of that wonderful country has been the staple of my diet since I was roughly five years old.  I can’t get enough of it! If I were to have a last meal, that was planned, I would want to have every Indian dish of my childhood (unfortunately, probably made by her mother, as well).  I would go to a restaurant in my college, town with all my roommates, that specialized in Indian cuisine. The day I dragged my boyfriend there was the day I knew our relationship was doomed. However, the experience proved a valuable lesson. If I were to seriously consider marriage: he must eat Indian food.

I had begged my boyfriend to come with my roommates to the Indian restaurant. He would say “no” and “can I have steak instead?” I finally told him that it was important to me that he at least gave the food a try. He reluctantly came with us that night. I felt nervous, as he tasted his first bite of chicken masala. He ate it and said he didn’t like it. He was sorry, but he had at least tried it. My heart sank. I started thinking about how we would do celebration dinners when I chose to go Indian restaurants. The truth finally settled two years later: there wouldn’t be a relationship. Also, partly because of his distaste for my favorite food, but also because he wouldn’t try new foods. He was comfortable with what he had and the most adventurous he would ever be was deep-fried sushi. Obviously my relationship disintegrated like the tuna fish in the fried ball of rice.

So, the conclusion of the story is: food matters to me! And in order to have a successful relationship, I must have a man who thinks food adventures are fun, not a scary enterprise that could leave him starving. I want the man I marry and fall in love with to want to go out and eat at the newest ethnic restaurant that just opened up. I want him to bring me dosas for dinner. I want him to stop walking the dog and go fetch me a maple whiskey bacon donut from the new donut shop. I just want him to love food. Is that too much to ask?