It's SO GOOD to no longer be at a job I really didn't want! Isn't it, Joel? How are things going with you, Joel?
I had a glorious day yesterday of sleeping in, doing a nice, long workout and having dinner with my BOYFRIEND (yes, my BOYFRIEND, it's still a startling and unusual concept for me). I'm continuing training at the new restaurant and am becoming educated in Indian dishes, customs, spices, geography, the wines that go with Indian food, etc. The more time I spend at this place, the more I am convinced that this is the restaurant I was looking for: a place that truly cares for its customers and goes way beyond offering an efficiently served meal at a decent price (like every other place I've worked). We're creating the modern version of a dhaba. From the training materials: "A dhaba is a roadside diner in India. It is an oasis [for] weary travellers...Those that welcome in the guests are always gracious to include a new face...the decor is that of vibrant colors taken from nature, and the buzz is in anticipation of breaking bread and savoring the ancient flavors of home."
The servers (including me!) will not only be able to describe each dish, but will know the traditions the recipe incorporates, the geographical and cultural origins of the ingredients and even the ayurvedic health benefits of the herbs and spices. We don't just want to fill your stomach. We want you to feel at home and enjoy delicious food with healing properties as well as nutritional benefits. It's time for Indian food to take its place among the highly desired cuisines of Chicago's savvy diners. The market is certainly wide open: neither The Reader's "Top 50 Restaurants" nor Chicago Magazine's "Best New Restaurants" lists contained a single Indian restaurant. By the time those annual lists are compiled again, there should be at least one. Ours.
So with that part of my life going well, I turn to the other part of my life that's going well and wonder which one will fall apart first. Things with my boyfriend of three months are great, and for the first time since we started dating, he's actually living in Chicago. See, we got together at the beginning of January, just when he was temporarily moving to Indiana for a long-term assignment. Our time together has been limited and hugely mediated by phone calls and email. But that long-term assignment ended this past weekend and now the boy is back in town! For the first time since we became a couple, we can actually see each other, in person, several times a week if we want to (IF we want to).
His long-term assignment was extremely challenging and very little fun and he hated that it kept him separated from me. He kind of felt about it the way I felt about my hostessing job: constantly wanting OUT! It's very weird that the exact same week that I'm free from my sucky job, he's free from his. And now we'll find out if our love has really just been a band-aid fixation to get us through our crappy jobs. Maybe the whole relationship falls apart as soon as we're at jobs we enjoy.
If not and we actually managed to sustain this thing, I imagine he's only got a few years to live. At the age of ALMOST 40 I am finally having an experience of true, mature, love and intimacy, so I'm sure it can't last. And heck, he's got some excellent indicators for a short life: he's been smoking for almost 30 years, his dad died young and I believe he has the symptoms of sleep apnea, which is an indicator for heart problems. So I'm sure he's doomed. But in the meantime, I'm having a great time with him.