Saturday, August 9, 2008
Last night my husband and I treated ourselves to dinner at Carafe, a popular French bistro. We looked at the menu and decided to share. We would split a salad and trade our entrees half way through.
I don’t know why we think sharing is a good idea. Some lovers may linger over a meal, delighting in feeding each other tender morsels. But for us, sharing always results in a food fight. Not the kind where food gets thrown around (who would waste good French food like that anyway?) but the kind where we race. We race for the tastiest bites, we race for any bites. I just want my fair share. And my husband wants my fair share, too.
Everything was civil as we enjoyed our frisée aux lardons.
Then the main course arrived. The waitress put the bifsteak frites in front of me and the duck confit in front of my husband. Everything looked delicious. I closed my eyes for a moment and imagined we were in Paris.
But only for a moment, there's little time for romance if you have to focus on a race.
As I enjoyed my steak and my very perfect French fries, I was watching him with the rest of my meal. I know he ate more than half of the crunchy, golden duck skin. If I had gotten the confit first, I would have eaten up all of the skin, every bite of it, without leaving any for him. Then there really would have been fisticuffs.
My husband has an advantage, he’s a much faster eater. And he likes to say that since he’s bigger than I am, he should get more than half of the food. He even thinks he’s entitled to eat off my plate when we don’t have a prearranged sharing agreement. Since we’ve been married, I have learned that a fork doubles nicely as a defensive weapon when another diner makes unwelcome advances on my food.
We must have been satiated, or giddy with wine, because as we ate dessert, a blueberry tart with vanilla ice cream, he said, “No, you have the last bite.” So I did.