I went to Southern California with the sole purpose of spending time with Michael and Sari. I had called to let them know that I want to know them, I want to know where they live, where they like to grocery shop, and what they like to eat, all in all, I want to really know them. I asked when would be a good time to come for a day or two. I assured them that I did not want them to feel pressure, that their house needs to be clean or that they need to do anything special because I’m coming. We worked out some dates, I booked my hotel and off I went. I wasn’t nervous but I was curious what I may be walking into. Let me clarify, I was trying not to create narratives before I got there, but I was sort of preparing myself for the possibility that we may have some less-than-pleasant conversations. I had resolved to go, to be present and to talk openly about whatever they wanted to talk about. I arrived Thursday evening and we met at their house for dinner. Michael had prepped for us to make and eat sushi, It was so much fun! I brought a bottle of my favorite wine and we spent the evening eating and talking non-stop.
On Friday, Michael picked me up and we went on a food-crawl! LOL! Michael and Sari eat a plant based diet and he works at a vegan restaurant, we started there, at Real Food Daily. We started with jack fruit nachos, then we shared a real food salad with a almond and shallot dressing, and Michael wanted to share a lasagne, but I had to say no! I pointed out that I would not be able to match him dish for dish if lunch was any indication of what we were going to be continuing the day eating. We did get the lasagne to go and they shared it the next day for dinner. He is so easy to talk with, he is smart, funny, curious, and he is a great listener. We talked about how awesome it is to be getting to know each other, how easy it’s been. We talked about religion, some politics, brain function & development, the social climate we are living in with regard to race-relations, injustices, and what kinds of things we can do to improve the world we live in. I wanted to know more about his childhood, his siblings, and his world travels.
After lunch we went to pick Sari up from work and we went back to their house for a couple of hours and talked some more. Yes, we talked A LOT! We then headed back out to their favorite neighborhood where on Tuesday and Friday nights, they have vegan food trucks, local music, and just a fun time out. We stopped at a market/deli and had a vegan chicken sandwich, we split one 3 ways, then headed to the food truck festival (it wasn’t really a festival, but it had that kind of cool vibe) and one of their favorite bars. We ordered jack fruit tacos and a vegan mac & cheese. Let me just say, all the food was off the hook good! The jack fruit nachos were my favorite with the whole food salad running a close second. I can’t wait to go back again and again so I can try everything on the Real Food Daily menu. We landed at the bar and had some drinks and ate the food we carried in.
These two humans are so easy to be with, they are open, articulate, and fun. After we ate dinner, they took me to the back of the bar to play a game called “ting.” It’s a simple concept, a large washer on the end of a string that one holds, lets go, and swings toward a 4x4 post with a hook on it. When played for points, you get a point if your washer hits the hook, making the “ting” sound and more points if you actually hook the washer. This is actually a skill based game and I’m proud to say, their instructions were good enough that I hooked my washer twice! We made our way back to the table and talked until I swear, we couldn’t talk anymore! Not really, but we covered all the important life topics; politics, life, family, sex, marriage, relationships, health, nutrition, religion, education, immigration issues, how they met, where they’ve traveled, money, child rearing, budgeting, cooking, you name it, I believe we touched on it. It was an epic day and as tired as I was at the end of the day, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted another day with these amazing people.
As the time we spent together plays again and again in my mind, my favorite part of the visit were the hugs and the sincere eye contact. Physically being with Michael and holding him close to me just feels so good. I am feeling more and more confident that I will have the rest of our lives to continue to connect. I don’t mean that to sound like I have had doubts, but one can’t all the way know what is the right things to do or say. I’ve done what I know to do, I’ve called or texted when I’ve felt like calling or texting, I’ve asked questions, I’ve answered questions, and I’ve just been me, all the way. I can’t wait until we can see each other again, my heart is bursting with love.