Monday, April 18, 2011

Light a Fire and Open the Door

When I was young and foolish and living in my first apartment out of college, I was spoiled by having utilities covered in my rent. All that meant was that I was wasteful.

During the summer, I would have all the windows open and the air conditioning on; in winter I would crank the heat but crack the windows so I could smell brisk fresh air.

I was reminded of that tonight when a girlfriend in need of shoring up and I arrived at Cafe Caturra. The doors sat wide open and there was a crowd on the patio yet the double-sided fireplace was ablaze with burning logs. My kind of fuelishness.

We began the process of cheering her up in South Africa with the Graham Beck "Game Reserve" chenin blanc, a grape new to her. Taking two chairs by the fireplace (it may be in the 60s but I get cold at the drop of a hat), we settled in for a full analysis.

Because our life experience are at opposite ends of the spectrum, I tend to see events she considers dire as minor.

That's not minimizing her concerns, but she tends to put a negative spin where I'd just shrug my shoulders and go on about my business. The huge gap in our takes on love and life make for good dissection of an issue when one arises.

A server unexpectedly showed up with the last of the chenin blanc, explaining that there was no more in the house. She graciously offered to top off our glasses with the remainder, but said that we'd have to find another grape to finish out our evening. Can do, little lady.

Sustenance came in the form of a raspberry/walnut/chicken salad with dried cranberries, walnuts and Gorgonzola and a roast beef/provolone panini with tortilla soup. She took forever to finish eating because she had so much to get off her chest.

I, on the other hand, inhaled my half of the meal and offered my interpretation and suggestions (she never takes them). Only then did we get around to what's been going on in my life lately; it was great to be able to distract her with so much news of my own to tell.

Spain was looking pretty good by this point and the Morgadio "Legado del Conde" albarino was in plentiful supply, so we shifted continents. Although the regular menu is nothing to write home about, I applaud their minis, a selection of tiny desserts just big enough to satisfy a sweet tooth but not overindulge.

So I got the bittersweet chocolate espresso torte slathered in whipped cream and found it to be just enough. Her chocolate chip/macadamia nut/coconut cookie was good but much too big and, to my taste, too soft; I prefer my cookies to have some crispness to them. Or perhaps we were just preferring wine and man-talk to eating by that point.

I'd like to say that after hours fireside with the April breeze blowing by through the open door that we solved all her love life concerns, but we didn't. And while I feel great about what's going on in mine, I kept trying to steer the conversation away from that.

It was funny; she was taking the credit for my progress and that seemed to cheer her up more than anything I could say about her love life, so I let it ride.

Much the way I am watching my own life unfold. Surprises abound.

No comments:

Post a Comment