So, I had a date last night.
My first date with Mr. Summer Roll.
I’d seen him before, sometimes at parties, but usually at restaurants. He always looked good, dressed up with different fillings. He was intriguing to me, and seemed to be quite popular. But to be honest, I always had a crush on his cousin- Mr. Deep-fried Spring Roll. Why do I always go for the bad boy? Resolving to do something good for myself, I approached Mr. Summer Roll.
Before our date, I obviously Googled him. You can learn a TON about just about anyone on the Internet these days. He seemed to get around quite a bit, mingling with shrimp, tofu, rice noodles. I learned about his likes and dislikes. He enjoyed fresh veggies and mint, sometimes some cilantro, and an assortment of dipping sauces. I took notes. But as I did my research, I realized that I didn’t want our conversation to feel…scripted. So I shut the computer, took a deep breath, and tried to do what I’ve never been able to do on dates in the past: I trusted my instincts and decided to wing it.
Before our date, I put in a lot of effort. Only the finest ingredients, colorful and fresh. A variety of adornments and sauces, all with the intent to impress. But would he notice?
At our first meeting, Mr. Summer Roll seemed as uncomfortable as I was. His demeanor was stiff. I ordered a couple of drinks- steaming hot water for him, a glass of Pinot Grigio for myself- and that loosened him right up.
I offered him my gift (a filling of various veggies and shrimp and herbs) and we started to dance. These were steps I didn’t know, and my movements were awkward and clumsy at first. My shoulders were hunched, and my smile felt forced.
But as we got to know each other a little bit, I felt myself relax. (More wine helped.) I felt like myself in the kitchen- comfortable, laughing at my mistakes. Maybe even a little flirtatious. The date was going pretty well! We even posed for a photo together. (I wonder if he’ll post it on Facebook.)
When it came time to eat, Mr. Summer Roll was joined on the plate by a few potstickers. He didn’t seem to mind, paying more attention to the duo of dipping sauces I placed him next to. I didn’t expect him to look so good!
Our meal was light, yet filling. Tasty, yet mild. After our meal, I sat back with my glass of wine and, just like a girl, I analyzed the date. Perhaps Mr. Summer Roll is better for happy hour or a tapas date; a full dinner seemed to be a bit much for him. Maybe some sake instead of wine would have been more appropriate. For me, there just wasn’t enough HEAT. Still, as we said goodbye, I realized that I’d had a lot of fun with him. I hadn’t fallen in love, but Mr. Summer Roll is definitely someone I’d like to see again- sometime soon.
I really hope he calls. I mean, he said he would. He’ll call, right?
*Shrimp Summer Roll filling: marinated shrimp, carrot, red pepper, mushroom, red cabbage, cilantro, mint, soy sauce, lime juice, Sriracha, ginger combined.
*Citrus-chili dipping sauce: garlic chili sauce, sake, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, orange zest, Sriracha, rice vinegar, sesame oil.