“You always did like a fairytale.”
That’s what my mother sighed as I told her about meeting James back in August of 2005.
[If this sounds odd, it isn’t. My mother has always been a fan of I-had-to-eat-my-own-arm-to-survive stories. For instance, she thinks it’s kind of funny — ironic is probably a better word — that Robert Falcon Scott was beaten to the South Pole by a team of Norwegians. Funniest of all? That he found out by seeing the Norwegian flag stuck in the ice. Not so funny that he and his entire team died before reaching safety — but for Mom, that’s kind of the point. “They thought they were so great,” she said a few weeks ago, “but they found out they weren’t.” She’s similarly fascinated by the Donner Party and its cannibalistic unwindings. And anything about sharks, sharks and shipwrecks, that’s good too. Poor Mom got stuck with me, a daughter who has fought all her life to make her life into the fairy tale she knew it would be when she was four. She’s happy for me — but a little mystified, too.]
I was asked to post about our rather ridiculously romantic story in honor of Valentine’s Day. It would take me days to write the whole thing, but part of it is told in the Introduction to the new Top Maui Restaurants. If you agree with me that attaining happiness in love is a wonderful thing worth celebrating, you might want to read the Introduction (free) here.
(If you agree with my mother that life is about finding out you’re not so great … well, you might just want to read the negative restaurant reviews in the book. There are a few that you will enjoy — but I tell you now, I wish I didn’t have to write them.)
A dear friend of mine, who has three children I love as if they were my own nieces and nephew, told me that she recognizes a mother in me when I’m working on a new edition of our restaurant guide. In a way, she’s right. The book was conceived on the first night I met James, when he took me to a now-closed sushi restaurant on Maui. I pour a lot of love into it.
Perhaps that’s why a couple of readers asked me to write about us this week. The love I feel for food, for James, and for people in general (I was that insufferable girl who troubled other New Englanders by smiling too much during childhood) … it all goes into the book.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of us. And may we always eat well and love well.