Life as a restaurant wife and foodie is about dealing with two worlds. In one world my life is consumed with food. I attend a work lunch meeting and notice if the server is auctioning off food or if there are spots on the silverware. I ask who designed the space and flip dishes over to see their manufacturer. My vacations are all about attaining the perfect meal not about visiting the historic ruin. When someone mentions wanting to go to a chain restaurant, my feathers ruffle at the thought of not supporting a local restaurateur. I wipe off sinks in restaurants if they are covered with water and I never park in front of the restaurant, I park with staff. My eyes scan menus for typos and I religiously sign up for restaurant newsletters to see what specials others are running. If a menu is great and there is a unique dish I want to remember, I either take a picture or take the menu. I take pictures of the food I eat and send them to my husband. I attend menu tastings and wine tastings and relish every second. Living in that world, also means everyone asks me for a gift certificate or discount. They ask if I will have the restaurant support them in some capacity, but there is a catch, I don’t really live in that world.
The other world, holds the reality that I do not work in a restaurant. In fact, the last time I pulled a full shift in a restaurant was seven years ago. For most of those past seven years, I have worked in a cube. I work 8-5, Monday through Friday. Yes, there are 10-12 hour days but they are not the norm they are exceptions during busy seasons. That world means I eat a lot of dinners by myself, but I eat them at a table at a normal time. I don’t eat my dinners on the fly in between rushes or after guests leave at ten at night. It means that if I have a party or get together on a Friday or Saturday night, I will be going solo. It means I hold my knife like a home cook not a chef. It means most nights I cook for one not a hundred. I have no idea what the food cost really is per dish nor how much sales we need in a particular day to consider it a “good day”. I don’t have the control to make one single decision dealing with our restaurants.
These worlds most of the time peacefully coexist. There is an ebb and flow that are quite complimentary. I get to live my passion, my true love but through my husband. I get to dream about food, to attend menu tastings, brainstorm about decor, and work events. I get to do all that but without the 80 hour weeks, the pure exhaustion, and the frustrations the restaurant holds. Some days I love living in reality, but there are others were I wish I lived fully in my husband’s reality.
Growing up I always thought I would have my own restaurant, but I never thought I wouldn’t work in it.