Friday night we took the subway to Recette, a posh restaurant in the West Village. We tried to blend in with the classy patrons: I wore a dress and clean socks and Sebastien combed his hair. I threw out my only topic of conversation during the subway ride to the restaurant so I was completely out of ideas. We occupied some time trying to decide on what to order and settled on the 7 course tasting menu.
While we waited for our food to arrive, I was sucking down water like crazy. Fortunately Sebastien likes to talk so I let him entertain arguments against raising the minimum wage and discuss criminal indictments at his old firm. I interjected with an uh huh or wow every now and then, but I’m sure he would have done fine if he were eating alone.
As each new plate of food arrived I could sense him tiring of carrying the conversation. Things went silent around the fifth course. I started to get nervous, which in my case means that my body acts out in strange ways. Not knowing what to say I grabbed Sebastien’s hand and leaned into the table to whisper in his ear. “I farted,” I said. We both started laughing and that’s when I knew it was going to be all right.
Sebastien and I are going to a restaurant tonight to celebrate our anniversary. It’s great to know that he has yet to find my constant complaining about being bored or my baseless worries that strangers are going to murder me grounds for divorce. And he doesn’t even mind spending time with me outside of the house. We spend weekends together going out to brunch or the movies or museums with friends. We have dinner together on most nights: sometimes one of us will cook and other times we’ll order in. And now that we are working close to one another, we can even have lunch together.
I get text messages from him at least once a week asking if I want to try out a new sandwich shop.
But the more often these text messages and dinner invitations come, the more I worry that we’re going to run out of things to talk about. We already discuss current events, talk about how great our cat is and complain about things that annoy us — one-ply toilet paper, money, people who walk around in flip-flops. So what more is there to say?
I try and bring good conversation-starters to the table, but my knowledge is limited. Sure I read the news, but I usually lose interest after the first few paragraphs of an article. The last time we were out to dinner I asked him if he heard about how China put out a public service announcement about the benefits of smog… I had read a headline earlier that day.
“No,” he said. “What’s that about?” I wasn’t expecting this response.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Something they’re doing in China.” I started to worry that I misread the headline. “Maybe it’s in China, but it could be somewhere else.” Sebastien stared at me from across the table. I quickly shoveled a forkful of pasta into my mouth so I didn’t have to speak any more.
In preparation for tonight’s dinner I took the afternoon off so I could come up with topics of conversation. So far I’ve got a story on an ant that lets out a chemical so the other ants know they’re part of the same colony. But it turns out that ants from a different colony have learned to imitate the chemical so they can do a sneak attack. Isn’t that interesting? I think it’s old news but I just read about it today.
If all else fails I think I’ll pull the nearest fire alarm.