Date a girl who eats. Date a girl who spends her money on fancy cheese instead of clothes, who has problems with refrigerator space because she has so many variations of mustard (and don’t even start with all the hot sauces). Date a girl who keeps a list of faraway restaurants she wants to visit, who has been eating foie gras since she was twelve.
Find a girl who eats. You’ll know that she eats because she will always have a half-eaten bar of artisanal fair-trade chocolate in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the produce at the farmers market, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the first morels of the season. You see that weird chick sniffing the leaves of vine-ripened tomatoes at the supermarket? That’s the girl who eats. Of course, she’ll never ever buy that supermarket tomato, but the leaves will remind her of the garden that she’ll plant in the Spring.
She’s the girl eating while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the latte will be cold because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in the scrumptious world of a buttery, flaky croissant. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who eat do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the croissant.
Buy her a pain au chocolat.
Let her know what you really think of umami. See if she got through the first chapter of Escoffier. Understand that if she says she prefers early James Beard, she’s just saying that to test you. Ask her if she loves Alice Waters, or if she would like to be Alice Waters.
It’s easy to date a girl who eats. Give her fine wine for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of terroir, in oddly-marked bottles. Give her Petrus, La Tour, La Tâche, Montrachet. Let her know that you understand that wine is love. Understand that she knows the pros and cons between corks and screwcaps, but by God, she’s going to argue for real cork until the day she dies. She understands the ceremony of cork.
She doesn’t collect antique corkscrews for nothing.
Lie to her about the fact that you picked all the shrimp and sausage from the jambalaya. Since she understands food, she will understand your greedy urge to horde the tastiest morsels for yourself. She will make due with an extra helping of rice, and whatever shrimp and sausage you’ve left behind. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail to leave her the last slice of cake. Because a girl who eats knows that the last slice is the bittersweet slice. Because girls who eat understand that the last piece of cake was probably a little stale anyhow, and that the promise of cutting into a brand new cake is really the best part. And that reminds her — she has a fresh raspberry tart stashed in that closet where you never look. Sucker.
Why be frightened of foods you have never tried? Girls who eat understand that someone, somewhere, had to eat the first oyster. Or the first escargot.
If you find a girl who eats, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a slice of cold pizza and daydreaming, offer her a napkin and hold her. You may lose her for a few minutes but she will always come back to you. She’ll mention that sometimes, cold pizza can taste even better than oven-fresh pizza, because sometimes, it just does.
You will mock vegetarians together. And especially vegans. But never to their pale, delicate faces. Only with sly knowing glances, as you hear them whining to the waiter at the next table over.
Together, you will eat so much that you will wonder why your heart hasn’t already congealed with butterfat and seized up in revolt (don’t worry — it’s the French paradox). You will talk about lunch during breakfast, and dinner during lunch. She will introduce your children to braised pork belly and duck confit, maybe during the same meal.
Date a girl who eats because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most delicious life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale bread, and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone (and hungry). If you want to taste the world and the world beyond it, date a girl who eats.
Or better yet, date a girl who cooks.