I’ve lived in my current neighborhood for almost three years now. And despite the fact the L’Patron has been open and three blocks from my apartment for two of those years, I finally went there for dinner, for the first time, a few weeks ago.
And it’s great, the shrimp tacos are excellent, everything I’ve gotten has been tasty, you should try it, and yes I should probably get out and try local spots more–but winter is cold, and I never ever want to go outside when it’s cold. (Ignoring, of course, that summer has existed while I’ve lived here, and also weeks like this when is was in the fifties, in February.)
But the point of this story isn’t about how unseasonably warm it is today, or how bad of a local I am, or even how I’m determined to be better when we move to Lincoln Square this year. It’s about radishes.
So our tacos all came with radishes on the side. Maybe this is a common thing, I don’t know, but seeing as I never go anywhere, I suppose I wouldn’t know. And I’ve never actually, to my memory, eaten a radish. While I’m a lot better these days, I was a horribly picky eater for a long, long time. So I did something I rarely did within my first, oh, 25 years: I tried something new.
They tasted like nothing! And that’s not a complaint: nothing is exactly what I want my vegetables to taste like. They were just crisp, refreshing, boring, and perfect.
I was v. v. excited. “I like radishes! This is crazy!” Isaac nodded and went back to his burrito. “They taste like nothing!” More confused this time, he insisted that radishes do, in fact taste like something. I disagreed. I was an expert at radishes now, my new favorite vegetable after sweet corn.
Or not. I bought radishes from Target a few days later and discovered the sordid truth: some radishes taste peppery and strong and, frankly, awful. I’m sure there’s a way to get the kind I liked–I assume a real expert on radishes could tell me–but is it really worth the risk?
I’m wrong about a lot of things. I find that as long as I treat being wrong as a virtue of sorts, I’m much happier. And if that’s not the right way to look at things, then, well, I’m OK being wrong about that.
I was also wrong about what this entire year would look like before it began.
The week before Christmas, Isaac and I had lunch with a couple of good friends. I was three weeks into a new 9-to-5, meaning I was no longer running between Starbucks and nannying, and I had just finished a graphic design certificate class all the way up at Loyola, so I was no longer running to that twice a week either. Even with the new ~40 minute commute, I’m definitely saving gas–and time.
It had been a long, hectic season, so I was clinging to the notion that as soon as the holidays were over, I was going to have so much free time. I told them this at lunch that day. I would be able to breathe again soon, maybe pick up freelance work after a bit without it being overwhelming.
They hid it right then, but apparently they thought this was very, very funny. Why?
Isaac proposed that night.
Which was fabulous, obviously. We were in a local bookstore in the neighborhood we’d like to move to this fall (so I got a new ring AND a new book!)
But it definitely put a wrench in my “so much free time” plans.
(To answer the usual questions: yes I was surprised, no we haven’t officially settled on the date yet, it’ll definitely be in October, we’re putting a deposit on a venue this week, yes I like him, we’re staying in Chicago, and no you may not start asking about kids right after the wedding.)
So this year looks nothing like I said it would. Working full time with a commute is losing its novelty, even though I do like the job and working with great people. I’m freelancing again, and it easily takes over some of my evenings (but again, worth it).
And wedding planning. It hasn’t taken over our lives yet, but check back in a few months.
And just for kicks, heres’s three other things I’ve (maybe) been wrong about:
“We can’t just go with the first venue we visited.” We’re going with the first venue we visited. I don’t regret seeing a couple after that and contacting a few more since that helped cement how much we like the first place, but I also see how that’s time I can never get back.
“Can we get a dog for Christmas?!” Several people have squashed this one, saying we should enjoy being DINKs for awhile. I’m still not sure I agree. I really want a dog.
And finally, “Maybe wedding planning will be easy.” Like I said, check back in a few months when I discover just how wrong I’m capable of being.