Mr. Georgia was twenty minutes late for our date. Don’t judge him. I was twenty-five minutes late. Let’s just say Atlanta rush hour traffic is not so much fun to drive in. We started out texting each other about potentially being late, then moved to phone calls about potentially becoming definitely. In the end we both found the place and were late together (he was sweet, waiting for me instead of going in without me).
The Viking Cooking School in Atlanta hosted our date for the evening. We were in the Steak, Roast, and Chop Workshop, and it didn’t take us long to figure out we were completely out of our league. We missed the lesson on making Cabernet Butter, being late, but I’m not sure it would have mattered. Mr. Georgia doesn’t cook at all, and I can’t say I’m a Julia Child myself. We kept giving each other that raised eyebrow look that says, “Are we the only ones here who don’t know how to do this?” The guy next to us was taking notes while Mr. Georgia and I whispered like remedial troublemakers in an honors class.
Besides showing us how to do stuff, the teachers, Chip and Peggy, asked for volunteers to chop stuff. (Our new friend Michael, the excessive notetaker, made a lovely drawing in his notes on how to properly slice an onion. I told Mr. Georgia that I have a Pampered Chef chopper that does the job nicely.) He was ready to do something, though, so they handed him an apron and put him to work slicing sausages. Chef Chip’s example was a lovely, even slice; Mr. Georgia mutilated the meat. It didn’t matter, though. Everyone loved the sauce Mr. Georgia made, even if it didn’t look pretty. We also loved the Pork Chops that the sauce went on top of, the New York Strip with Cabernet Butter, and the Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream. Oh, and Peggy’s Roasted Garlic Popovers. And the Chopped Salad with Three-Peppercorn Buttermilk Dressing. And the Chocolate Mint Cheesecake Bars. It was like a never-ending feast. I’ve never seen so much food on my plate. And it was so good.
We talked a bit with Michael, the notetaker, and it turned out he wasn’t a brown-nosing nerd. Get this -- he wants to impress his wife!
“We’ve been married ten years. You gotta do something to keep things fresh, you know?” Nice. Go, Michael!
We wandered around the Viking store afterwards, checking out stuff we didn’t know we needed, like cheese slicers and hot chocolate makers and $7000 refrigerators. We went down the street to a coffee shop where I got to know Mr. Atlanta a little better. I knew, being a friend’s younger brother, that he was young. I wasn’t planning on trying to make a love connection with a 24-year-old, so it was really quite fun to just hang out and chat without trying to be impressive.
Turns out Mr. Georgia has a history of planning incredibly memorable dates! He said if we hadn’t been given the cooking class, he’d have planned something cool and memorable for us, and I believe it! He once took a girl to the top of a hotel where he had rented a private firepit so they could roast marshmallows and make s’mores. How cool is that? And when one of his friends said he was going to propose in a week but didn’t really have a plan, Mr. Georgia jumped into action, putting out thousands of electric lights around a gazebo so they would have a romantic engagement story to tell. Good guy! I was flipping through my mental rolodex, trying to think of my old youth group girls who have graduated from college already and which one of them I wanted to set up with him.
He said he could set me up with other dates, which was kind of weird but cool, too, that he was willing to help me out. (And let’s be honest, it was like hanging out with the kid brother I never had, so it didn’t feel like a rejection.) We talked about some of my previous dates, and how weird and confusing this past month has been for me. It’s hard to tell sometimes if guys have planned awesome dates to impress me or to impress the future book readers. It’s hard for me to tell if a guy is actually interested in me or if he’s just putting on a good show. I’ve been dating for twenty years, but this is totally new. He said that with guys, everything’s a competition, so its not surprising that they want to outdo each other and provide the most memorable date. I said that’s not the point -- I want to find a great guy to marry and start a family with, not be the judge of a dating competition! It was nice to have someone to laugh with and be honest with and just be casual . . . he was a good guy. And one heck of a catch for someone in the right age range! Any ladies in their twenties want an introduction??