Last week, Husband and I went on a date. It was a crisp night and we ate dinner outside at a local tapas restaurant. Then we headed to the glorious Magnolia Bakery for dessert. Now, I am not much of a dessert person, but that night I had a hankering for Magnolia's divine banana pudding (it has crushed 'Nilla Wafers!). So, off we went.
Husband and I waited in line. He selected a bevy of cupcakes to take home to Nanny and the girls. I pointed out all of the desserts in the fridge that we never pay attention to. (Invariably we head to Magnolia for one of two things: cupcakes or pudding.) Husband scanned the other dessert options. And then something bizarre happened.
"Cheesecake!" he said.
"What about it?"
"I'm getting it! I love cheesecake."
"What do you mean you love cheesecake?"
I have known Husband for going on nine years. That's almost a decade. I have not once witnessed him order or eat a piece of cheesecake. Nor have I heard anything about this fondness for cheesecake. How is this possible?
So, on the walk home, as I ate my pudding, Husband told me something endearing about his childhood. He told me that when he was eight or nine and he went out to eat with his family, he would order the exact amount of food as his own father even though he was obviously much smaller than his father. Appetizer. Main. Dessert. And, like a good boy, he would clean his plate each course. And dessert? You guessed it. Cheesecake. But. And here's the funny part. (Or not funny part.) Often, after these massive meals out, Husband, little boy Husband, would vomit. Because he ate way too much.
"So, let me get this straight. You like cheesecake even though it made you vomit numerous times?"
"Yup," said Husband.
At home, we retreated to the couch. Husband tucked into his beloved cheesecake as we queued up a Mad Men rerun. And I sat there in an unpredictably ponderous post date night moment. I was not just thinking about cheesecake or family dinners. No. Questions, important questions, danced through my evening mind.
Do we ever really know someone fully?
Are there always secret aspects of self - little and big - waiting to emerge?
And even in the moment, I knew my philosophical fit was a bit dramatic. It's not as if I learned that Husband had another wife once upon a time. I learned that he happens to adore cheesy cake. But then I had to make sure.
"You don't have another wife stashed away somewhere with whom you eat cheesecake, do you?"
He smiled, licking graham cracker crumbs from his lips. "No."
And then, thankfully, there was no vomit. None at all.
(Where exactly is the epiphany in here? Not entirely sure. Let me know if you find it.)
- Do we ever really know someone fully?
- Have you ever learned something about someone many years after meeting them? Did this surprise you?
- Do you think the tiny personal mysteries are what make life and relationships interesting?
- Are you a fan of cheesecake?
- Do you (like me, unlike husband) tend to avoid foods that have historically made you sick?