Another fulfilling night of culinary wisdom devoured. Alesandra’s night classes are all she looks forward to. Tonight while Chef Ingalls was demonstrating one of her worn out techniques, Alesandra was tossing around the idea of meshing a few spices with some lamb that she couldn’t wait to try. As she enters her apartment, she drops her utensils and supplies on the kitchen counter and grabs some chalk to jot down her recipe on the chalkboard her sister handmade and presented to her as a Christmas gift. She reads over the ingredients and smiles. Perhaps this will be the one she’ll feel confident enough about to present to Chef. Has to be perfect. Finishing at the top of this class in this culinary institute is detrimental to the future she has carefully outlined for herself. It’s the only way she’ll get ranked high enough to even be considered appropriate to apply for a position at a restaurant given 5 star ratings consistently for the past 8 years. And the one time they received that 4 star rating was only because the head chef happened to have been out the night they were being rated and an overly zealous second tried unsuccessfully to upstage him by altering the original recipe. Before then, they had consistently received 5 star ratings since two years after opening in 1974. There was no other place she wanted to begin her professional career. Well actually there were other alternatives, but they pale in comparison.
Once showered and changed, Alesandra goes into her living room to catch up on the Food Network programming for the evening. Nestled snug on the couch with a bowl of ice cream, she tries desperately to ignore the pink elephant in the room. That being the treadmill that was another of Tish’s brilliant ideas. Such a considerate birthday gift. Her conscious eats at her with every spoonful of ice cream. She wants to get on it. She’d promised herself she’d start out doing only about 15 minutes a day. Only problem is those are the most difficult 15 minutes to find. Of course, she could get on it while she watches the tube. But, essentially she’d only be working off a fraction of the calories she’s added just from the ice cream she’s having now. Not to mention she’s already showered and dressed for bed. Finally she resolves to get up early tomorrow morning and give it a go. Not to lose too much weight, but just get it better under control. After all, nobody trusts a skinny chef. That was one of the last thoughts resting on her mind as she drifedt off to sleep, only to be awakened by the sound of the telephone. Tish’s smiling face lights up the display with the face time option indicated. For a moment she considers not answering. Her mother’s words that they look after each other always force her to include Tish in her daily life more often than she would rather have her.
“Yes, Tish. What is it now?” Alesandra enables her face time feature and notices that Tish is still bubbling with personality and wide awake at 10:45 in the nighttime.
“Lloyd is so through. I can’t believe we’ve stayed together as long as we have.”
Oh, great. She’s decided to drop another boyfriend on a whim. “What is it this time? He forgot to send you flowers for the anniversary of your sixth date?” If only Alesandra could just get a fraction of the dates that this chick gets and discards like used Kleenex.
“It’s just not working out. I kind of need someone a bit more refined, you know. His idea of a cultured evening is watching reruns of “What’s Happening?” Tish’s focus shifts. She begins pecking on the computer. “I was thinking I need to try a dating site because that way I’m sure to find a match with more likeminded interests that I think are important.”
Alesandra gives and exaggerated chuckle. “You can’t be serious, Tish.”
“Yeah, I mean why not?”
Alesandra rolls her eyes and shakes her head, returning her attention back to the food network programming. “Tish, you are so ridiculous.”
“You know, it really isn’t that outlandish. I was watching a commercial for a Christian dating site. There’ve got to be some better prospects there than those others.”
“Christian dating websites? If Almighty God needs help from the web putting people together, then you’re crap out of luck.” Alesandra is unable to suppress her laughter. “Besides, I’m willing to bet that most of those men on there are creeping.”
“Of course, Tish. Think about it. They’re not really Christian men. They’re just looking for what their idea of a Christian woman is to creep with.”
“Hmmm. I didn’t think about it like that.”
Exactly. She didn’t think. “Since when are you so hard up for a date that you gotta resort to a dating website, anyway? You’d do better going places where you can increase your chances of meeting the kind of man you think you want this time. Your ‘pick of the season.’ Instead of dating men you bump into at the gas station, work or some night spot.” Alesandra can hardly believe that she’s having to give Tish dating advice, especially when she’s not had a date in well over two years, now.
“That sounds reasonable, I guess.”
“Trust me. The web is way too risky. You never know what you’re gonna get when you hook up with someone face to face. But all the lies floating around on the web…outdated pictures. That’s a dating disaster waiting to happen.” Alesandra sits up, clicks off the television and prepares to go to her bedroom. Against her better judgment she blurts out a suggestion. “How about you come to the culinary class that the school is hosting Saturday night? We’ll each be hosting a table as part of our class curriculum. The class is about $45. The last time we did one of these there were quite a few noticeably handsome guys there. Some of them alone. So…” Alesandra crawls into bed after tossing her spoon in the sink and placing the empty ice cream carton in the trash.
“So what time should I be there?” Tish is still pecking on the keyboard.
“If you want to get your choice of seats I suggest you get there at least twenty minutes early. They’ll begin somewhere around seven.”
“What should I wear? I got some cute leopard pumps that I’ve been waiting to –“
“Ok, I’m not going to dress you, Tish. But I do suggest that you not show up looking like Beaver Cleaver’s mother. So, definitely no stilettos.” After snuggling in the covers, Alesandra places the phone on her nightstand. “I’m going to sleep. Register for the class online. And you are NOT permitted to sit at my table.”
“Just kind of scan the crowd for me and point out the good ones then. Oh, but why am I asking you? You haven’t had a man in how long?”
“Good night, Tish.” Alesandra disconnects the call and the screen goes blank. She loves her sister, but sometimes it sure is difficult to like her.