I was invited out to lunch by a certain sous chef I’ve spoken about in the past. As usual, I won’t name names (although, if you guess, apparently I can’t help but nod) but it’s the guy with the “DB” sweater. His first invitation was a tad clunky and awkward, leaving me to ponder if it had been a real invite or another bit of his ribbing. So, at work today, I asked if the particular restaurant was open on Sundays (I had it in my mind that it was not which did not help my confusion). When he said that it was, I asked if he’d like to come to lunch with me, figuring that the best way to stop my confusion was to risk looking a little foolish. It was at this point that he informed me (rather exasperatingly) that he’d already invited me so I told him that I’d love to (which is better than the “I’ll think about it” that I gave the cook that invited me to drinks after work. Honestly, if this invite thing had been cleared up earlier, I could have said I already had plans which would have been considerably more gracious).
So, after work we went to a restaurant I’d actually interviewed at when I first arrived in Raleigh. We had pita sandwiches and baklava. Save for the pickled vegetables on my sandwich that I was not a huge fan of, the food itself was nice; lighter fare with good texture and just enough to fill you up but not so much you’d be dragging tail by four).
The conversation wasn’t too stilted thanks to having known each other for four months. We talked about our hometowns, the restaurants we want to open, our dreams, schooling, and those other subjects than generally fill the air when you’re feeling someone out for the first time outside of work.
And I’m ready to admit that I was (partially) wrong. He’s a really, really nice guy with an interesting history. I think he has walls and I think that some people can be deterred by those walls but the person I had lunch with today seemed genuinely sweet and a nice guy. I hope that one day he feels comfortable enough to let others see who I saw today. I really wish I’d seen this part of him and learned what I did of him during lunch earlier.