(Alternatively titled: When Your Schedule and Your Significant Other's Schedule Do Not Match Up. At All.)
We haven't had a "real" date since I made dinner for Chef the Sunday after Easter, a few days after his eye surgery.
His eye is doing all right but he won't know the degree of its success for at least another month. Additionally, he has to wear a protective eye patch. He is sick of the pirate jokes.
Nevertheless, he works hard at both his jobs, six days a week. As a result of circumstances at his full-time job--which is not his permanent position but rather a transitional position as the restaurant prepares to open a new location whose kitchen he will run (exciting!)--his schedule has changed. He no longer has Sundays off, which we used to call "Date Day" (no offensive to Our Lord--we still honor Him, too, and make plans for after church).
Text messages by day and phone calls at night (most nights unless he's practically sleepwalking by the time he gets home) sustain us, but barely.
I started getting plaintive text messages like this: Come see me.
Now, I'm still getting to know the very large town in which I've been working for nearly two years. My school sits on kind of the southeasternmost edge. So, the first time I mapped out where Chef's work was in relation to my work, I discovered that the restaurant is a seven-minute drive from my school.
In the wrong direction from home, I might add, but still.
It's not as if I have anyone waiting for me at home (sob).
So for most of the Thursdays in the past month or so, I've been going over after school and treating myself to dinner, expertly and lovingly prepared. I have a book and my cell phone to keep me company. I also people-watch. (It's an introvert thing, I guess.)
Sometimes Chef can come out and sit with me for a couple of minutes; sometimes it's a little too hectic for him to do more than say hi from the kitchen apologetically. Like this past week, for example. When he called me Thursday night, he opened with, "I'm sorry I was too busy to say hi, but Baby, what did you have? Was it a tuna club? Because I only made one the entire night."
I don't order the same thing all the time, but he knew it was mine.
Even if he can't see me, even if he's so swamped with orders (can't complain if that means business is good!) that all he can do is make my dinner, that's O.K.
Just being able to lay eyes on him, however briefly, and knowing he's just on the other side of the dining room wall is good enough for me.
At least, I think I can make it to the end of the school year.