a Magazine for Writers
by Tina Portelli

I love eating and I follow the Atkins diet (high protein, low carbs). I didn't know it was a vegetarian restaurant when I booked the reservation. My first look at the menu as quite a surprise. There wasn't a thing that menu that appealed to me.  Going down the list, the tofu looked too white, not as appealing as my usual colorful red choices.  The bland vegetables were green and bright enough, but it like I was eating at home, nothing special about it.  Soup is soup, nothing enticing there.  The bread was hard and grainy, not the hot soft stuff I eat when I cheat on the doctor.

My eyes roll down to the bean choices and as I read the selection, I can hear the imaginary gas passing through me directly to my dates ears.  I imagine she goes to the ladies room and never comes back.

I am in a tough spot here because I am on a blind date and need to be witty, entertaining and suave, but this menu is challenging me.  I am none of the above.

I'm hard pressed to smile and my date must think I am displeased with her. I can tell she is nervous and she is coaxing me to order.  She only suggested this restaurant because she knew about my low carb regime.  She thought this place would be a good choice, so I went with her suggestion. She doesn't have a problem with the menu; I can see she is ready to order. She stares across the table waiting for a sign of life.  There is none.  She apologies for the scanty menu although it is not her fault. Her concern for me was thrilling.  Yes, I liked this woman.

I suggested we order vegetable dumplings and a salad to start, and she started to relax.  By the end of the appetizers I was back to square one. Nothing on this menu interested me.  I had vision of cows dancing in my head and later, getting into her bed. When the waiter approached to take our dinner order, I asked for the check. She looked alarmed, was I dumping her after the dumplings?  She did not say a word.

The waiter brought the check, I had left the tip, donned our coats, and almost out the door, when I whispered in her ear, "Would you like to go out to dinner.  I know a great steakhouse around the corner."  She smiled a beautiful smile, she knew I liked her.

We were already off to our second date.

Tina says, "I am 54, single and live in Brooklyn, NY.  I work in Manhattan as a full time office manager.  My writing is a newly found passionate hobby. I get my ideas from personal experiences and the adventures of family and friends.  I have never taken a writing class, but three years ago I started practicing meditation.   I attribute my newfound passion of writing to that practice, meditation gave me a clear and open mind.  No better friend than the soul of my pen." Contact Tina.