1 Feb 2008
Welcome to February! In Canada, we expect another cold winter month!
To try and warm things up, since February is a romantic month because of Valentine's Day, I decided to write about love. I thought it would be interesting (and a challenge) to make some fun comparisons, so, I've chosen to compare "finding love" with "finding a great restaurant" and "buying a motorcycle". You're probably thinking I've fallen off the roof after fighting with some nasty squirrels and have hit my head pretty hard. Well, not quite. I really had fun making such comparisons and I look forward to your feedback (good or bad)! Perhaps, you may have further comparisons and can share it with me.
Finding a Great Restaurant & Finding Love
My friends, Terry & Noel, recommended a couple restaurants this month. One of them is called, "La Mexicana Fine Mexican Cuisine". Terry highly recommended it and mentioned that the prices were reasonable, appetizers are practically endless, the food seemed authentic, and, I think one indication of that authenticity is noticeable because of their mainly Latino, Spanish-speaking customers. Apparently, there are plenty of choices on the menu. I won't say anything about the food since I've not been there, however, check out their website (see below). Terry mentioned how impressed they were with the entertainment which only takes place on Friday evenings starting at around 9:30 p.m. One of the performers they heard was a woman named Judy who is from Venezuela and Terry said she has a "beautiful, passionate voice". I was impressed when Terry described the entertainment as lively, romantic, enchanting, invigorating, spell-binding and fun. Wow! As I'm writing this, I'm already dreaming about Mexican food, music and dance! Thank you, Terry and Noel, for recommending this restaurant, which I have not tried yet, but, will do so, hopefully on a Friday so I can catch the entertainment too!
[Location: 3337 Bathurst Street, Toronto M6A 2B7, 416-783-9452 - NW corner of Bathurst and Wilson and just north of Starbucks; http://www.dine.to/profile_features.php?feature=menu&id=4755&menu_id=410]
I heard that Noel and Terry were driving along Bathurst one day and Noel suggested that they give La Mexicana a try. It was not recommended by anyone they knew. They simply took a chance and were pleasantly amused. They decided to tell their friends about it. I suppose, you could almost say that they fell in love with the restaurant!
I can see a few comparisons between finding love and finding a great restaurant:
1. Take a Risk
There's a great saying which holds true so many times in my life and possibly in yours, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Do you think it's easy to find true love? Some people seem to accidentally stumble upon it, like the way Noel and Terry came upon a great Mexican restaurant. If Noel had not suggested that they give it a try, they would not have fell in love with the great entertainment and Mexican food. The worse that could have happened was feeling like they wasted one Friday night. Instead, they experienced something special.
Oftentimes, I have been reminded and have also encouraged others to take a chance on love, no matter how unusual it may seem to you. You may be surprised if you decide to get out of your comfort zone. Try joining a club/organization, internet dating, speed dating, a blind date, using a matchmaker, asking a subway musician out (lol). As unusual as some of these ideas may seem for you, believe it or not, I know people who have found their soulmates in such a fashion -- except for the subway musician ... and I'm just going to avoid that one!
So, if are open to finding your soulmate, take some risks. Ask yourself whether your greatest regrets will be things you did or things you did not do.
2. Be Open-minded and Have a Good Time
When you try a new restaurant, have an open mind. Try foods that the restaurant specializes in (which is usually the most impressive) even though it may not be something you have tasted before. Of course, if you are allergic or if one of the specialities is something you know your body cannot handle, you may want to just ask the server for other suggestions. If I had not been open-minded about haggis while I was travelling in Scotland, I never would have discovered that I actually like it. And, by the way, for those who celebrated Robbie Burns Day on January 25th, hope you enjoyed haggis!
Based on my experience with numerous "date zeroes" (also known as blind dates set up through connecting over the internet), I was quite open to trying various restaurants and as a result, I can probably tell you a few things about certain restaurants in the city which I would not otherwise have tried. Although I did not find the love of my life on these "date zeroes", I had some good experiences. Being open to another person's suggestion also shows that you can be open to a possible relationship with him or her. Frowns and a bad attitude is not cool and definitely unattractive. What is one lunch or one dinner in the whole grand scheme of things when you might actually find true love? If anyone believes that my true love is someone who dares to share the haggis experience with me, let me just say that I did go out on one date with a guy who joined me while I ate haggis and he had something else on the menu -- at least, he came with me! It did not work out, but, he did give me a good first impression. Thought I would mention it in case some of you wanted to introduce me to a "haggis lover".
3. Spread the News
Terry and Noel shared their experience at La Mexicana with their friends. It may be that not all their friends will like Mexican food, however, there are some who do, or are willing to give it a try.
I think it's important to introduce someone you really like to people you know - friends and family. If you feel good about being with that special someone, you will want to introduce him/her to people you know. Saying, "Give La Mexicana a try" is like saying, "I really want you to meet Jack!" or "This is Roxanna! I think she's great!" Whatever and whoever ... just go for it!
Shopping For a Motorcycle and Searching For A Mate
My friend, Larry, has been shopping for a motorcycle. We have attended a couple motorcycle shows and gone to a few shops. Larry has been checking out consumer reports and the auto guide. He's been trying to find a motorbike that's right for him and so, I said to him, it seems like hard work -- almost like trying to find a mate. So, I thought it might be interesting to compare the two.
1. Physical Attraction
Some of you will swoon when you see a picture or movie featuring George Clooney and dream of being Mrs. Clooney (you know who you are!). Some of you will faint at the masculine roar of a black Harley. Recently, I have discovered that I could definitely stare long and hard at a red, sporty Ducati bike - sigh, sigh. Talk about ATTRACTION!
We have all read or heard that physical attraction initiates the whole dance of courtship. Larry and I have seen some pretty roughed up bikes, not to mention colours that made you want to scream and run - oh, do you think I'm exaggerating? When it comes to bikes, you may be attracted to a number of features -- size (in length and power), colour, make, type (i.e. sports, cruisers), unique physical features/add-ons -- just to name a few. Larry seems really comfortable on certain bikes because they are not too big or too small - seems just right for him. He has preferences for certain colours, but also does not want it to attract too much attention. He has a preference for a couple of brand name bikes because of their excellent worldwide reputation, excellent quality, good safety record and models which seem to fit him better than those offered by non-preferred brands.
Finding a spouse involves physical attraction, but, it's not necessarily the most important feature in a relationship. With humans, you may be attracted to someone, but, that person may not be attracted to you. I can't quite say that when it comes to shopping for a motorbike. The inanimate object of your affection cannot say, "I am not attracted to you", although it may use alternative methods of communicating with you like, making sure it falls hard and crush you feet and ensuring that you wipe out the first time you ride it. Sounds like a Stephen King horror movie, you think? A motorcycle with a mind of its own. I think Stephen already wrote about a car. Anyway, physical attraction when it comes to both finding love and buying a motorcycle seems like a common factor.
2. Price is Right
If you are shopping for a motorcycle, the right bike will not make you go into a huge debt. If it is love between the rider and the motorbike, then, the biker can balance things clearly and find something he or she can afford. If you're in lust, then go for a super expensive sports bike that you don't have enough experience to ride. Talk about falling head over heels -- I will see you with bandages wrapped around your head!
When trying to find love, ask yourself what price you are willing to pay. Is she worth it? I'm not referring simply to money, but, rather, I ask you, how much effort are you willing to make in order to make a relationship work? If you feel that you are not willing to "pay the price", then, the relationship may not be right for you or you need to re-organize our priorities. There's no need to get way over your head striving to marry that movie star or model -- unless you can really handle it! Again, I say, shall I see you with bandages wrapped around your head -- how about designer ones?
Sometimes, a bike may be right for the rider, but, somehow, the timing is not right yet. Right make, right model, perfect colour, good price, but why do you still not feel comfortable enough to buy THAT bike? Do you think something better will come along and wonder whether you will regret it later if you buy a bike now?
You may meet someone today, hit it off, but, things just does not seem right. Maybe, you're still young and have not gone to college yet. Perhaps, you already have a boyfriend when you meet another guy. You may have lost someone after decades of bliss with him or her. The timing is all wrong.
I have said to Larry that if that lovely bike is meant for him, it will not be sold to another customer. It will be waiting for him. If it is sold, then, perhaps the time was not right. Who knows if it will reappear again, and then next time, the timing will be just right.
I don't know how things will turn out in Larry's search for a motorcycle, but, I have learned a few things from speaking to him and going to various places to look at motorbikes. Hopefully, he will find bliss with a great bike!
If you are not looking for a partner/spouse, at least, think about trying La Mexicana or a restaurant you have not been to before. There is still time for you to check out Toronto's Winterlicious event which takes place between January 25 and February 7, 2008, and you can find a participating restaurant listed at http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/winterlicious?openform
Take care everyone and I'll check back with you next month. Again, I would love your feedback about this month's KaTsZoNe!