Friday, May 7, 2010

May 8, 1985: The Lunch Date

Previously in our series…
On April 15, 1985, my designer and I went to our typesetting vendor’s plant to complain about a messed-up, overbilled job. Their new man said if we gave him a chance to do the next issue right, we wouldn’t regret it.

The new typesetter, whose name was Peter, came to my office for two meetings. With my staff, we talked about new procedures we would use to (1) type our stories on the computer and add codes for headlines, bold, italic, etc., (2) send the files to the typesetter by modem, and (3) get back proofs on paper, which we’d mark for corrections in the usual manner. There shouldn’t be many corrections, we agreed, because they were capturing our files rather than re-keyboarding everything. We talked about how much quicker and easier it was going to be to get material ready for our magazine.

I enjoyed these meetings. I thought it was because the process was so cutting-edge and fascinating. My staff was pleased enough with the new procedure, but confused about why I was so animated and chatty.

As the second meeting ended, Peter waited while my staff left. “We don’t have any reason to meet here again,” he said, “but I’d like to call you for lunch….I mean, personal.”

Oof. I was totally unprepared. I don’t date, I thought. I don’t have time for that. But by the time he calls I can think up an excuse. “Okay,” I said.

He called about 20 minutes later. “How about May 8?” Crap, I didn’t think I’d need that excuse so soon. “Okay,” I said.

On May 8 Peter picked me up at my office and we went down the street to Ciatti’s Italian restaurant. We talked a lot about our families—he was the youngest of six, I was the oldest of six. As he talked about his father, who died when Peter was 14, he got a little catch in his voice and teared up a little. Smooth, I thought. He’s doing a Nancy Reagan to show his sensitive side. Am I a bad person for doubting his sincerity?

The tab came with a couple of chocolate mints. He passed his to me, saying he didn’t like mint and chocolate in combination. “Oh, I love it,” I said. “Every time I get to Chicago I go to Marshall Field to buy Frango mints.”

“I’m going to Chicago next week for a conference,” he said. “Maybe we can get together for dinner after I get back.”

"Okay," I said. And this time I wasn't thinking about making an excuse.

Update: For the record, apparently May 8 was the day he asked me out, and May 16 was our actual first lunch date. I was relying on memory; he found his 1985 calendar!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wholesome food contests

I don't mention many contests, but occasionally I'll make an exception. Robynn at Robynn's Ravings promotes wholesome foods, and she has three giveaways going: (1) $50 worth of Great Harvest Bread Company's delicious products, (2) a gift certificate to Chipotle, or (3) a DVD of the documentary "Food, Inc." If you don't live near a GHBC bakery, the company will send you a set of mixes, so anyone from anywhere in the world can enter and win. Great Harvest and Chipotle both serve up delicious products, and both follow sustainable practices. (I learned about this promotion from DJan, by the way.)

Speaking of giveaways, today's mail brought a very cute cupcake cookbook and apron I won from Moogie.


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