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Today one of my closest girlfriends treated me to a birthday lunch at a local restaurant. It was so much fun and I was quite excited to see her again. I had really missed her. As we sat there, we talked and laughed while my right eye checked out the many veterans who came to eat in uniform or with a cap on reflecting veteran status. (God bless them all on this day, Veteran's Day!) My left eye, in the meantime, was focused on my friend. When our sweet waitress gave us the menu, I could not decide what to choose. My friend suggested the Oriental Chicken Salad since I had never had it before. Why not? I agreed. I was quite hungry. Therefore, I was very grateful that it didn't take long before our salads arrived. And then it happened!

I stared down at the salad and it seemed to stare back at me. It was as if it were love at first sight. It began to call to me and I became as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. My heart started to pound. Hot flashes seared through my body. I slowly picked up my fork placing it into a piece of soft green tender avocado. Gently placing it onto my tongue I began savoring its flavorful softness. After slowly teasing my taste buds, I then ventured into trying the fried noodles. They were amazingly crunchy and fresh beyond my wildest desires. It was at that moment that I closed my eyes. I felt as if a hundred Buddhist monks were chanting softly in my ear. With my eyes still shut, I then proceeded on to the grilled chicken, all tender and juicy. I felt as if I had been transported to Hong Kong while listening to a thousand melodic Chinese flutes. I pictured Jackie Chan feeding me fresh morsels of lettuce as I lay on a soft couch of velvet. There was no doubt I was experiencing a delightful as well as sensual culinary moment. As I continued on with my lunch the toasted sliced almonds were next. They were amazingly crunchy, so tasty and oh so perfect. At this point, my friend was happily enjoying her lunch while talking about her dog amongst other topics. She did not seem to be aware that I was in another dimension caught between two worlds. As her stomach filled up mine kept on begging for more salad. I ate every bit. While munching on the last bit of salad greens I realized that lunch was over and so was my trip to the Orient. I opened my eyes and was now back in the restaurant sipping the last of my ice tea. As my friend continued to talk, I realized that at last, when I had least expected, I finally found "the one". This was not just anyone. This was “the one” that I had been looking for all these years. This was “the one” who delighted me with pleasure beyond my wildest dreams. Who knew it would be an Oriental Chicken Salad that could bring me such pleasure beyond my imagination. I had finally found love at last and who knew i was right up the street at a local restaurant. It was definitely worth the wait.

As my friend and I said our goodbyes, I envied her that she could take some salad home while I, on the other hand, had been left to want for more. While we hugged and bid each other a safe trip home, I began to plan for my next meeting with this seductive culinary tease. As I pulled away in my car, I slowly turned around and gave the restaurant one last look. I then drove home. I look forward to bedtime as visions of Oriental Chicken Salad will dance in my head as I sleep. And I will surely be planning another lunch at the same place in the same seat to once again meet up with "the one".


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