Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

I came across this blog post the other day. Apparently, it’s gone viral. When I saw it, I immediately thought of stealing this guy’s idea, only instead of talking about a mistress as the title alluded – it’s called I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married – I would turn things around and talk about dating my wife.

Then I read it and realized, he stole my idea (or rather, the idea I was going to steal from him in the first place). Oh, well. Great minds think alike.

In the post, the author, Jarrid Wilson, talks about how important it is to never rest on your laurels* and to keep the passion alive through dating, even when it’s your spouse. Especially when it’s your spouse. Complacency leads to boredom, and boredom leads to splitting up your assets. Trust me, there’s no fun in that. Not surprisingly, I believe in this philosophy myself, and think it’s a big reason why Tara and I are so happy together. Last week, I told her I wanted to take her out on a date, and when Friday night rolled around, I wined her and dined her.

*On a side note, I’ve never understood this term. I took anatomy classes in college, and can’t for the life of me remember what part of  the body the “laurels” are or where they reside in relation to, say, the gluteus maximus. Probably nearby, since if you’re always “resting” them, that implies sitting. But I digress.

So we went out to Tasty ‘N Sons, one of those typically trendy yet quintessential Portland restaurants. Which means it included things like craft cocktails and dim lighting and bicycle murals on the walls and a rock ‘n roll soundtrack and charcuterie boards (which always include blue cheese and pate made from wild game and house-made dijon mustard but never foie gras, which is way too pretentious for the Rose City) and black-clad servers who continually implore you to pardon their reach while refilling your water glass and no parking lot but easy-to-find street parking because you’re located seemingly in the middle of a residential neighborhood full of sprawling Victorian and Craftsman-style older homes and a minimum of three different variations of pork on the menu (including bacon or pork belly or bacon and pork belly).

Whew. Welcome to Portland!

Anyway, it’s all true, at least for the best restaurants in town, and we had a great date night, even though we were seated at a communal table with five other couples. Fortunately, the table was big enough that we could all stare at the other diners’ entrees and make “that looks great!” comments yet still engage in private conversation, the only reminder that we were in the company of others arriving with an occasional jab in the knee.

Bonus points to Tasty ‘N Sons, because they had doughnuts on the dessert menu. Or rather, chocolate potato doughnut holes. These oversized balls of fried dough were crisp on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle, and dusted with cinnamon, sugar, and cocoa powder. They were served on a plate with creme anglaise, and oh my god, were the best part of an already amazing meal (that included a chicken, hot link, and pork belly cassoulet for me and a pork chop with bacon jam for Tara).

Scene of last week's date night. It was considerably busier then. (Courtesy of
Scene of last week’s date night. It was considerably busier then. (Courtesy of

This, following the spontaneous candlelight-and-jazz home-cooked dinner she made recently in which we actually sat at the dining room table instead of on the couch with plates balanced on our knees.

And the Moondoggies show at the Doug Fir a few weeks ago. Tickets were $12 apiece. Proof that dating doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

This recent excellent meal out, and an email exchange with my mom, does have me wondering if I might have been adopted.

My parents are on vacation in Florida this week. We were exchanging one of those making-small-talk-to-let-you-know-we’re-alive emails in which we discussed the airplane flight, the weather, and work. Just idle chitchat. And then I asked them what they were having for dinner that night.

“Sandwiches,” my mom replied.

Hold on. You’re on vacation in Florida, and you’re eating sandwiches?! I would understand if this meant they were grabbing a Cubano or a Po’Boy from a local sandwich shop, but I know my parents very well. I guarantee they were sitting in the kitchen of their condo, assembling either bologna or boiled ham sandwiches on some sort of deli roll with a pickle on the side and a bag of chips. This being a vacation and all, there was probably some sort of cookie in the mix, as well.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, mind you. It’s actually a smart and economical way to vacation. It’s just that, when I’m on vacation, I’m ordering $47 ribeye steaks and $15 cocktails from upscale restaurants owned by former NFL stars or, at the very least, exploring the local cuisine. Which meant buffalo burgers and Moscow Mules in Denver, green chilies and chorizo in Ely, Cincinnati chili in Ohio, and peanut snapper and oyster shooters on the Oregon coast. It’s just how Tara and I roll.

Like I said, to each their own.

Hope you have a great weekend! We’ll be busy apartment hunting on Saturday and watching football on Sunday. Go, Broncos!!!

24 thoughts on “Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

  1. “*On a side note, I’ve never understood this term. I took anatomy classes in college, and can’t for the life of me remember what part of the body the “laurels” are or where they reside in relation to, say, the gluteus maximus. Probably nearby, since if you’re always “resting” them, that implies sitting. But I digress.”

    Bwhahhahahaha! Mark, that cracked me the hell up! Hilarious!

    I clicked over and read the post you referred to and was totally relieved when he revealed the truth because I thought, “Is this guy honestly confessing this online?!?”

    And I agree with both you and he, to keep the passion alive in a relationship, you gotta have date nights.

    And it sounds like you and Tara had a great date.

    ” chocolate potato doughnut holes”

    OMG…they sounded heavenly!

    Have a super weekend. And good luck with the apartment hunting!


    1. I was just as surprised, Ron. But then his title made sense. Good for him! I like it when people stand up for the sanctity of marriage. It’s a rare thing these days.

      Hope your weekend has been a good one!


  2. “…keep the passion alive through dating, even when it’s your spouse. Especially when it’s your spouse.” Exactly! We just returned home from “date night” which falls on no particular night for us. Whenever I don’t have time/don’t want to cook. Very important, that “date night”. Keeps the romance alive and the assets intact. Also, on a side note, I remember a Florida vacay many years ago, when deviled ham sandwiches were what we had to eat every day. Those were the days. Happy apartment hunting!


    1. I like that you don’t limit your date nights to any particular night. A few days ago Tara came home from work and surprised me, and that was just a run-of-the-mill Tuesday night. I loved that! I think it makes the date even more special, when it is spontaneous and unexpected.

      I know those deviled ham sandwiches of which you speak. They’re good once in a while, though I’d skip them if I were on vacation.


  3. I do believe that is where my friend Allison works……….Tasty N Sons! I swear I should arrange for you guys to hang out……..I think you’d like her!! She just moved out to Portland last summer……..


    1. Oh, really? Small world. You know, I want to say the person who seated us was named Allison…but I have no idea if that’s just me thinking it was your friend, or if her name was really Lauren or Charlene or something.


      1. She is a short girl with long curly black hair….probably wearing a scarf. She is rather fond of them. 🙂


  4. I love charcuterie boards, but hate those communal tables. Most peeps don’t know, but Cleveland is a foodie town too and we love to go out and try new places. Had a date last night that involved a bottle of wine and tapas. I’m totally on board with vacation eats! I spend hours on Trip Advisor ahead of time, looking at restaurant reviews.


    1. That’s how I am with Yelp! There’s a great tapas place in Portland that we love called Navarre. Mmm…I could totally go for some of their small plates again!

      I had no idea Cleveland was a foodie town. I pretty much associate it with the rock ‘n roll hall of fame, Drew Carey, and the Indians.


  5. I would also rather eat at home, simply because I never find restaurant seats comfortable. I also hate waiting for my next course, other people looking at me or ordering something that sounds wonderful on the menu & ends up with something ucky!


    1. A friend just forwarded a recipe for homemade bacon jam. We’ll have to try this ourselves! I can vouch for the fact that it’s delicious on a burger.

      I think the early bird specials coincide with their happy hour. Unless they were to combine the two…


  6. Joe and I still have date nights and I’m glad we do. We just had one yesterday where we went to see American Hustle and then snuggled for a night in with really good pizza and wine from his wine club. Today, the temps reached 40 degrees – woohoo! – and we took a walk around the private college here which has gorgeous architecture.

    Rooting for you Broncos btw! Good luck!


    1. Thanks, Jess! I think it was your good luck wishes that put us over the top!

      How was American Hustle? Being a fan of all things 1970s, that’s on my “must see” list, for sure. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Jennifer Lawrence.

      Your date night sounds perfect, btw.


  7. We had real Cuban sandwiches when we were in Little Havana, as well as Plantains which were a side like fries. So good!! But, if your in a condo, why not make your own? Saves money and there’s nothing wrong with that.


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