Friday, April 28, 2017

Pizza and Marriage

Independent Bookstore Day is tomorrow, April 29, 2017. In honor of this day, you will find my husband and I standing in line at one of Seattle’s unique community bookstores called Book Larder to get our copy of Delancey signed by local author Molly Wizenberg. 

We have been reading Delancey aloud to each other at night. It’s a memoir about starting out, about new beginnings. Molly tells the story of her first year of marriage, during which her husband Brandon starts up a New York style pizza restaurant in Seattle without any prior business experience. While Brandon sweats to find a real estate deal, build a wood-burning pizza oven and invent his crust recipe, Molly has one hand in pizza recipes and the other in writing and publishing her first book called A Homemade Life (now New York Times bestseller). Molly writes candidly and humorously about the challenges they faced and the vision and determination her husband had to see his dream to completion. It’s a fun, local read and especially relatable for us as newlyweds.

A couple weeks ago, after spending the afternoon filing our first, joint tax return as a married couple, we decided to celebrate the occasion by going out for pizza. Of course, being in the middle of reading Delancey, there was no contest about where we would go. 

We arrived at Delancey just before 4:30 p.m. and waited outside for the restaurant to open. Before long, who emerged from the doorway but Brandon himself, rolling a large garbage bin behind him with a cheerful, impish smile on his face. We watched him disappear around the corner of the building and then come back a few minutes later with the same bin, filled to the brim with wood burning logs for the pizza oven. My anticipation increased as more smiling patrons gathered around us, waiting and expectant.

We were seated at a table for two. The table was a thick concrete block, but a lit candle warmed it. We ordered one house-made sausage pizza with mozzarella, Gana and prosciutto, and an oven-roasted radicchio salad. When our pizza arrived, the edges were blackened and blistered to perfection just as the book described. Flavors blended harmoniously together. We divided and shared it all, including lemon curd mousse and cookies for dessert.

I remembered the advice we received early on in our relationship, that love and marriage require revising the story between the two of you often. Sometimes, we need to revise our lives daily to meet the other’s needs; or in the grander scheme of life, we revise and recreate our story to grow together year after year.

In the article "Love Tips From the Very First Couple," published in The New York Times earlier this month on April 2nd, Bruce Feiler describes love being an active process, "But love is not a moment in time; it's the passage of time. It's the long-term practice of reinvention, reconciliation and renewal. Love is the act of constantly revising your own love story."

When it came to the first couple ever created, Feiler says, theirs is not the story of Adam, or the story of Eve; it is and forever will be the story of Adam and Eve. He writes, “Theirs is the first joint byline.”

One can see Molly and Brandon revising their story page by page in the book Delancey as they pursue a shared life, and every couple does. Herein lies the great potential, and responsibility, even the key to making a love story last.

That’s Brandon waving hello in front of the pizza oven. And that's me giving a thumbs up!

Inside Book Larder, the walls are lined with nothing but cookbooks and books about food. Delancey being one of them. As our dating involved so much of eating our way through Seattle, I suppose it makes sense we’d find our way into the cookbook store too, hand in hand. The food we’ve bonded over and meals we’ve shared in the past two years are already in the thousands, and counting. Again and again, we agree to spread the table and raise our glasses to the life we’re writing, we’re revising, we’re publishing day by day.

Won't you join us at our table?