Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Basil ‘Bruschetta’

“I think you may have an unhealthy obsession with Rihanna.”

“Is it because I told you if Rihanna asked me to run away with her, I would?”

Roo took a bite of bruschetta and nodded.

“Well, I had to warn you…in case if you saw us together on TMZ.”

“Really. TMZ?”

“It could happen. Anyway, it’s just a girl crush! You know, where you greatly admire someone -”

“Probably too much?”

“No such thing,” I said, rolling a roasted tomato back onto my bread. “Certainly there has to be someone you’re crushing on.”

“Like a man crush?”

“Yeah, like an athlete or an actor you’re obsessed with. Oh! Like Tom Brady.”

“While I greatly appreciate his Jedi-like skills, no.”

I tapped my finger on my plate. “I got it.”

“I don’t think so. I don’t have a guy -”

“Pedro.”

Roo stopped mid-chew. “Martinez?”

“You’d totally run away with him to a deserted island.”

Roo set his bruschetta down and folded his hands together. “Yes, yes I would.”

I laughed, picturing Roo and Martinez taking turns burying each other in the sand.

“You know why?”

“Because you greatly admire pitchers? Particularly ones that have played for the Sox?”

“That and he’s incredibly talented. He’s also pretty laid back and has a very diverse group of friends.”

“You’ve obviously thought this through.” I paused. “If you were asked, would I be invited?”

“Would I be, if Rihanna asked you?”

I smiled. “Obviously not.”

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Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

I sighed and closed my laptop. “I just ordered $400 worth of shoes.”

“WHAT?!”

“I need a new pair of shoes for the wedding we’re going to. I can’t wear any of the ones I own.”

“Why not?”

“You know why. Stinkee got to them.”

Roo laughed, “They’re not that bad. No one will notice.”

“There are chunks missing! I can’t go to the wedding, looking like I anxiously gnawed on my shoes the whole car ride down.”

“It does make a great story.”

I didn’t laugh. “Listen, I’m planning on returning all but one pair.”

“Ok.”

Three days later

“So…I’m not returning any of the shoes.”

“Lys, you can’t keep them. You said it yourself, it’s $400 worth of shoes.”

I looked up from the floor, hugging the ripped open box, “I like them all. I didn’t think I would, but I do.”

“I’m going to say it again, it’s $400 worth of shoes.”

I started pulling out pairs of strappy heels, creamy colored pumps, then a set of ruby peep toes for good measure. “Look at them! Who knew I had such good taste!”

“Lys, you wear leggings and a t-shirt to work everyday. How are you going to wear those on the train? Never mind the bus.”

“I could do it.”

“How are you going to afford your share of groceries?”

I looked away, “We could totally still eat well.”

“What, what will we eat besides ramen noodles and canned fruit cocktail the whole month?”

“Polenta.” I replied, still feeling Roo’s eyes still on me. “Polenta with roasted veg. Super affordable and delicious.”

“Yes, I love polenta, but the shoes. We’re trying to save up for a house, remember?”

“But what good is a house when there are no cute shoes to wear walking around it?”

“This from the  girl who makes everyone take off their shoes upon entering.”

“Polenta, Roo. And cute shoes. It’s a win win,” I replied, and began carefully putting my children new shoes back into their own boxes.

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I’ve been holding onto some news.

What took me so long to tell you?

Well…I forgot what Roo said when he asked.

I’m a horrible fiancé.

It wasn’t until last night that I mustered the courage to ask Roo what happened.  I wanted to know more than what I had been telling my friends,”he laughed, then I laughed, and I said ‘Yes.” Because, really? Even a friend doesn’t want to hear an engagement story like that.

“I was going to write up that I we got engaged.”

“Oh. You haven’t done that yet?”

“Not yet.  It’s just that,” I paused. ” I kinda forgot what you said.”

Roo smiled, “Did you blackout from overwhelming emotion?”

“Perhaps. I remember you joking, saying that I had to take my sunglasses off so you could see me cry.”

“And you didn’t!”

“I know! Are you disappointed?”

“Not really.”

“I do remember somethings. Sitting on the bench with you, watching the rowers go by on the Charles…wondering aloud if those girls from Wellesley College actually started in Wellesley and paddled down to Boston -”

“Wellesley girls? That’s what you remember?”

“No! There’s more! I remember you getting down on one knee, removing the ring from your wallet – which was so sneaky by the way – and,” I laughed, “I remember saying ‘No’ as a joke.”

“But what I actually said to you -”

“Something about being a better man?”

“Yes. I said you make me a better man, even when you’re away, and I would be honored if you spend the rest of your life with me.”

“Oh. No wonder I blacked out.”

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