I'm in Mexico right now.
Am I running away from the authorities?
I'm getting married.
(Insert marriage/prison joke here.)
But I wanted to share a story with you while I'm gone, with the wedding on Saturday (The reception, with all that vegetarian food I've been mentioning, is next month).
This is the story of how food can help someone fall in love.
My fiance, Sara, is the cat's meow, or, as we vegans say, the celery's stalk.*
* Author's note: We don't actually say that. I'm trying to start a trend..
Sara had been vegetarian for years before we started dating last January, when I was still a meat-and-cheese consuming dude.
Even as it was clear that she took being a vegetarian very seriously and was passionate about animal welfare, she never made a big fuss about me eating a bacon cheeseburger in front of her or asked that I'd change.
That's because she's also extremely smart. Instead of beating me over the head with statistics and animal rights lectures, she just let me figure things out on my own.
So I read books, such as "Eating Animals." And I observed how she went about things.
And then last May, on my own accord, I became a vegetarian. A few months later, I stopped eating milk and cheese and became vegan. Second best decision of my life (Saturday's being the best.)
There are many things I love about the woman I am marrying this week. If this was "The Bachelor," I'd hand her the rose every week. If this was "American Idol," I'd give her the most votes. If this was "Real Housewives" .... well, we'd both run because that show is crazy.
But throughout our relationship, it's easy to see that a passion we both have over a food lifestyle choice has brought us closer together. We write a vegetarian blog together, we get excited about finding new types of food, and we have long talks about the food industry and animals that gives great depth to car trip conversations.
I am quite sure that I'd be saying "I do" this week even if one or both of us weren't vegetarians. Love isn't about an appreciation of just one value. But just as a shared passion for sports, for literature or for motorcycles can help spur a great connection, so can being vegetarian as a couple, with the added bonus of healthier living.
Which is all to say that maybe there's some truth to the adage that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
And to Sara: You're the petal to my stem. I'm excited to become the Mr. to your Mrs.
-- Reach Andrew Shaw at 505-5431 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @vegonthetable