First Impressions, Jealousy, and Anthony Bourdain

They say you can’t change a first impression and I have to admit that they do last a long time for me. For example, my wife and I knew each other for two years before we started dating. I like to tease her that it was love at first sight — for me.

Not her. My wife thought I was a dork.

Within our first week of knowing each other, my oblivious, cold, and heartless future wife explained to me that she was interested in dating an older guy. (Not a specific person, just that when she envisioned Mr. Right, she pictured a successful man in his middle age). I was devastated. Although my hair can’t abandon my head fast enough, I tend to have a young, baby-fat face. It’s great for getting cookies from my grandma, but few would say I have the face of a “distinguished older gentleman.”

Even now, I remember those early conversations.

Particularly when I recently overheard my wife telling her sister that Anthony Bourdain is hot. A 54 year old, Bourdain definitely qualifies as an older guy — and he still has hair. How successful. Though it was three years ago that my wife said that she was interested in dating an “older guy,” a part of me now really, really hates Anthony Bourdain and chefs everywhere.

I’m a jealous person.

I’m dealing with it.

My first impression of Anthony Bourdain was “asshole.” And I looked up this “Anthony Bourdain” the second my wife and I got home. I was hoping to find out that he tortures kittens, but although he has apparently become a “television personality,” he actually seems like kind of an interesting person.

Bourdain’s travels around the world and — contrary to the travel health nurse’s frantic advice — eats street food, arguing that these people are feeding their communities, not poisoning them. He says that the most disgusting thing that he’s ever eaten is a “chicken mcnugget,” which is probably true for 99 billion people served. Bourdain also suggests that vegans are living a luxury lifestyle that is only available in developed nations. What I find interesting about these arguments is that they all stem from Bourdain’s background as a chef. I think many people explore other cultures through cuisine, so I’m prepared to accept Bourdain’s right to speak. When he starts explaining his position on climate change, I’ll be more skeptical. I’m sorry to say so, but I’m actually thinking about reading Bourdain’s book.

First impressions are important and lasting, but I guess it’s reassuring to know that we can overcome them. After all, if we couldn’t change these first impressions, my wonderful wife would still think I was a total dork and we would not be married.

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4 Responses to “First Impressions, Jealousy, and Anthony Bourdain”

  1. How can you compete with this Bourdain fellow’s full head of gray hair unless you’re maybe Richard Gere?

  2. I look at my 50something husband and sometimes wonder where is my good looking, boyishly handsome grey-haired partner. From all of the commercials directed at people my age, that is what I should have. Guess since I don’t have it, I will stick with what I’ve got. Nice post.

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