Tonight, I ate Greek food at a restaurant in Astoria and realized I have it all wrong. My dreams of being an actor, comedian and talk show host all crumbled into dust as I wolfed down lamb and potatoes and watched burly Greek men taking orders. I don’t want a life in the entertainment industry at all.
What I really want is to marry into an extended Greek family and help manage a neighborhood restaurant while raising a family of six boys and a goldfish.
Stavros and I would meet at the restaurant one day. I’d be biting into a flaky pastry dessert and he’d come over to ask how the food was and then our eyes would meet and we’d be married within the month.
We’d move into a building the family owned down the block from his parents house. After leaving the restaurant, Stavros and I would go by their house to say hi and end up spending an hour chatting with them on their front porch stoop, the neighbors joining in the conversation as they got back from work.
We’d have children and watch them grow up and play sports on the street and get involved in the local chapter of the Greek American Organization. They’d get boyfriends and girlfriends (except for Melina) and go to high school and get into college (except for Spiros and Lars – they would be taking over the restaurant) and as the years pass we would watch the neighborhood change and remark on it with his parents on the stoop of their front porch.
Business at the restaurant would wax and wane and the menu rarely change. We’d keep up with the regulars as great tragedies and joys happened in their lives and we’d go to countless weddings and funerals and get togethers and Greek Orthodox celebrations.
Stavros would have a hairy barrel chest and a strong nose. I’d look very not Greek but do my best to keep up with everyone, and on Sunday evenings when we didn’t have to work we’d walk down the main street in Astoria and say hi to our friends, enemies, nuisances, grandchildren, children and everyone in between.
It would be a different, less glamrous life, but it would be rich.
And that’s why I need to be careful about making big life decisions on a whim and too soon before or after a meal. Things can get carried away.