"Have you ever soul-searched?" he asked, as serious as could be. Aurelia and I looked at each other, taken aback by the question.
I looked back at him quizzically and probed for further information. "What do you mean, exactly?" We had already been asked how old we were (almost thirty!), if we were single (yes!), and if we had kids (no!) - all within a whopping ten minutes of entering the sushi restaurant. They were innocuous questions, but I was relieved there was a decent cocktail menu in front of me. My single, almost thirty-year-old, non-childbearing self needs some stiff Soju cocktails to continue this conversation.
"You know, taking some time for self-discovery," he answered.
"I think so?" I replied, trying to figure out if my potential lack of soul-searching was somehow related to the fact that I'm single, based on the way he was asking.
"Women these days are married with kids by the time they hit twenty-five," he remarked.
What the fuck? I glanced over at Aurelia, wondering which one of us would be more offended. "Really?" I said. "Here in L.A.? Maybe back East, but none of my friends here are married, and only like two have children," I said flatly.
"From what I've noticed, yeah, they are."
Ouch. Maybe this is the go-to sushi restaurant for younger, married couples with kids. "Oh. Well, I've been on my own for some time, and I love to travel, if that's what you were getting at with the soul-searching thing," I responded, trying to steer the conversation back to his original question. "Traveling really changed my entire perspective on life."
"Yeah, exactly," he said.
"Then yes, I guess I have, without calling it that or looking upon it specifically as 'soul-searching'. Now that I know better, and if I proactively 'soul-search,' will this bring me my dream man?" I joked. And if so, I will bring him here.
I was still a bit perplexed by the initial question and who was asking it: a sushi chef I'd been momentarily sitting in front of, who would later introduce himself as Mike. We exchanged numbers before Aurelia and I left the restaurant - rather, I forked over my business card for photography purposes - and when he sent me a follow-up text with his information later on that day, I shot him one back.
Hi new friend! Lol. I'm still intrigued by your question re: soul-searching.
Hey Krista, I'm happy that you are intrigued. Because I myself have been really trying to find self-discovery to conquer the universe.
...Well, Mike, you let me know when you do. I'll just be over here trying to discover how many Soju cocktails it will take for me to do the same.