Serendipity

I’ve always heard that “love happens” and sure enough, it always happens when you least expect it. As previously stated, I wasn’t looking for love when I met my now ex-husband, Chef Obi-Wan. For me, Obed will always hold a special place in my heart. He is the only man that I have ever truly loved. Before him, I had only exclusively dated 2 other guys. Shortly after meeting and dating Obed, I realized that he was my lobster. I understood then, why it simply never worked out with the other guys before him. I believe that we will experience love many times in our lives, but I also believe that when you experience “true love”, it is a love so deep that you feel it to the depth of your being. A love so strong, so penetrating that you sense each other in each others absence.

I am talking about a love that stays with you for a lifetime and is not so easily forgotten. Now, I know when you read these words on my blog, you understand that I obviously still love Obed. As I have stated before, I consider him the love of my life. It doesn’t mean that he never wronged me, or that he was a perfect mate but you will never hear me speak ill of him. I will share some of our not-so-perfect moments, as time goes on.

Tonight, however, on this particularly cozy and gloomy night – I want to share how serendipitous our “meet cute” really was. You see, I am also a believer in everything happening for a reason and predestination. I believe that people come into our lives with a purpose, a lesson and sometimes, just for a season. We never really see the lesson or the purpose behind these occurrences, until life reveals it to us, ever so gently. I guess you could call these occurrences, “Aha!” moments. Surely, you remember the blog about our “meet cute” moment, right? The one where I walked into a cafe, Obed and I lock eyes, meet for the very first time and fall madly in love? Well, that restaurant,  Hook, Line and Sinker is the exact place that I had my very first date with my ex-boyfriend. The guy I dated right before Obed. Isn’t that something?

So if I had never dated this guy, I would have likely never known about this restaurant. In fact, when Obed and I met, he had already been working there for about 2 years. All of the guys there knew who I was, and when Obed and I became exclusive, they all wondered how he had never noticed me before. I believe it was all in God’s timing. We met at the exact, predestined moment and we came in to each others lives when neither of us were looking for love.

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Butterflies & Heart Races

When I initially met Obed, I had no desire to date or even consider finding a mate. As Queen Bey says, I was “focused on my focus!” That “focus” was me, in an effort to better myself and prepare to jump start my career. I would go on occasional dates, but they were never anything serious. I actually had several men-friends or “babes”, as I always liked to call them. They were the ones I could call to fill up my gas tank or take me to nice dinners, when I felt like having company. Between school, partying and sometimes teaching DWI Intervention classes for some cash flow, I didn’t have time for a relationship. I loved my freedom and I enjoyed my singleness.

However, after I accepted to be O’s girlfriend that night, everything changed.

I cut off all my “babes” and dedicated all my free time to this very handsome, interesting, and super sweet Latin lover!

Obed w307433_1957631582010_2604704_n-1as like no one I had ever met before. He was such a hopeless romantic. He was very frank and a great communicator. I loved how educated and smart he was. Obed captivated me with his intelligent mind and creativeness. He was handsome, nerdy, and such a sweetheart.

We weren’t spending a lot of time together, but we talked and texted every single day. We spent every day that he was off together, if my schedule allowed for it. Dating him was so much fun and I was always in for a sweet surprise with him. I remember the first time he ever bought me a piece of jewelry, he sent me on a scavenger hunt to find it. It was a cute silver necklace with a little butterfly pendant. Along with that, was a love letter and poem, written just for me.  Obed always made me feel special and loved. In fact, he told me very early on in our relationship that he loved me and his actions definitely spoke louder than his words. I never had a man treat me the way he did.

Obed respected me – all of me: mind, body and soul. I feel like Obed contributed so much to my growth as a woman, a leader and as his partner. He would encourage me, when I needed it. He was a great listener, he always inspired me and when he got close to me, my heart raced. I was awestruck by him and shortly after becoming an item, it wasn’t hard to fall in love with him.

Every time I spoke of him, I got butterflies in my stomach.

To this day, I will always believe that our love story is one of the greatest. Sure, it doesn’t end with a “Happily Ever After…” but he set the bar high for the next gentleman that walks into my life. Divorce teaches you many things. Especially in the areas where you fell short, but the lesson is the reward in all of your suffering. & if nothing else, I can say that I can move forward, knowing I experienced real love in my life.

 

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Summer Lovin’

After our first date, Obed and I became a hot item, very quickly. Things happened faster than a New York second! We spent all of our free time together, and even then, it was never enough. You see, since I have known Obed, time was always against us. His work hours were always crazy. He was off one day a week, sometimes twice, if he got lucky. I was going to school full time and looking for the perfect paralegal job. I always refer to our courtship as our “Summer of Love”. 298223_1957673543059_1245175_nWe met mid-June, a few weeks later we started chatting and texting. He proved to me that chivalry was not dead and he was the absolute sweetest man ever.

Obed was quite the gentleman. He opened doors for me, made sure I was always walking on the inside of the sidewalk, and he paid attention to every detail. He knew exactly what I was wearing the very first day we met, how I had my hair fixed and even the color of my nails. Dating him was so different than any other guy I had ever dated. There was something so refreshing about him. He made falling in love so easy. Every day we spent together was magical. Some days we would go for a walk in the park, other days we’d spend hours hanging out at his pool, swimming and grilling. We would go grocery shopping and cook dinner together. Of course, he mostly did the cooking and I would help with the dishes.

So finally one night, after dinner and a movie, we were hanging out on his sofa, talking. Then, suddenly, we had our first kiss ever. It was such a sweet moment, but was interrupted by Obed pushing me away, looking me straight in the eyes and saying to me, “Mira, tu me encantas,” (Look, I adore you) “but I don’t want to be hugging you, kissing you, touching you…I don’t want to do anything like that with you, unless you are going to be my woman…” I didn’t understand what the hell had just happened. We were in the middle of a moment and he completely ruined it. Then he continues to plead his case.

“I know you don’t want a relationship, but if you just let me love you…I promise, you won’t regret it.”

Before I had a chance to even respond, he looks up at the clock and says, “I will give you some time to think about it, but if in 2 months, maybe even 4 months, you don’t know that you want to be my woman, then we can just be friends.” Still, I had no idea what was actually happening. Then he says “It’s getting late and I am sure your parents are waiting on you, so you should probably go ahead and head home.” & then he sent me on my merry way…

The whole way home, I thought about what had just transpired. I thought “this guy is crazy…who wouldn’t want a relationship with no strings attached?” At the time, I had been single for a while. My previous break up was hard on me and I just knew I would be single forever. Dating was the least of my concerns. That night, however, Obed changed that for me. Immediately when I got home, I called him to let him know I made it home safely. I also called to let him know, that I would accept his proposal to be his woman. This was on July 23, 2009, just one month after, that one fine summer day when we first met.

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Roses are red, Roses are radishes

Before I get started, on how Obed stole my heart, I want to thank you for reading along and following my blog. I really appreciate all the love, feedback and support. It encourages me to continue sharing my story and hopefully inspires you to one day do the same, if ever you find yourself with something burdening your heart so heavy, you just have to let it out. Now, let’s get back to biznishhh!

Our first date was the sweetest thing. At the time I had no idea that Obed was passionate about the kitchen. I only knew that he worked at one of my favorite seafood joints in Dallas. I was excited about what we would do because I hadn’t had a first date in a while but I was a little nervous, to be honest. He asked me to meet him at his place in Irving, so I had quite the commute ahead of me. I lived in Seagoville, where I grew up and lived my whole life. That is this little ol’ country town on the outskirts of Dallas. We are barely considered Dallas County, actually. It is the “City of Opportunity”, where ironically enough, we have a Federal Penitentiary right next door to our Central Park. It’s comical! Irving and Seagoville are two extremes on the DFW Metro-plex spectrum. It was about a 40 minute commute for me but it was always worth it. I would usually see him on Monday’s or Tuesday’s when he was off and they were the best days ever.

However, this is the story of my little rose radishes on our very first date; the second bunch of flowers Obed ever gifted me.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a foodie. Nothing makes me happier than breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner! I even have a hungry dance too and if the food is really good— sound effects, “Mmmm…!”

The fact that I married a chef was just the icing on the cake!

(See what I did there?) So at this point, O and I are barely getting to know each other. We’ve been calling and texting each other for a few weeks now. He had already delivered the most gorgeous flowers I had ever received to my home and I felt like the least I could do was give the guy a chance.  He was off that day and had planned a romantic night in, where he prepared dinner for us and won this curvaceous womans heart over! When I got to his place, he was busy in the kitchen. Of course, I offered to help, but he insisted I sit down and wait for my plate to be served. He had some carne asada (grilled flank steak) going, he was chopping up cilantro, limes and radishes, and had the tortillas on the comal (Spanish for flat iron griddle us Mexicans use for warming tortillas). He was on it! His ability to do so many things at once, was impressive. I would have surely caught the place on fire!

Then, he cut up the carne asada into little pieces and started setting the table. He put all the limes in a dish with the finely chopped cilantro and next thing I know –

I see the cutest little radishes, carved into pretty little roses. It was the cutest thing ever!

& finally, dinner was served. We had such a wonderful time and I learned all about his passion of food, and he learned all about mine, as I stuffed my face with best carne asada tacos, dressed with cilantro, lime and homemade green salsa. It was then that he showed me how to eat the little rose shaped radishes. It was also then, that I learned I had a very handsome, sweetie pie of a prospect!

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The Meet Cute

You know when you begin watching a movie, a chick flick to be exact, and you get all giddy because you just know it’s gonna be one of those movies that is gonna give you butterflies and inspire you to believe in love? Well, all of these movies have one thing in common, and it’s called a “meet cute”. The meet cute is that scene in a romantic film, where the two characters, who are destined to be together, meet for the very first time. It’s that unplanned moment where they accidentally bump into each other or lock eyes from across the room.

Well tonight, I am gonna share with you my “meet cute” moment of when I met, who I consider, the love of my life.

It’s mid-June, one helluva hot Texas Summer in 2009. I am single, I am happy, I am comfortable in my own skin and I am wrapping up my last semester in the Paralegal Studies Program at El Centro College. My sister, Yadira, and I go to lunch at my favorite casual seafood joint here in Dallas—Hook, Line & Sinker!20161018_192005  It’s afternoon, the lunch rush is gone and we are greeted with smiles and a bunch of “Eeeeyyyyy, how are you? Long time, no see!” by the very friendly staff that recognize us as regulars. We smile, laugh, place our order, and take a seat. Our order is ready in less than 20 minutes and instead of walking up to the counter for our food, there comes this friendly face delivering our order to our table. He smiles, sets the food down in front of us, and politely asks if there is anything else we need. I respond with, “No. We’re fine, thank you!” and he smiles again and says “Provecho!” as he walks away. & for all my non-Latin sisters out there, this simply means “Enjoy!” Moments later, that same friendly face is gazing over, cleaning all the empty tables around us, and asks if we are doing alright or need anything else. My response remains the same but only this time in Spanish to be polite, “Estamos bien, gracias!” He continues cleaning the already clean tables around us and finally asks (in Spanish of course) “Where are you from?” I quickly answer, trying to get that bite of food down, “Dallas,” even though I am really just a small town gal, trying to make it in the big bad city. He wouldn’t even know where Seagoville, Texas was anyways. Dallas is the much better response. He then says, very proudly, that he is from Aguascalientes (this translates to “hotwaters”). I didn’t know where that was, but I knew it was in Mexico. I really just tried to be like “oh cool” and go back to minding my business of tearing up that delicious seafood. Then he says, “I can take you one day, if you ever want to go.” So me being the friendly gal that I am, just go along with the convo and say, “Yea, sure! Whenever you want to invite me, I’ll go!” but rolling my eyes internally. Finally, he introduces himself:

“Yo me llamo Obed.” I respond with “Ana, nice to meet you” in Spanish.

Then he starts making small talk, asking whether or not we frequent this place a lot, what part of Mexico my family is from, etc. At the time, I had no idea that Obed had worked there for about 2 years, when we met, but we never saw each other until that day. At this point, I was just ready to leave, but I kept smiling and answering and finally, signaled to my sis with just a look, LET’S GOOOOOO!!!! She likes him. She thinks he is cute, and she says, “Ana, he is nice, I think you should just leave him your number.” I look at her like (insert rolling eyes emoticon here) “Girl, please!” We leave the restaurant, say goodbye and I walk out of his life fuh-eva, until the weekend of July 4th. I was still single, still happy, enjoying my life and on holiday. I am visiting family in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Then suddenly, I get a text a message in Spanish

“Hola! Como estas?” My automatic response was “You have the wrong number”

because no one ever texted me in Spanish. Then he hit me with “Ana? It’s me, the guy from Aguascalientes!” Immediately, I dialed my sister in less than 2.5 seconds and ripped her a new one. She laughs hysterically, “Ahahahahahahhaha! Sis, just talk to him! He is nice and he’s cute too! Maybe he will give us the hook up on some food!” My sister was worried about a hook up and I was concerned with whether or not he was a psychopath serial killer (that’s just how my mind works). I was mad! You DO NOT just give out one’s phone number like that. It is a clear Girl Code violation. Especially between sisters! Like, who does that? Later, I found out she had gone back to Hookline for dinner one night and Obed remembered her. He asked her about me, and she gave him my number.

So then, I had this guy named Obed from Aguascalientes, Mexico texting me what seemed like every damn day, until I finally gave him the time of day. & to make long story short, a few weeks later, we are texting frequently and talking and I received the most beautiful flowers ever gifted to me and delivered straight to my home. 20161018_190949My mother was in awe and was curious as to who sent me those beauties. I so weirdly respond, “Mom, it’s this guy named Obed and he is from Mexico and he works at a restaurant.” At this point, I am still thinking I am totally out of his league. This guy couldn’t possibly think he stands a chance. I am a U.S. Citizen! Although, Donald Trump would argue that I am an anchor baby, but we will save that for another blog. I hate to sound vain and all but let’s face it, we all think we know what kind of guy we will end up with. For sure, I never thought I would marry a Mexican. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my people. I am proud to be Mexicana. I love everything Latin. The thing is, when you are born and raised in the U.S. and you are Latina, you just don’t grow up submerged in your culture. It is very different. I don’t discriminate when it comes to men. I like them all. No matter race or color. I just didn’t think in a million years that I would marry a straight up Mexican from dead smack in the center of Mexico. Aguascalientes, Mexico to be exact. I quickly learned that Obed was such a hopeless romantic and everything he did, he did with such a sweet and enormous passion. He paid attention to everything, and he was ever so detailed. Obed always made it a point to let me know how special I was to him and wasn’t afraid to tell me that he knew he loved me, from the very first time he saw me. I never believed in love at first sight. In fact, I thought that was a thing of fairy tales and simply didn’t exist. Looking back, however, and realizing all the details, I see now that everything Obed ever told me was true. He loved me from that day forward. Obed always told me throughout our marriage, how he could never forget the day he laid eyes on me. He said that he knew from the moment he first saw me that I would be his wife. He recounts our “meet cute” much differently than I do. When I walked in to the restaurant that day, he says he was immediately drawn to me. He said my smile was contagious and that my aura illuminated joy and happiness and he could not wait to get close to me.

Finally, after much conversation about him with my momma, I decided I should give the guy a chance. I needed to thank him for the beautiful flowers and so I agreed to have a first date. The rest is history. Two years later, we married on a lovely Fall evening in the middle of a beautiful garden in good ol’ Palestine, Texas on September 17, 2011. Fast forward four years later and we find ourselves divorced.

Now before y’all start feeling sorry for me, please know that I actually am ok. I am still very excited to share my life adventures of what being married to a chef was like. It was absolutely the most challenging, yet rewarding experience of my life. I hope you enjoy my stories and are able to take something positive from them that can be applied to any marriage. I wish to inspire you on my quest for steaming things up and cooling things off, all for the sake of perfecting an eternal recipe for life and love!

Thank y’all for following, subscribing, liking and sharing! I appreciate all the love and support. Provecho!

XO – Ana Verduzco

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O & A Heartbreak

If you and I have never actually met and you know absolutely nothing about my life, this will just be a story of marriage and divorce. If you know me personally, well let me explain the situation a bit before you get all “mo” on me.

First things first, people don’t get married thinking their marriage will end in divorce. You marry because you feel it in your heart that this person you love is your forever. Unfortunately for me, my forever barely lasted four years and my happily ever after ended right when I thought Obed and I had a pretty good grip on our life plan. I lived a pretty sweet life by his side. We ate at all the greatest places. He always gifted me gorgeous “just because” flowers and I always tried to be his biggest fan and supporter as a Chef Wife. We were working towards some pretty big dreams but somewhere along the way, we flipped the script and suddenly found each other on very different pages. We were both so fixated on our goals and dreams that we lost focus of the most important thing, which should have been our marriage.

Here’s the thing, O and I are indeed divorced. We are not “friends” but we are on good terms. We respect each other and we are cordial. Our divorce was far from ugly and I am pretty sure we still love each other but we are in two very different places in life. My choice was never to divorce. No woman ever wants to be in my place but it happens y’all! If it does, you trust in God, you accept things for what they are and you focus on getting yourself to a better state. It doesn’t mean that you have failed because your marriage has. It does not mean that your life is over and it definitely does not mean that you are NOT loved. Ironically enough, I have never felt more loved in my life. I have the best family and friends to support me and lift my spirit. They are my living proof that show me daily that I am definitely loved. So shout out to la familia and all my cool ass homies for gifting me love! Divorce is a bitch, I am not gonna lie. It sucks, but you know what else sucks? Pitty Parties! So– let’s just move right along, shall we?

I originally intended this blog to be about all the fun, happy and sappy moments of what being married to a chef was all about. Now,­­­­­­ this blog has inadvertently changed into my refuge. It is my self-therapy. It is my diary, my advice and my everlasting lessons of the many joys and pains of life, love, passion and la cocina! I still plan on sharing with you all the highs and lows of what to expect when marrying a chef, because contrary to everyone’s belief, he will cook for the entire world except for you! I hope you stick around and bear with me as I navigate my way through this new journey of singlehood, rollercoaster of emotions and explore all the new endless possibilities that the pain of divorce leaves you with. I know my situation is not ideal, but nonetheless, I am here and if I know one thing about divorce – I know that I won’t be the first or the last woman to ever go through it! Now that I’ve put that out there: BRACE YOURSELVES FRIENDS & LET ME BLOG ABOUT IT!

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Be patient dear friends, my blog is launching soon! In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite love poems.

“If You Forget Me”
By Pablo Neruda


I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists:
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.


 

 

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