Need a Spicier Relationship?

by Kathryn Baldwin

Speaking of spices, a friend and I recently essay-texted about a typical relationship spoiler: How can a couple rediscover their spice when it seems like the Silk Road has been buried for years? Yesterday, during my final minutes in Treadmill Hell, songwriter Ricardo Arjona delivered me the answer via his song “Di me que no” on my iPod:

En Español:

Si me dices que si, dejaré de soñar y me volveré un idiota,

Mejor dime que no y dame ese sí como un cuenta gotas;

Dime que no pensando en un sí

Y déjame lo otro a mi,

Que sí se me pone fácil

El amor se hace frágil y uno para de sonar.

Dime que no,

Y deja la puerta abierta.

In English:

If you tell me “yes,” I’ll stop dreaming and become a fool.

Just tell me “no” and give me that “yes” like a slow-trickling story;

Tell me “no” thinking about a “yes”

And leave the other to me,

Since “yes” makes me seem easy,

Love becomes fragile and one stops dreaming.

Tell me “no,”

And leave the door open.

-Ricardo Arjona, Di me que no

Everyone needs to dream in order to keep loving. Why does winning the lottery not guarantee happiness? Because solving the money problem makes you stop dreaming about how you’d the spend money and then you’re forced to focus on other problems.

Why can eating chocolate cake every single night ruin the decadence of chocolate cake? Because you’re no longer left to dream about the lusciousness of chocolate cake; the thrill of the hunt and the aspect of restraint gone, chocolate loses its exotic lure. Without imagination and looming hopes, any love, even love of chocolate, can lose its flavor.

Ricardo tells us couples to “leave the door open”… to culinary adventure. No pair is capable of checking all “first times” off their list:

  • Duck into an Indian, Asian, or Mexican market together to pick out a foreign fruit and leave laughing about how many people stared at you for seeming out of place.

  • Put Italian ingredients into your typical quesadilla dinner and compare how much easier that was to concoct than making a “calzone” would have been

-My Favorite: flour tortilla, Sautéd mushrooms, spinach, basil, sundried tomatoes, Mozzarella (folded half-moon style of course).

  • Ask your partner what country they’d die to go to and then Yelp the closest restaurant for an international date next Friday (followed by a country-themed movie rental).

-How about Spain?: Order some Paella and sangría at Esperpento in San Franscisco’s Mission District. We love that place.

  • Wake up early and pack a picnic for a low budget ferry ride across the bay. Then, bike from bench to bench, munching home packed snacks at each post, and complimenting each other’s attention to picnic-food-detail.

If you’re anything like us, culinary adventure might cause the kitchen to go up in flames. It may even award you both Moctezuma’s Revenge after eating those 1a.m.-hotdogs from a Guadalajara street vendor. Safe or not, the outcomes of adventure continually add fresh layers of spice that our perpetually virgin pallets have never experienced before.

Keep that kitchen door open, lovers 🙂


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