When I first met Chef Matt, we had a philosophical disagreement on what it is that makes the world go 'round. I said love, and he said dreams. In seven years, neither of us has changed our position, but we are starting to understand the other's point of view.
For me, dreams are a nice diversion, something to think about while hoping you have a winning lottery ticket, but not essential to survival. Love, as we learned from Lord Voldemort's shortcomings, is the most powerful force on earth.
But my husband is a dreamer. It is a part of his fabric. And while some of his grand ideas teeter on the ridiculous (building a pirate ship and sailing around the world dressed in a cravat and large hat), his dreams related to the world of food are maddeningly possible ... if only we had an endless supply of disposable income.
First and foremost, he wants his own restaurant. I think the world of celebrity chefs make this dream all the more enticing, because it seems like every chef on earth has his own place. But in reality, very few do, and of those, few survive more than a couple years. For Matt, as it must be for every hopeful small-business owner, the allure lies in freedom -- to be his own boss, to be the artist in his own cozy, warm, 25-table restaurant.
Second, he wants to write a cookbook. This dream is already in production, and has been for several years, but the demands of the full-time job and family relegate all cookbook-production to the few minutes of wind-down time before bed.
I think what makes these dreams so wonderful is that Matt has absorbed these visions into his character and finds time, just about every day, to ponder the possibilities. Dreams, as any certified dreamer will tell you, are sometimes what make life bearable, for they allow you to choose an ultimate happiness and wander there every day, at least in your head.
As a dreamer's wife, I am concurrently impressed and saddened by his dreams. I love that he is so invested in these ideas and knows them outside and in, as if they already existed. I am saddened that it is something as unyielding as money and time that keeps his dreams locked in his mind. But I am the practical one: I do not dream as he does, so I have neither the frustration nor the joy.
Our dreams reveal so much of who we are; pirate ships and scratch-kitchen restaurants reveal someone with an adventurous and creative spirit. And every once in a while, dreams leave that little place they occupy in the backs of our minds, and come down to earth.
While I still maintain that it is love that makes the world go 'round, I have to say that dreams, and the dreamers behind them, make the world go forward. Successful dreamers build new opportunities, create something out of nothing, achieve after years of work or failure, and give the rest of us hope that perhaps, our time is coming.