I cannot resist the power of a good romance, or a good rom-com. For many years, I tried—in the literary circles in which I traveled, they were not considered “serious” or “respectable”—but finally, in the middle of an extremely stressful year at journalism school, I succumbed. Life is unpredictable. Shit happens. In a romance, you can always be assured that love will triumph, the lovers will bring out the best in each other, and no dogs will die. I once read a book where, after many trials and tribulations, the hero fell off a railroad bridge five pages from the end. But I wasn’t worried. And sure enough, a page later, he came swimming to shore, intact and unharmed, to be reunited with his true love. It was nice to have something to be happy about, even if it was fiction. As a bonus, romance novels and rom-coms are just about the only places in the world where men reliably admit when they are assholes and grovel accordingly. It’s a fantasy, sure, but a very nice one.
(If you don’t believe me, listen to the brilliant Caroline Seide who writes the biweekly column “When Romance Met Comedy” over at AV Club.)
But sometimes (rarely), life imitates romcom. And when it does, we should celebrate. So mazel tov to Shaina Sidoti and Michael Zazzaro of Rochester, New York, who initially met seven years ago at the Rochester Public Market’s Food Truck Rodeo. Zazzaro’s truck, Chef’s Catering, sold burgers and fries. Sidoti’s, Effortlessly Healthy, sold wraps and salads.
“I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ I was super jealous of it because he was crushing me in sales,” Sidoti told WROC News 8.
But then, in true rom-com fashion, they met again a month later at another food event. Sidoti was cold and asked Zazzaro if he had a cup of tea. She told News 8, “He came to me with this huge box of all these different assorted tea bags and was like, ‘Do you want to come upstairs and see my high-end catering?’”
How could a line like that fail?
Sidoti’s employees told her, “That’s the man you’re going to marry.” Because of course they did.
The couple got engaged in 2018 and have two children. Although it’s not official-official, they consider themselves husband and wife. “We’re fortunate and lucky,” Zazzaro said. “We’ve been through tough times. Luckily we’ve had some very good times.”
And whenever Sidoti gets mad at him, she prefaces her remarks by reminding him that at least he’s really cute.
Zazzaro and Sidoti have maintained their separate food trucks. If you happen to be in the Rochester area, you can visit them next Wednesday, July 28, at the Food Truck Rodeo where it all began. And if you happen to be a Hollywood producer, I recommend snapping up the rights, like, yesterday.