As a part of our new maudern people campaign, we asked Portland-based designer and restaurant owner Jessica Comingore Donais for insights on modern intimacy. Comingore owns Pizza Doughnais with her partner Justin. Prior to opening her restaurant, she ran a boutique branding agency and design-focused content site.
What is your relationship status?Married.
As the co-owner of a restaurant, I can’t say that human contact has changed significantly, as we are still interacting with our customers and community on a daily basis. That being said, the capacity of those interactions have significantly changed. What was once a space to congregate, rub elbows, and linger over glasses of wine and long conversations has now become a quiet queue on our sidewalk and one-by-one exchanges as customers take their food to-go. It’s a bit eerie, though there is also a palpable feeling of humanity and support that feels different from life pre-quarantine. As far as personal life goes, I’m definitely missing the feeling of hugging a dear friend and connecting face-to-face. No amount of technology can replace the joy that brings.
With social distancing & quarantine, how has human contact changed for you?
What was once a space to congregate, rub elbows, and linger over glasses of wine and long conversations has now become a quiet queue...though there is also a palpable feeling of humanity and support that feels different from life pre-quarantine.
How do you make time for intimacy?
I think intimacy with another—whether it be a partner or friend—begins with intimacy with yourself. Over the last year, I’ve realized that it’s nearly impossible to truly connect with another person if you don’t feel connected to yourself. This is particularly difficult when you’re trying to navigate the first year of a new business, but I try to carve out a little window at the beginning of the day in the form of meditation and at the end of the day in the form of a bath. My partner, Justin, and I also try to adhere to sleeping in and staying on airplane mode at least one of our two days off each week.
What is your shared goal of the space (or spaces) you occupy?
At home, I feel like everything is an attempt to find peace and relaxation. I’m obsessively tidy, constantly purging, and more often than not listening to meditation tunes. As introverts working in a very extroverted occupation, there is a large need to turn the knob down several notches when we walk through the door of our home. At work, that tidiness and attention to detail definitely carries over, though we also want our pizzeria to be a space that people post up and relax in. That’s done as much through design as it is through customer service.
What is a new activity you are planning to try?
Reading. It’s been a long while since I’ve given time to any personal pursuits outside of work, so I’m hoping to reconnect with my love of reading in the little windows of downtime we have right now.
What is a movie you will definitely watch?
I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I still haven’t seen Parasite despite all of the praise. Hoping to squeeze that in on one of our Mondays off.