I’ve spent the last few days working by myself on Pop-pop’s cottage while My Captain works 48 hours straight over the holiday. I’ve been tearing down wallpaper from the ’80’s; I’ve been sanding, cussing, scraping, painting, cussing, re-painting, and ruining my favorite clothes.
Because wearing your favorite pink LLBean t-shirt makes sense when you are painting a blue room.
Quick side note: Painting floor and ceiling trim while hopped up on caffeine is not a good plan.
I’d bought enough McDonald’s sausage burritos to last me through the long weekend, and stuck them in the fridge so I wouldn’t have to leave the cottage and interrupt my work. I never thought I would get sick of McDonald’s sausage burritos. Not in a million years.
Apparently I’ve been working on this project for over a million years.
So this morning, because I couldn’t look at another burrito, and because I am starting to get really dagnab lonely, I decided to walk into the Town of Bethany and get myself a well-earned Ruthie’s Bakery Jelly-Filled Doughnut and maybe make some conversation.
Let me draw you a picture: Dressed in my pepto-bismol pink, paint-splattered LL Bean t-shirt, comfort waist, Just-My-Size paint-splattered Bermuda jean shorts, olive-green smartwool ankle socks, and brown, Croc brand, Teva-styled hiking sandals, I rocked that sidewalk like only a woman who simply doesn’t give a crap about what image she projects, could.
Oh, and my arthritic knee is acting up because I’ve been on it non-stop this weekend, so I limped significantly the whole way. I was a sight to behold.
People were grabbing their children and moving to the other side of the street, I tell you.
I didn’t care, though. In fact, I tried to make eye contact with everyone I passed and grin at them as if to say, “I know, I right?”
Eventually I arrived at Ruthie’s Bakery, only to find a sign that read: “Closed due to Sandy and (Town of Bethany) Construction.”
My heart plummeted. I’ve been going to that Bakery every summer since I was a toddler. Pop-pop and I used to go and get all sticky with jelly and powdered sugar together on the boardwalk. It was a traumatic moment for me.
Plus, I was hungry, which adds significant drama to anything.
Sadly, I limped a couple of doors up the sidewalk and arrived at a Tex-Mex restaurant where I ordered a chorizio and cheddar omelet, and coffee. When it came, I realized this wasn’t breakfast; this was a challenge. Nutritionally, this was WAY worse than any Ruthie’s doughnut might have been.
This dingdang omelet was bigger than 4 McDonald’s sausage burritos, and I would never eat that many burritos in one sitting. And it was served with whole grain toast and seasoned breakfast taters and onions.
Here’s the problem: I have always been a member of the clean plate club; I refuse to throw out food; and I didn’t feel like adding a doggie bag of omelet to my walk home. I had to eat what was put before me. The way I saw it, I had no choice. I felt like I was in my own version of Man Vs Food, only it was Mama Vs Food.
I ate everything but the potatoes. I. Just. Couldn’t. Eat. All. Of. It.
I wanted to cry as I threw away the potatoes.
Limping home, I tried to shake off the sense of gastronomic defeat. But the sun was shining on the ocean, the wood on the boardwalk was warm, and I was surrounded by cheerful early morning joggers. In fact, I think every spandex-sporting, super health-conscious soccer mom in Bethany was jogging. And none of them had my sense of style, I assure you. Some of them had on more make-up for their run then I put on for….well, for anything I ever do. But I have to tell you, I was so full that merely watching them jog made me want to puke.
But at least they could work off a 15,000 calorie omelet. I certainly have no business eating that much when my swollen, arthritic knee barely allows me to walk into town.
My sense of gastronomic defeat morphed into frustration. How cruel it is that I should be given such crappy joints but have such a true passionate love for food?
I got home and flopped on the 1930’s glider, wishing I could change the situation. Because I can’t change the arthritis, and I can’t change my love of food.
Oh sure, you COULD make an argument for self-discipline, but that omelet was damn tasty, and life is short.
Or, should I say, after that 15,000 calorie omelet, life is shorter.
Do me a favor and put “Damn, that was tasty!” on my gravestone, will ya?