It is positively tragic how infrequently I jot down my thoughts, despite having so, so many of them. This weekend, while celebrating a friend's birthday in Ojai, a few of the girls said "you should blog about this stuff" (after I told a funny story). That got me to thinking that I really do need to get back to writing things down. Not only do I enjoy writing, but it also helps me remember all of these random events which take place in my never-dull life! At the same time, however, I thought, "Hmmm.... reading my stories in a printed form versus hearing my stories (complete with my freakish facial expressions and old Italian woman hand gestures) may not be as interesting." I'm pretty sure I'm right about this, but alas, I'm going to write away anyway. :)
This all started with me telling the story about how I, at age 38, found myself Googling "what is a mammal?"
So there I was.... meeting a work colleague for a business lunch. We had not yet met in person, but had exchanged emails back and forth. She worked for one of my colleagues' friends, so it was the whole six-degrees-of-separation thing, only in the professional world. I was happy to meet her, given that I didn't know many others in my field outside of my own office, and hey, I've lived here less than a year and am still making new friends! Anyway, she suggested meeting for lunch, and then suggested going to a restaurant nearby which I had heard about from everyone (all of whom raved about this place). I was quick to accept, and then promptly went online to peruse their menu.
Well. Oh. Ok. Um. Sure. Well, I suppose I could eat that. Or maybe that. Or maybe even that? Yeah, the vast majority of the menu contained ingredients of things I'd never eat in a million years. But, as is the case in most foo foo restaurants, there's always some rather normal chicken or steak dish, and this place had both. Hooray! I could do it.
So, I went to meet Girl for lunch, and once we sat down, the waitress appeared and announced that the menu was premised on "family style" dining. Hmmm. OK. That's going to prove interesting since I just met this girl five minutes ago. Whatever. I nod my head politely and smile at the waitress and say "Oh, good!" like family style dining is my dream come true. The waitress then leaves, after taking our drink orders (don't even get me started about how they don't have any soda at this place. You can get ginger infused lemonade or some other bullshit, but a Coke? How dare you!)
Girl then looks up from her menu and says "What should we get?" And then, says "Just so you know, I don't eat mammals."
Um. How the hell does one respond to that - personally or professionally? I had no fricking clue what to say! So I nodded my head like a dummy, and died a little on the inside, thinking, "Let me get this straight. I'm with a stranger, at a family style restaurant, where I can no longer order the pre-selected safe harbor menu items I had decided upon, but instead have to select mammal-free entrees, nevermind the fact that I cannot, for the life of me, recall what constituted a mammal." Is chicken a mammal? Fish? Cow? Shrimp? Agh! I cursed myself for not paying more attention in third or fourth grade - whenever we learned this shit. All I knew was that I was a mammal, and I knew humans weren't on the menu, so yeah, I was getting nowhere.
I kind of blanked at that moment, and tried really hard not to freak out when she suggested we get some spring rolls (spring rolls. OK. I can do that. Right? I mean, I have eaten Jack in the Box egg rolls when I've been drunk before. They're sort of the same thing, right?) Which spring rolls? Oh. The vegetarian ones, of course. The ones loaded with tofu and bok choy. Frankly, I'd rather eat my own stool than eat tofu and bok choy, especially when wrapped in some cool, clammy, membrane-y wrapper thingie.
But gold star for me, because once I was armed with a full iced team and a full glass of water, decided to try a spring roll. I had two huge bites of that disgusting crap, and even tried the weird peanut sauce it came with, so I deserve a fucking medal.
Once it came time to order the entrees, I was at a total loss. There was no way in hell I was going to eat a single one of those weird non-meat items on the menu. I was stuck. I was going to have to be a grown up and try food I knew I wouldn't like. Grrr.
We ended up ordering some weird rice cakes with mushrooms (not disgusting) and some lemongrass chicken (what the hell is that? I don't care, it's chicken, and I eat that) and some weird shrimp noodle lettuce salad dish thingie which I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Girl ended up packing up most of the food to take with her, as I feigned being full from the two bites of spring roll, the rice cake, and the little bit of chicken I did eat. I did, however, drink about 8 glasses of liquids at lunch, and just talked, talked, talked so as to distract from the fact that I wasn't eating.
All in all, it ended up fine. Girl was super nice, and it's not her fault she likes weird food and doesn't eat delicious steaks or ham. At least I made a new pal, and can cross that restaurant off my list for good.
And now, excuse me while I return to the wikipedia page on mammals.