January 10: Birthday Parties Are Hell

Frozen berries with coconut milk on them are almost exactly like an ice-cream sundae, if you have no sense at all and are one of those martyry type people who like to punish yourself because you think it makes you better than everyone else.

Frozen berries with coconut milk on them are almost exactly like an ice-cream sundae, if you have no sense at all and are one of those martyry type people who like to punish yourself because you think it makes you better than everyone else.

Birthday parties are hell. Well, not literal hell, and maybe even suggesting that they are metaphorical hell is a bit much, but let me argue my point just a little. First, I’m an introvert of the most introverted sort. Like, I need actual warning if there are going to be more than 5 people in a room. Thought that’s all there was gonna be, really, and there was a million times more than that. Well, 3 times more than that. And a lot of dogs. And….

And, of course, it’s day 4 of the Whole 30 Challenge, which is lovingly called “Kill All The Things” day. I’m not quite that bad, but a stiff drink would have helped with the “oh my god I have to talk to people and why is everyone so noisy” stuff. Like, a lot. And despite my champagne post of a few days ago, I’m not a big drinker. I needed tequila. 

And also, why do people bring their dogs with them everywhere? I don’t get it. And I LOVE my dog, irrationally. But, I mean, really, why all the dogs all the time.

So there’s all that. THEN there’s fact that I’m allergic to chicken, so I bring my own steak with me everywhere, just in case. I’m like that little old lady who has one of those plastic rain bonnets, all folded up accordion style, in her handbag, just in case. Only I have steak. It’s very much the same thing because you never know when you need it and there’s something rather awesome about pulling a steak out of your handbag when you arrive somewhere. It’s so very meta, isn’t it, steak, coming out of a leather bag.

I fucking love that.

I also have a perfect, blood-red manicure, because I feel like you need the whole image. Neurotic old lady, trembling as crazed dogs surround her, and it never occurs to her that it’s because she has a fucking steak in her (handmade and absurdly expensive) leather bag (that was a gift from her husband.) Instead, she’s shaking her head, just thinking people are so fucking rude for not only bringing their dogs, but not training them not to attack terrified little old ladies.

Oh, silly me, there’s a steak in my bag.

There is really no excuse for the whole scene not to have been accompanied by a long drag on a cigarette that is teetering precariously in one of those black plastic holders. Darling.

Did I mention that one of the dogs looks like a rodent and french-kissed my daughter. Non-consensually, of course.

Anyway. While all the normal people eat chicken and dumplings, assuring me that the (impossibly flaky and perfectly golden) biscuits tasted like dirt and I wasn’t missing anything, I ate steak. That’s it. Just steak.

I should probably be honest and admit that steak is absolutely my favorite food. If I could, I’d probably just eat one of the steaks that is walking around in the grass minding its own business, but that is frowned upon. (By people who let rodent dogs french-kiss teenage girls, so take it with a grain of salt.) My favorite steak, by far, is the Spencer Steak, which is really just a rib eye that had the bone taken back and some poor fool tied it back together with twine. But I prefer it this way because the two parts cook at different rates, and also, if you’re not that hungry, it will feed two people.

I’m only pretending to be the type of person who shares, and has rational portion sizes. I’m neither.

I did have a nice cast-iron skillet on which to cook my steak, which is great because otherwise I’d just eat it raw. I mean, you can’t get a good sear on anything else. So I preheated the skillet – ON AN ELECTRIC RANGE – which is pretty much like trying to use the coffee pot at a Holiday Inn to cook steak. But, luckily, since I secretly like my meat raw, it didn’t take long, and we didn’t have to leave all the doors and windows open in the house all that long. Because, well…..  you can imagine.

And, imagine this, not one single dog escaped while the doors were open.

So there we all sat, them with their platters full of gravy and chicken and biscuits, and me, eating my steak on a small plastic plate festooned with a scene from, I think, Little Red Riding Hood.

I am not at all sure why I didn’t have a real plate, but I rose to the occasion by eating my steak with my fingers.

Then, joy of joys, it was time for DESSERT!  YAY! A SUNDAE BAR.

Day 4. Lemme rephrase that:

A bar filled with all the temptations of heaven, but that was, in fact, a manifestation of essential damnation, throbbing with desire, eternally unrequited, a glistening mirage of things you can’t have. It’s a sweet metaphor.

The only thing I love more than steak is ice cream.

I did come prepared. Besides my steak, I brought fizzy water, which is nothing like tequila. And I brought frozen berries and coconut milk. Which is approximately nothing like ice cream. At all.

But, if I weren’t being so bitchy, I’d admit that it’s actually really good.

This is my go-to Whole 30 dessert, when I need it. Frozen mixed berries with coconut milk poured over the top. It’s actually really good.

And the dogs are not interested in it at all.

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