Showing posts with label half-baked. Show all posts
Showing posts with label half-baked. Show all posts

don't forgetta mezzetta!

Terence and I experienced a miracle today, in the holy aisles of BevMo. We were stocking up on liquor and mixers ahead of the coming weekend: friends visiting from out of town. Heavy drinkers. (Us, that is, in their company.) There we were, meandering along with our respectably bountiful shopping cart, when Terence followed my glance to the drink garnishes. I was staring at a jar of cocktail onions, wondering how many years it had been since I'd bought some when, to my amazement, Terence picked it up and said, "I love these. Have you ever had them? I eat them right out of the jar." Astonished, I gaped at my boyfriend, my jaw wide enough to easily catch a stuffed olive or four, should the customer nearby holding a bottle have been so inclined.

Let me explain: When it comes to food preferences, Terence and I could not be any more opposite. If he loves it, chances are I hate it - and while one of Terence's best qualities is an absolute inability to hate anything, chances are if I love it...he'd prefer something else. This isn't the case for everything, obviously, or we'd be fucked every time we prepared a meal or went out to eat. But it's definitely a dominant feature of our relationship. One that can be funny or frustrating, moods and appetites depending.

I'll just say it: Terence eats a lot of what I consider weird shit, but only because underneath my recently acquired LA gloss (what do you mean that's just shampoo residue) I'm still a Midwestern bumpkin whose palate is suspicious of anything that couldn't have been found on the shelves of Kroger, circa 1983. Coconut water. Cacao seeds. Stuff from the "sprouted" section of Whole Foods. And that's not even touching the crazy combinations of flavors he likes. I once watched in horror as he dipped ____ in some ____ (redacted; I can't even type it without feeling traumatized all over again).

I'm getting away from the point, which is how exciting it was to discover that we both like something a little out of the ordinary. No, cocktail onions aren't that out of the ordinary. But I don't know how many people will cop to an ability to consume an entire bottle of them and drink the vinegar afterward. You're cringing in disgust right now, and that's understandable. But this afternoon at a big box alcohol depot, my boyfriend and I rejoiced in this victory. For once, we'll have a treat to enjoy together. "Baby!" he teased, grabbing me around the waist and laughing. "See? We're perfect for one another!" We actually stood there canoodling like teenagers for a moment before moving on to cider and wine. (Did I mention this was all happening five minutes before closing? The staff was utterly delighted with us.)

Would this be a big deal for most couples? Probably not. But it was for us, because it's not just in food preferences that we differ - it's in a lot of things.

Every so often when I'm stuck for material, or the ideas that I do have don't compel me enough to actually do anything with them, Terence looks at me and smiles and says, "Write about us." And I wait a beat for what he usually says next, which is "Write about our fights." And then I say what I always say, which is "I can't. I can't do it honestly without making myself sound like a monster." And then he bats this away, because to him I'm never a monster (even when I'm a monster), and we volley a few more familiar lines that come down to: Ellie, you have a personal blog. Isn't the purpose to get personal?

Indeed.

So here's me getting personal, because I've been rightfully challenged to do so and because what else is the point, if not to level up my life: my boyfriend and I are fantastically, terrifyingly different, and not in insignificant ways. We're different in ways that discourage me, often. We're different in ways that thwart our efforts towards emotional intimacy. We're different in ways that result in fights - fights which he encourages me blog about, because he trusts me enough to be truthful and fair, and because he's confident enough in us to believe that despite our differences, we won't give up. Love is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another, as they say, and even though I've never heard him put it that way, such is his relationship philosophy in a nutshell. (It's a fucking macadamia nut by the way, but whatever, not the point.)

Terence and I are so different that at times those differences are all I can see...except for how much I hate myself for fixating on them. See the good, I tell myself. Screw the good; see the amazing. Have some gratitude! But despite the harshest self-admonishments I dole out in the secrecy of my mind, the differences between us rear back up, commanding my attention. And he knows that, private inner monologues notwithstanding. And he doesn't care, because, being Terence - being relentlessly optimistic and positive and so very different than me - he is always finding us cocktail onions, just when we need them most.

So there you have it. A sip of it, anyway, for the moment. Cheers.

game

Three women in a trendy Los Angeles bar are playing a game. The point of the game is to make the other two women feel invisible. This can be achieved through any means necessary, and there is only one rule: never directly acknowledge the existence of the other women.

The players don't speak to one another. There is no explicit agreement to engage in the game, which begins spontaneously and will only be played in the company of men. Indeed, the secondary objective of the game is to gain the attention of those men. Scoring is subjective, but the women know when they've won points. They've been playing the game for years. They're very good at it.

Witness Round One:

Two of the women are seated with their dates across from one another at a U-shaped bar. The third has just walked in, and joins a small group that stands near the well.

Woman One sips her cocktail and, in between flirtatious exchanges with her date, surreptitiously assesses the other female patrons. She mentally dismisses nearly all of them as non-threatening. Two of the women, however, have registered on her radar, and she straightens in her bar stool. 

Woman Two is aware of Woman One and has been for several minutes. She's angled her body slightly sideways in her seat, forcing the man beside her to turn as well lest he appear uninterested. In doing so, Woman One slips completely from his view. Point, Woman Two. She dips her head, and her long, thick hair swings forward - a silky blond curtain to shut interlopers out. Point, Woman Two.

Woman One receives this message and accepts the challenge. Though the room is cold, she sheds her coat, slowly sliding out one bare shoulder at a time. Her provocative movements have caught the eye of the bartender and of her date, who feels a small surge of excitement laced with pride. Point, Woman One. Her coat hung, she casually reaches up to gather her hair, twisting it in her fingers before letting it fall. The action puts her beautifully toned arms on full display. Point, Woman One.

Woman Three is at a disadvantage. She's standing, not elevated in a bar seat like the others, so her body is mostly hidden from view. But she is exceedingly pretty and knows it. When one of her companions makes a joke, she laughs loudly enough to garner glances from several male strangers. Point, Woman Three. She leverages the attention, leaning unnecessarily low over the bar to order her martini. She giggles at something the bartender says before swinging upright again with calculated playfulness. Point, Woman Three.