I made a blow out Southern meal last night, although it ended up slightly less put together and more thrown together in a desperate bid to use my previously purchased ingredients while still putting calories into my body as fast as I can. And, boy are you lucky, I have a story for you.
Yesterday, I wrote Chris a text message around 2 that said “We running 6 tonight?” I was being facetious, since he doesn’t get home ’til after 5, we have to drive to our running spot (ironic), and I had a big dinner planned. I thought he’d tell me we needed to run 2 or something. I’m talking about miles, btw. But no! He wrote back “What are you, a pansy? I’d say we run an Elway plus a Chris. That’s a 7+1). Whoah. Telling me I’m a wuss is a surefire way to make me do something. There are a LOT of high school and college guys whose lives would have been changed forever had they known that particular factoid. Fortunately, they didn’t ever figure it out. Anyway, what it meant was that I immediately, spitefully agreed to run 8 miles on a Wednesday evening. After a morning spinning class and upper body lift. I’m a crazy woman.
The problem is I’m chasing something so genetically elusive that I will likely never find it. That thing is “a waist.” I was born without one, it seems. When I was 30 lbs heavier, I just assumed it was because I was chunky and that if I lost the weight I’d discover a magically delicious abdominal region that I could play beer pong on and flaunt around like a complete floozy in teensy half-shirts like the ones you see in Paula Abdul videos. But here I am, about 2 points away from being “underweight” on the BMI scale, my legs looking like some sort of ad for Fitness magazine, and I’ve created triceps out of thin air. And would you like to know what my abs look like? Would you? They look like shit, that’s what. Actually, they look like nothing because you CAN’T SEE THEM. They’re hiding under a layer of what I can only assume is the collective efforts of many, many cups of frosting that I have personally consumed without the benefit of a delivery system called “cake.” I can see my top two abs just fine. They’re right below my rib cage and have a lovely canyon of definition between them. After that though? They are lost in the butter abyss. I blame you for this, mom. Am I genetically incapable of a flat stomach? Will my heritage prevent me from ever having an hourglass figure? Ugh. There go my plans to get rich by starring in anonymous internet porn…
So I spend most of my time either running around attempting to be “fit” or eating in an attempt to be “happy.” It’s about 50/50. And one cancels the other out.
We started our run and all was good until about the one-mile marker, at which point I realized that I had over-hydrated and had to pee RIGHT NOW. But we were nowhere near any kind of relief, and EVEN IF there had been a reasonable roadside gully in which I could pee without being seen by motorists, I would have stood up from my hover with a horde of angry scorpions attached to my looooove shack by their pincers. Fuck that. So I kept running, hoping my body would reabsorb the liquid to use as hydration. Noooooooo. That didn’t happen. What did happen was that I felt physical pain every step that I took as my poor kidneys got jarred. At mile three, we happened upon a fire station. Chris suggested that we go up there and get a refill on our water and I could ask them if I could use their bathroom facilities. We trudged up to a group of, and I cannot explain this, completely obese firemen smoking cigarettes INDOORS. Weird. We got our water, but I chickened out on the bathroom. I didn’t want to even say the word “bathroom” in front of a group of strange men. I have potty issues, and always have. I don’t like to talk about the bathroom or what happens in it, and I don’t wish to hear what happens in other peoples’ bathrooms. It’s just a thing, alright? So we jogged on and I was SERIOUSLY regretting not having used the bathroom, sure that I’d have to brave the scorpions soon or I’d be pissing blood by the time we found a bathroom. Chris announced, somewhere along the line, that he also had to pee. We were a pair of hurting puppies, yet were STILL RUNNING AWAY FROM OUR VEHICLE. Soon we came upon the Gray Moss Inn, which is a very tony dining establishment with an expensive menu and a rich history of excellence. I came up with the genius plan of walking in, asking for information about holding our wedding reception there, and then sneaking off to the bathroom afterwards. Good, right? No. We were dripping in sweat, giant pit stains spreading under our arms like STDs in a community college, and out of breath, and before we could enter the restaurant, a nervous looking maitre d’ ran up to us to ask if he could help in a tone of voice that clearly said “please do not besmirch our fine dining establishment with your schwag-asses.” But I threw down the possibility of an expensive wedding reception, mentioned Chris’s doctoring, and he took us right inside. It was pretty humiliating to walk past women in elegant Dior suits while I was wearing a soaking-wet wife beater and a fanny pack. The guy went to get information and I ran to the bathroom which was, awfully, right by his office. The one he was in. I locked the door, sat down, and realized…I had come down with a TERRIBLE case of stage fright. I was torn between a biological need to empty myself before achieving nephrological failure and mortification that he might be able to hear me pee. I turned on the water, and nothing helped. I actually began to cry a little. Nothing was going to happen, so I went out and saw Chris helpfully providing the little dude with my real phone number. Thanks, honey! We left, and when I told Chris about my problem, he looked less than amused. We ran on.
At mile 4, Chris found a tree to pee on and I just accepted that I would probably die. My stomach had gotten very upset by how tense I had been keeping my lower body, and I had been favoring my bladder so much that I had run my knee in an awkward manner and it was swollen like crazy. We ambled home, both feeling unwell, and by the time we got back to the car it had been a solid two hours. Running is worse than walking when your pieces hurt.
We got home after 8, and I attempted to make our dinner, which was chicken fried sirloin, Texas cream peas with bacon and butter, and hash browns. I had reduced our leftover french onion soup from the other night into a glaze, added tomato paste, and called it “gravy” since I detest the cream gravy crap they usually put on chicken fried steak. It was damned good. Then I ate a fudgesicle and raspberries. My stomach hurt until I woke up this morning. My knee still hurts. But I ate and enjoyed a chicken fried steak, which has never happened before, AND I came to appreciate Texas cream peas (a hard-to-find shelled pea that is like a more delicate black-eyed pea). I had seen them in the grocery store a few days ago and gotten really excited about a produce I had never heard of, so I brought them home. With bacon, they were superb.
So that’s my southern cooking story, which is more me bitching about my jiggly belly and pathetic bladder problems. It’s my blog, and I do what I want.