11:45pm. I just came back from a lovely dinner out. This is atypical for me. Usually by the time primetime rolls around on Thursday nights, I am in my comfy, elastic-waisted pants and am perched comfortably on my arse with a remote in one hand and an iphone in other watching something that takes very little brain power and has Leslie Mann in it. But tonight I put on my most uncomfortable pair of pants and headed to a restaurant that has exactly seven things on the menu and wine is a requirement.
I made my husband proud. I did not have to take any xanax before ordering, I managed to make only one change to my order, and I barely gagged when someone at the table was eating the marrow out of a giant meat bone, animal still undetermined.
This is pretty huge for me.
I grew up making picky eaters look adventurous. I ordered exactly one of three things at restaurants. Chicken fingers and french fries. Buttered noodles. Bread. Chinese? Noodles. Indian? Bread. American? Chicken. Italian? Noodles. Thai? Noodles.
And then I married a foodie. And he sure as heck wouldn’t take bread or fingers or noodles for anÂ acceptableÂ answer. So, I began to try things. Slowly. I ate my very first hamburger in my 20s. I tried Thai curries and veggie sushi and eggplant parmesan and quinoa and hot dogs. And these are now some of my most favorite foods in the entire world.
I still have my rules, of course. About strange spices. About certain animals. About things not being too, um, goopy. About things not touching each other. About where fruit belonged. About hidden raisins. Read: NOT IN DESSERT. NOT ON PIZZA. NOT IN YOGURT. NOT IN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. NOT IN SALADS. NOT IN JELLO. NOT IN FRUIT SALAD OMG SHUDDER.
There are, of course, a few exceptions.
Key lime pie. Yes.
Lemon squares. Yes.
Banana bread. Yes.
Orange-poppy cake. Yes.
Apple pie (but not actually the apples. I know.) Yes.
Wait…is pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable?!
Also, can we talk about fruitcake for a moment? Do people really even actually eat fruitcake? I thought it was like egg nogâ€”something that comes out around the holidays but something that no one actually consumes. But then Twitter and Facebook told me that some people absolutely love egg nog, which just shocked me. Especially since it’s made of EGGS. Eggs do not belong in DRINKS. also, my friend Sam told me that the French name for Egg Nog is Chicken Milk. Chicken. Milk. Oh vomit.
So, when we go out, while I’m not ordering fruit or egg nog, I’m the one who is never ready when it’s my turn to orderâ€”and this is after reading the menu top-to-bottom at home before even stepping foot in the restaurant. I’m the one who requests things on the side. I need to make substitutions. I need to ask a lot of questions. I need them to hold the cilantro. I need meat to be overcooked.
I am Sally Albright, only with less Farrah Fawcett hair.
I’d like the chef salad please with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode.Â But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top I want it on the side and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real if it’s out of a can then nothing.
Only, I’m pretty sure that Sally Albright is less difficult than I am. I mean, she eats fruit. Although I’m willing to bet that she also doesn’t eat MARROW.