Or, “How to Gain 15 lbs in Two Weeks”
After driving 14 hours to our Florida vacation rental, my husband, Mike, and I were beyond exhausted. The plan had been to arrive alive and then go food shopping at the local grocery store to save money by cooking our meals in-house. But, butts numb, we agreed DRIVING to a food store was an unimaginable horror.
We brought with us 24 bottles of wine, 2 gallons of vodka, 1 gallon of Sailor Jerry rum, half a gallon of Malibu coconut rum, some coffee, juice and sodas for mixers; all the vacation necessities. But, knowing that four out five doctors recommend actual food (the fifth is a raging drunk), we ordered to-go burgers from a place walking distance away. We needed something with which to pair the wine, anyway.
Next morning, first day of vacation, somehow the rums ended up in my coffee. They double teamed me, Sailor Jerry and Malibu; I didn’t stand a chance. Mike had a tough decision pairing his sausage sandwich from the breakfast spot across the street, but settled on a Merlot. I’d suggested Malbec, but who was I to judge a man on vacation.
By the time we returned from a post-breakfast walk on the beach, food shopping seemed like a Sisyphean task. Instead, we went out for lunch, where I enjoyed ham and brie stuffed donut holes; exactly what I would have made myself had we been home.
After a nap on the beach, we discovered a tiki-bar situated strategically between the beach and our house. The frozen cocktails they insisted we try made food shopping impossible. Nothing to do but stumble home, clean up and walk five blocks downtown to dinner.
After four days perfecting our food shopping avoidance techniques, we realized that between the plethora of nearby restaurants and leftovers from those restaurants, we could survive indefinitely.
WE NEVER HAD TO GO FOOD SHOPPING.
And so it was done. I had arrived in heaven.
Fourteen days later, we returned home, much too tired to go food shopping. After a good night’s sleep we hoped to have the energy to stand in a lunch meat deli queue, but sadly, no. Since we work from home, the idea of getting back into that hell truck AND putting on real clothes without elastic waistbands made the whole idea of leaving the house ludicrous. The store was nearly half a mile away.
Instead, we double-ordered lunch delivery food to ensure leftovers for dinner. We had a bit of frozen meat in the house, but no potatoes, so we started adding four extra orders of fries to every takeout meal. Like any intelligent being thrust into a life threatening situation, we improvised. Starches arrived in fry form. Five “house salads” brought greens and a shameful number of black olives to our doorstep. Chocolate milkshakes and pizza cheese provided dairy. The fruits had us stumped until we remembered tomatoes are actually a fruit, so pizza had us covered. Cheese steaks, burgers, Italian sausage sandwiches; meat was easy.
Things started to get weird around day twenty. By the third time in the same week we opened our door to the delivery man, his expression had changed. Was it pity? Fear? It was hard to tell as we snatched the bags from his hands and scurried into the kitchen mumbling “my precious, my precious.” We quelled our growing doubts with mozzarella sticks. (Dairy).
We ran out of wine. Ironically, that was the day Mike’s brother stopped by, making it impossible to pick “out of wine day” as the day we settled down and started eating healthy. In desperation, Mike made me a deal. If I would venture out for wine, he would do the food shopping.
He’d sold his soul for a case of Cabernet.
I jumped into the dreaded truck and drove to the wine store. I despise food shopping, and with this one sacrifice, nice healthy food would soon be delivered to me by my husband. Finally, we could regain some sense of normalcy. Just as soon as we finished off the last of the pepperoni rolls.
Six more days went by with no healthy food. Mike pointed out that while he did agree to go food shopping, he did not say when. I refused to go. Having overdosed on fried take-out food, I found a soy burger in the back of the freezer and paired it nicely with a bag of frozen peas. Mike found a left over container of take-out mashed potatoes and a mystery meat. It might have been veal. I can hear him moving in the other room, so I know it didn’t kill him.
In the freezer, we’re down to one fish of undetermined origin and a block of cheese. The refrigerator still boasts two eggs, lemonade mix and a diverse collection of condiments. The cupboard holds a can of pinto beans and a bag of stuffing bread cubes leftover from last Thanksgiving.
So we’re good for today.