Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

June 30, 2007

My, oh Meme

I feel oh so Internet hip having been "tagged" by Loverville with this meme (I admit, I had no clue what that was and had to got to Wikipedia to find out). Anyway, I had another entry in mind for today but this is more fun so we'll go with this first. Sorry I've been quiet this week. I've been having some serious trauma in the crazy landlord department (anyone know a hit man?!) and it has kept me far too distracted to focus on blogging. In fact, it's been the first crisis I've faced that Wine Guy has been lucky enough to witness. He's been very patient and helpful while I vent, yell, cry and generally panic, though I'm sure he is sick to death of the subject so I need to try to give him a break for awhile.

One thing we have discovered is that a rather typical man/woman conundrum does indeed apply to the two of us. The "I need to vent and just want you to be compassionate and tell me everything will be OK, not give me a lecture." We're all guilty of that, me especially. When I very tearily pointed this out to him, he apologetically concurred, stopped lecturing, and followed my carefully prescribed script. God bless him!

Oh, and Wine Guy is convinced that he comes off sounding like a jerk in these entries (he's only read a few and we both agree it's kind of weird so he supposedly stopped reading). I try to tell him that is quite the opposite - that many of you guys think he sounds like a wonderful man. Feel free to back me up on this!

Anyway, the housing drama has reached a critical point and I suspect I will be forced to move soon from my little canyon getaway where I've been for over 5 years. So sad. But one door closes and another opens. No, I'm not moving in with Wine Guy (I've already made it clear that co-habitation would require some form of long term commitment, in the form of a diamond and a date (not that he asked me to move in I assure you). Been there, done that and I'm not going down that road again. Instead, I think Mendoza and I might get a house which could be awesome!

Lots to update you on on (like the first official Wine Guy and Mom outing last night), but not today. First I will respectfully respond to LV's tag and then I will get ready to hit the beach! Have a good weekend everyone...

Four jobs I've had:
* Dorm security in college (where I learned to read Plato in between ID swipes)
* Intern for Martin Scorsese (where I learned how to type quietly, wrap celebrity Christmas presents, and pick up dry cleaning)
* D-girl for cheezy TV movie development company (where I learned how to scavenge "inspired by" true stories from the National Enquirer)
* Studio manager for NYC photographer (where I learned how to approach models on the streets of SoHo and ask if they would pose naked for free - some actually did)

Four films that I can watch repeatedly
* Groundhog Day
* Goodfellas
* Mary Poppins

Four places in which I have lived:
* Harlem
* Prospect Park, Brooklyn
* Brentwood (four blocks from scene of OJ killing)
* West Hollywood/Fairfax District

Four places I've been on vacation:
* Cuba (don't tell the authorities)
* Kauai
* Tokyo
* Cayman Islands

Four sites that I visit daily (other than blogs):
* Google
* BoingBoing
* Cuteoverload
* Cats That Look Like Hitler

Four of my favorite dishes:
* Mixed Feast Pan Fried Noodles
* Dim Sum
* Caterpillar roll
* Pork chops

Four people that I am tagging:
* Domestic Irritation
* Sexagenarian and the City
* Land Mines
* Adventures of a Single Guy

June 23, 2007

Bonfire Blues

A little bit of my baggage came back for a visit last night, but it was totally within reason (I think). A group of my acquaintances from tennis were throwing a beach bonfire in honor of the first weekend of summer. I was excited to end the week relaxing on the beach with a few drinks and a mellow group of people.

I also thought it might be a nice opportunity to introduce Wine Guy to this group. Most of my close friends have met him already but, since Wine Guy doesn't play tennis (though he and I will attempt to play tomorrow for the first time), he has yet to meet any of these people. I think Wine Guy is somewhat intimidated by the group (actually, I know he is since he told me so). I'm not sure why. Maybe just the concept of a big group of people who do all sorts of athletic activities together can seem intimidating. I try to explain they are hardly that. More like a random mix of people who moved to San Diego and joined this sports group to make friends.

I don't think he was buying it. Probably because many of my friends in the group are guys. As hard as I try to assure him there is NOTHING to worry about, I don' t think he's comfortable with it. When I tell him that I've blabbed to them all about my new boyfriend and that they share stories with me about the various chicks they're dating, he still doesn't seem at all reassured. In the end, there's only so much I can say so, for the most part, I try to keep my trap shut and just give him time to adjust to the idea. I thought if he actually met some of them -- like at last night's bonfire -- it might speed up the process just a bit.

I was planning on driving Wine Guy and my two girlfriends Mendoza and Gouda, both of whom he knows pretty well. Wine Guy was coming back from working out so we had to hurry if we wanted to make it in time for sunset (the whole point as far as I'm concerned). I could tell from the second I answered his call when he got home that he was not in the mood to go out. He sounded tired and somewhat grumpy. When I told him the plan was I would pick him up in a few minutes, then Mendoza, then Gouda, then a quick stop at the liquor store, then the beach, he kind of groaned. I could tell he was overwhelmed. Great.

Here are the facts. Wine Guy was tired. He only got 5 hours of sleep the night before and it had been a long week. He's human. But this was the first time he had been anything but gung ho with me and I was not prepared for that first time to be last night. Here was the perfect opportunity I'd been waiting for to introduce my new boyfriend to this group of friends, and he's not in the freakin' mood! This sucked. I can't stand the idea of dragging someone to something they are not into. Sure, I'd feel bad for them. But also, selfishly, I know I'd spend the whole time worrying about them being miserable and then worrying that everyone else knows he's miserable. It's a big downward spiral - in my head that is.

So I show up at Wine Guy's house while he's still in the shower. I'm totally stressed and wish I could just magically make him not tired, not rushed and in a good mood. I'm also having major Only Child flashbacks. OC was socially phobic with a pretty low energy level, so any outing like this usually involved a lot of coaxing, cajoling and sometimes nagging on my part (usually punctuated with a fight). It never went well. So perhaps that explains my instant panic upon noting Wine Guy's lethargy over that first phone call.

As he was getting ready to leave and obviously sensing my stress he kept telling me, "It's not your job to make me feel better. Just tell me to snap out of it and I'll do the best I can. I won't be perky, but I'll be fine. Get over it." I appreciated his efforts to let me off the hook (shove me off the hook is more like it) and I tried to take his words to heart. So what ended up happening?

When we got to the beach, I poured myself a strong ass vodka drink while Wine Guy and the girls walked to grab us some burritos. By the time they came back I was pleasantly buzzed and over my mini-panic attack. I introduced him around the group and tried to give him room to settle in. And did everything I could not to take on more than my own burden. Overall, he did pretty well and I think he might have even had a little fun.

Right now - Saturday evening - I'm at his place blogging away and sipping wine while he prepares a lovely meal for us (seared scallops and asian slaw -- see right). Heaven. Next time he gets a little tired and grumpy, I will do everything in my power to remember this moment and back the "f" off!


June 19, 2007

Things I Love To Hate

Have you ever had someone hold something up near your face and say, "Ewww. This smells disgusting. Here, smell it...." They're not trying to be rude, they genuinely want to share this experience with you. Before you even have that extra second to think, "Do I really want to smell something disgusting?" you lean over and take a sniff. Then you both snuffle in agreement, "Gross, that does stink!"

OK, I'm getting pretty disgusting here, but I'm trying to illustrate an important phenomenon that I think is the key to managing a successful relationship for the long haul. Learning to Love the things you Hate in order to be with someone.

I think I've always fundamentally understood this concept, but never had to formalize or put it into words until my first serious long term relationship (with Only Child) in my late 20s. When you spend that much time with someone - especially if you live with them -- certain things they do (often many things they do) are going to drive you crazy. Roommates are hard enough to manage, but throw in all the relationship crap along with that - each other's parents/families, mismatched sleeping patterns, waxing/waning sex drives, cleaning habits (or lack thereof), decorating sensibilities... the list of potential Things to Hate is endless. Just how are you supposed to then push all that aside and actively want to love, nurture, get naked with that person on a regular basis?

Again, the art of Loving the Things You Hate.

I am a bit of a "ham" as a girlfriend. I enjoy acting silly, sometimes dorky, singing stupid songs, making jokes. This can be a charming quality in a good friend (and probably why I've had so many male friends), and maybe for a girlfriend for the first few weeks you are dating. But I can fully appreciate that my goofiness might start to be a bit of a turnoff after a little bit. At least it probably was for Only Child (since then, I've thankfully learned how to embrace both my dorky and my sexy sides. Unfortunately, Only Child didn't get to reap those benefits).

I think it all started with the theme music to "Law & Order." Well, not the theme music alone...more like the performance I added to go along with the music. I went through a major phase of watching endless L&O reruns and became irrationally excited when a new corpse was unveiled at the top of the show. Each time the intro music played, I would add a new instrument to the mix - the keyboard, the flute (or whatever that instrument is), the drums....But my favorite was the cheezy guitar riff at the very end. For some reason, I felt I could channel that 80's studio musician guitarist who was given the honor of playing those last few notes (beeeeow...beow, beow, beeowwww). I performed the song with all my heart, dancing around the room, waiting for the BIG moment - the guitar moment.

When it came, I would undoubtedly lift up my right leg, arm at the ready, and play my thigh with every ounce of my soul, scrunching up my face in the most ludicrous
overzealous musician way I could muster (think of the previous guitar/band leader from the old SNL band - damn that guy was annoying). Only Child would watch my performance with horrified awe, waiting for what he knew was my crowning jewel. And I can tell you without a doubt, he Hated - and LOVED - every second of it. Lord knows I wouldn't have stopped if he asked, so he chose instead to learn to love it, dread it, protest it, and laugh over it.

In fact, the phenomenon spread to him as well. He knew the "Six Feet Under" theme music drove me nuts, even though it was my favorite show. So what did he do? Pure, unadulterated performance art to the entire song. I screamed and laughed with disgusted abandon the whole way through his writhing dance (a much longer, more demanding performance than L&O, I got off easy). At the end he would fling himself on the couch, breathless from his dance and eager for praise. As much as I Loved to Hate it though, I had to give him a solid but speedy appreciative pat and then a quick "Shhhh," because damn if I would miss one second of that incredible program. Another thing about me I 'm sure he Loved to Hate.

Why am I writing about this? I don't know. I guess it's a funny memory and after my last entry full of useless self-doubt (thanks for the support those of you who commented) I wanted to think of something safe and far in the past that just made me laugh. I'd also like to hear some examples from you guys of things you have learned to Love to Hate to make a relationship more tolerable.

Just in case you need a little warming up, here are a few more examples of things I know past boyfriends have learned to Love to Hate about me:
  • When I talk about money and am trying to sound slick, I make an annoying clicking sound with my tongue while I rub my fingers together
  • My laugh - a staccato piano that goes up and down and often attracts attention
  • My unabashed enthusiasm for 80s dancing
  • Karaoke singing to Carpenters, "Only the Good Die Yong" by Billy Joel and my soulful rendition of "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi
  • My shameless love of childhood candy (Sweet Tarts, Nerds, Fun Dip, you name it)
And just so you know I'm not full of self-loathing, here are a few things I've learned to Love to Hate about boys I've dated:
  • Obsessions with photography that leave me either awkwardly posing for the camera for hours on end or following them around while they take pictures of something else
  • Day of the Dead decor
  • Tales of the good old days as a Deadhead or Phish head
  • Keeping his hand at rest semi-permanently inside his waistband
  • Watching ice hockey
  • Annoying sports cars
  • Black leather couches
  • Shopping for vintage clothes (yes, this was the first of my Gay-Straight boyfriends and boy did I have to learn to Love to Hate shopping!)
Get the picture? Now tell me some of yours!

June 15, 2007

Careful What You Wish For

All I wanted was to find a guy I could admire. And who admired me back. Sort of a mutual admiration party, if you will. It started that way for Wine Guy and me, and I'm not saying it isn't like that anymore, but this one thought keeps popping up in my head....careful what you wish for. I mean, what the hell do you do if you start believing he's more admirable than you??

I started this entry originally while Wine Guy cooked up a storm in my pathetically understocked kitchen. The laptop is about three feet away from where he stood chopping, dicing, sauteing, whatever the hell else was going on in this space for the first time in the 5 years since I've lived here. But he didn't even notice my typing. Every once in awhile he would ask me for something I most likely didn't own - a bowl, a platter, an ingredient. I would dutifully rise, mutter some excuses for why I don't have it, or what might work instead, or simply "what the hell is that?"

I felt like a useless lump of flesh. As I typed, my heart grew heavier (as did my thoughts, most of which are deleted now). All I kept thinking was, "so what again do I bring to the table here?" Besides eating and doing the dishes, of course.

I should probably call Wine Guy something else, like Culinary Guy. But too late for that. The point is, he is a major foodie. He loves to cook, shop for organic, top-notch ingredients from grocery stores I have only walked through as a short cut.

I, in the other hand, shop for food every month or two and usually only at stores with Spanish language food labels that make you bag your own groceries. I cook for sustenance (but trust me, I eat with verve) and would never imagine asking another living soul to eat some of the crap I prepare for myself. Wine Guy cooks for joy -- and he's quite serious about it. It's one of the things I love about him and he is more than happy to feed me on a routine basis (I've already enjoyed several Thai meals, pasta bolognese, steak and garlic potatoes, etc).

I think if there has to be a problem here (and doesn't there always?), it's that I feel completely useless and uninteresting. I would like to learn what's going on the kitchen - and Wine Guy seems willing to tell me as he goes along -- but the fact is (and please chime in you chefs out there if I'm right or wrong on this one), people who love to cook don't really have the wherewithal to give spectators a play-by-play. Wine Guy is moving and shaking in that kitchen. Doing 3 to 10 things at once. If I'm there offering to help (and feeling mostly like an obstacle taking up space), then the best service I can provide is that of errand girl. Here, stir this. Could you rinse this off? Would you mind taking this out to the grill? That kind of stuff. He means nothing by it, but I can't help but feel bossed around.

I guess it's a Catch 22 when you finally meet and start to date a guy who brings so much to the table (I admire many more things about Wine Guy, not just cooking). When you date one-note guys (like Vain Guy), they're easy to figure out and frankly, you are the one in control because you damn well know he's lucky that you are interested in him. Maybe I'm just feeling down on myself these days (due to some medical/pain problems I've been having that have been grating my last nerve), but I feel like I have very little control here. I almost feel panicked - like he's going to suddenly realize that he's carrying the load and all I bring to the table is a nice ass (so he says), a healthy appetite, and a willingness to do the dishes.

So what did I do while acting as Wine Guy's errand girl in my own kitchen? I'm embarrassed to admit it but here goes....I pouted. I zoned out on the computer, made little smart ass comments when he asked me to do something (but still did it, not that it puts me in a better light, I know). By the time we sat down to eat the delicious meal, I felt like I would burst into tears at any minute. What did he like about me anyway? I felt uncultured, uneducated, useless, like I can't even feed myself properly.

When he asked what was wrong I basically told him. Nice move, Trooper. Now he felt like crap, apologizing for bossing me around in the kitchen like the whole thing was his fault, that he can be a "jerk." So then we were both sitting there over our steaks feeling like jerks. What happened to that mutual admiration party?

Was he being a jerk? Or was I being a baby? He knew from day one that I didn't cook. And he didn't care. I am falling over myself with appreciativeness that he is willing to pamper me with food (how he shows his affection I am seeing now) and teach me how to set up my kitchen so he can cook in it better (we are planning an inventory and kitchen shopping excursion for next weekend- his idea). And if I want to learn, I should LEARN and stop being a pouty baby about it.

Well, I tried to buck up and the rest of the weekend went much better. I helped more in the kitchen and tried to relax and be myself. Last night Wine Guy hosted a casual dinner party which was really fun. Plus I got to show what I bring to the table again by being social, conversational, cracking jokes, etc. Oh yeah...I think that was why he liked me in the first place wasn't it?

I don't know...this entry is a bit of a jumble so bear with me. I know my last several entries have been all ticker tape parade victory stories, but I assure you there is still war to be made. Even if it's exclusive between two people at the moment. Actually, I suspect I am more my own enemy here than anything else. Perhaps it's time for a refresher visit to the shrink....we'll see. Overall, I'm happy but frankly, kind of scared shitless.

June 12, 2007

Night of Terror

As promised, enough with the mushy stuff and on to the embarrassing tales of dating war.

Much to my total mortification, Wine Guy has officially been introduced to my most dangerous weapon --- the stink bomb. Yes, we all know that pivotal moment in a relationship when that first fart slips out. Maybe it's while you're sleeping and it wakes you both up. Or perhaps it sneaks out when he makes you laugh unexpectedly. All embarrassing -- but cute embarrassing. No, I was not so lucky. This was a particularly nasty sneak attack of lactose intolerance brought on by an excessively cheesy piece of pizza.

I could feel my stomach filling with air by the time we were home and settling in for the night. (That's what I like to call it "I've got air." It sounds so much nicer, doesn't it?) I immediately started to panic. What do I do? I'd already let it slip that I have some lactose "issues" so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise. But I couldn't think of a way to say it. So I instead I snuck off to the bathroom every 1/2 hour or so to quietly let it out.As bedtime approached, the situation became dire. I could tell my "air" was not of the rose-smelling variety and, once I fell asleep, all bets were off. I had to tell him.

I sort of backed into it..."remember when I mentioned I had lactose intolerance?" That was all I needed to say to introduce the concept that we might be in for a rough night. I let it be known that I was embarrassed and prepared for total mortification. It brought back the days when I lived with Only Child and first developed this lactose intolerance (too many late-night trips to Coldstone, I fear). When it hit, it hit hard and I would pretty much stink him out of the bedroom. But that was someone I was with for six years, and it was pretty damn funny to terrorize him. My relationship with Wine Guy? We haven't even reached the critical three month mark yet (you know, when most relationships go bust).

When I let him know how concerned I was over the whole thing, he tried to reassure me. "It's OK, honey. Honestly, I have pretty bad gas too tonight. so we'll both be really stinky." Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better. Who cares. It worked. Now I could just blame it on him and we would both be happy. Of course, I had to correct him. "Air. I don't have gas, I have air."

Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night. And when I did sleep, I was burdened with fitful, scary dreams, perhaps caused by my subconscious fighting my large intestine. This led to my next scene of mortification - punching, kicking, talking in my sleep. Since I was a kid, I've been teased for the things I do in my sleep. There were even some mean girls who tape recorded me at a slumber party and played it back the next morning to a round of giggles. I cried.

So imagine a stink chamber of a bedroom and a fitful Trooper thrashing about in the bed, at one point taking swings at the mattress and waking up to find Wine Guy holding my arms and trying to soothe me. (He got off easy. I have inadvertently given a guy a black eye before).

By the time morning came, the room smelled like a sulphur pit, Wine Guy had stories to tell, and I was just plain tired. But as we rehashed the Night of Terror together (he insists he contributed to at least half of that stench, God I hope he's right), I realized I was not all that embarrassed. It felt more like a survivor story, our first battle together. Granted, I was the enemy as well in this scenario. But we won nevertheless.

But let's just say that Wine Guy is VERY careful about what he feeds me from now on.

June 11, 2007

Overly Familiar

Last night, Wine Guy and I were sitting on the floor of his living room. It was about 11pm, definitely time for bed after a fun but tiring weekend. He had just finished folding his laundry and we were finishing up an "Arrested Development" DVD.

Thinking I would get up and make my way slowly to bed, I instead followed a rather unexpected instinct. Before standing up all the way, I turned around and straddled Wine Guy's legs and gave him a big smooch. Then I lifted up his t-shirt to give his belly a vigorous rub and bunch of kisses, full of affection that I simply couldn't help but deliver. This sudden burst is not unusual - OK, it is terribly unusual for me in general. But not for me with Wine Guy. I can't help but "love on him." And I don't hear him complaining :-)

But this time I was taken aback by my own blatant familiarity. Here I am with a guy I feel so comfortable with that I can sit on him any way I want, lift his shirt up whenever I damn well please, and cover him with kisses at my pleasure. And I've only known the guy -- as in "Hi my name is Trooper, Nice to meet you"-- for TWO FREAKIN' MONTHS!

I couldn't help but express this thought to Wine Guy as I straddled him. "Can you believe I just did that? Can you believe we can be like this after only two months?"
He agreed, it is pretty crazy. Then he asked me, "Do your friends think it's weird?"

My first instinct was to say, "Of course not!" But I stopped myself for a second before responding. Do they think it's weird? Is it weird?

I thought back to when we first started dating (like six weeks ago) when I would flinch out of frigid terror if Wine Guy's arm even grazed mine (see My Walled Garden). How did it go from that to letting him rub my ass whenever he damn well pleases (hey, so I like having my ass rubbed, OK?!).

For the life of me I can't tell what led to what. At first I thought our delay in even enjoying a real kiss was because we had too much to say. Talk, talk talk. It felt like it was leading dangerously close to friend territory but, thankfully, veered the other way at the last minute. But now that I am really starting to understand the depth of our connection, both physically (and it is pretty "deep" my fellow Troopers:-) and emotionally, I'm starting to think we could never have gotten to this point of complete familiarity without the talk, talk, talking to start.

I guess it doesn't matter. The point is I'm here. Tonight is Wine Guy's birthday and I'm excited to take him out for a wonderful dinner (not an easy task - he is a major Foodie) and give him the ridiculously sentimental gift I put together. Tonight is also our 2 month "anniversary" so we might even toast to that as well.

I'll be back soon with some far less romanticized tales that involve all sorts of embarrassing bodily functions. Stay tuned!

June 9, 2007

Sneaky Entry

Quick entry before Wine Guy comes back in from the laundry room. Based on the fact that he's doing laundry at my house on a Saturday night, you should pretty much get the picture. We are spending A LOT of time together. So much so in fact that I haven't had even an hour to sit down and write out one of the many blog entries I've had stewing over the past week. But I' promise I'll be back soon. Gotta go, I hear him starting the machine!

June 4, 2007

Dating on an Empty Stomach

Once anyone spends a little bit of time with me on a consistent basis, they learn one important fact -- don't let me get too hungry. Since I'm not much of a cook and generally keep little to no food in my house because I detest grocery shopping, I sometimes get stuck in situations that leave me not having eaten for many hours. I can usually do just fine for 10 hours without a meal. But 10 hours and 1 minute....I become a raging, cranky bitch.

I think Wine Guy got a small taste of the hungry Trooper this past Saturday night. It was definitely the first time I let that bitch slip out, yet I couldn't stop her, even if I wanted to. We had spent most of the day wandering around town on odd errands for his new apartment. "Nesting" tasks I guess you'd say. Not particularly fun but good bonding time nonetheless.

The plan was for him to cook his first meal for me that night at his place. He loves to cook and entertain which works well because I love to eat and can't stand the thought of going in the kitchen except to pour myself a cold beverage from the fridge and throw away my takeout containers. But unfortunately the afternoon and evening got away from us when we got distracted rearranging the furniture in his living room. By the time everything was back in its new, much improved place, it was almost 9pm. I was tired, grungy and, worse, hungry.

When he told me he had to do laundry or he would have nothing to wear to our planned outing with my friends the next day, well, the little grumpy bitch came out. I can't say for sure how terrible I was or wasn't because when I get that tired and cranky, I lose all grasp of reality. Everything becomes a jumble of bad temper mixed with headache and irritability. I do know that he was able to soothe and somehow convince me that dinner was just around the corner. The next thing I remember, I'm eating a wonderful Thai dish he had prepared, sipping wine (of course) and making out on the well-placed couch. The bitch had been put in her place.

Fully satiated and rested, I forgot about the incident until the next day when Wine Guy, my friend Mendoza and I were driving up to Orange County to visit my friends. We passed the detestable Irvine Spectrum shopping center and I commented that that was the site of my attempt to start a riot a few years back. Needless to say, this required some explanation.

When I first started dating Only Child,who would be my boyfriend for six more years, we went to the Spectrum to meet some friends at a dueling piano bar. The place was notorious for ridiculously long lines because, frankly, there's nothing else to do in Orange County. Typical of a night with Only Child as I found out over the years to come, we had stalled and delayed and planned not a thing so by the time we got there it was late and I was starving. The line was snaking around the building and we watched as they let one person in for every one that came out. One by one. One by one. I thought it would never end. I could hear the music and the laughing. But more important, I could smell the food. My blood sugar had hit rock bottom by the time we were about 5 people away from the door. I was barely holding it together, my head spinning, my temper rising, and Only Child just standing there waiting patiently for our turn to enter.

When the two girls who had been standing in front of us were joined in line by a large group of their girlfriends, I completely snapped. Suddenly the line went from "I'm barely holding it together because we are almost there" to "take no prisoners, I'm going in or else." I started to rant, hands flying, "That's it! I can't take it! I'm gonna start a riot! I swear to god, I'm gonna start a riot!"

Remember when I told you that I lose any concept of reality? I wasn't kidding.

The girls in front of us were shocked and, I suspect, scared.They kindly offered to let us go in front of them. I was ready to respond "Good. Move. Get out of the way." But Only Child was mortified and said no thank you. Before I could grab him by the hair and make him change his answer, he turned to me, shoved a crumpled $5 bill in my hand and said, "[my name] go to the food court and get some pizza. Now. I 'll wait here."

Oh shit. I was being sent away. But I only cared in hindsight, once I got some protein in my system. For the moment I was perfectly happy to snatch the money and storm off to the neon-lit food court for my greasy piece of pizza.

By the time I was finished wolfing it down, I had realized what an absolute ass I had made of myself. Would Only Child ever get over my insanity? Would I? Would those girls go fetch their tattoo-covered Orange County boyfriends to kick Only Child's ass?

When I returned, the girls were already inside and Only Child was waiting at the front of the line. I meekly smiled and said, "I'm sorry." I tried to laugh it off and, thank God, Only Child was more than happy to reciprocate and turn the incident into the first thing he would relentlessly tease me about (there would be many more to come, I assure you). So now whenever one of us loses our temper or patience (we are still friends) out comes the catchphrase, "I'm gonna start a riot!"

So, after I tell this charming little story to Mendoza and Wine Guy, he turns to sneak a malicious little peek at Mendoza in the backseat and says, "Yeah, I saw a little bit of that last night!" And then they both laughed. At me. Well, it's better than giving up on me I suppose.

Apparently, it's pretty common for the female species to get like this when they get past the point of normal hunger. Mendoza said she has the same problem but she knows to keep a snack with her in case she feels it coming on. I'm pretty sure that Wine Guy will be stocking up on protein bars to keep the Hungry Bitch at bay.

Here's to good eatin'.