Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The year of “The Crazy”

Psychology undergrads shouldn't enter into therapy.  Especially if they’re undergraduates like me.  My junior year of college I started to feel crazy.  Crazy because all of the people who used to make me happy were starting to irritate me.  Irritate me to the point that all of the sudden I started to hate them.


So enters into my life, my poor grad school therapist. Let’s call him Dan.  Dan the therapist was a graduate student at my university (working in the exact department I spent most of my time).  He came free with the student health package.  It’s hard to reveal your soul to Dan when you’re consciously aware that he’s only a few courses of study away from you.  This is the attitude I had in talking to Dan which is why therapy with Dan didn’t really work.  

Dan wanted to talk about why I was feeling crazy.  I wanted to talk about everything I knew about psychology.  I wanted to talk about how much I wanted to be a therapist.  And so I talked a lot about my research on sexual abuse in kids.  And I blurted out that all of the sudden I was starting to see male/female interactions through the lens of abuse.  And that I was becoming hyper aware of the guys that would use alcohol and pressure to get girls to sleep with them on campus.  And laughable fraternity traditions my boyfriend engaged in, weren’t really so laughable anymore. And that when I tried to talk to my boyfriend about the things I saw that bothered me, he didn’t have the language or emotional capacity to understand.   

I told Dan that I was starting to hate the boyfriend that I loved.  And that I wanted to stop that because he was perfect for me.  And also that I was starting to hate all of my boyfriend’s fraternity pals. And how that wasn’t going to work because if I hated them AND my boyfriend, things were going to fall apart.  And that I was starting to care a lot about the guys in my psych classes who were sensitive to emotional pain.  And since I’m a nice loyal girlfriend, this was also making me feel crazy. 


One evening a boy from psych class told me that he was starting to care about me as much as I was starting (but trying not to) care about him.   And then I ran straight to my boyfriend, crying, telling him I was starting to fall in love with someone else.  And he looked at me and said “ok.”  I told him I loved him and I didn’t want to fall for anyone else.  And he said “ok.” And then the boyfriend never brought it up again.  And I had to tell Dan because these are the things you tell therapist.  He wanted to know why I had feelings for one boy over my boyfriend.  And I kept getting angry because he was focusing on the wrong thing.   


The funny thing about therapists you don’t respect is that you tend to end up unannounced in their office when your boyfriend breaks up with you.  Which is what happened a few months into therapy after telling my boyfriend I had feelings for someone else.  I wanted to get advice from Dan on proper methods for winning back boyfriends.  I told Dan technically it was a “break.” My (newly) ex boyfriend explained that a “break” meant we could both “hook up” with whomever we liked.  And that if I hooked up with anyone it was ok and he didn’t care.  To which Dan, the barely a therapist blurted out “he’s fucking lying.”  And when your therapist says “fucking” and “lying” in one sentence it is very jarring.  Jarring enough that I said “Hey Dan, aren’t you NOT supposed to say things like that.”  Dan shook his head and said “why don’t you go back to him tomorrow and tell him you slept with someone else and see his reaction.” And this was the first time that I ever really listened to Dan.

 I’d like to tell you that the sun parted that day and all of the Dan wisdom seeped into my brain.  I’d like to tell you that I didn’t continue to chase after the wrong boyfriend for another two years after the year of crazy.  I’d like to tell you that I became a therapist.  But I didn’t.  I can only tell you is it’s really hard to get anything out of therapy when you don’t want anything to change.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Glazed Ham, Zombie Jesus and Natural Disasters

In my former life as a Bostonian, I got tipsy at cocktail bar in Cambridge and had a vision.  I saw everyone I knew in pastel, feasting on Easter ham.  It didn't matter that practically everyone I knew was Jewish, that asking your friends to color coordinate is kind of silly and that I had never in my life made ham.  A part of me needed to play the role of my grandmother and tend to meat in the oven for hours for a room full of people I loved.  And that first easter, despite my friends' lack of Easter celebrating experience, everyone I asked complied. 

The tradition continued when I moved to LA and I collected a new assortment of transplant friends.  The first LA Easter was punctuated by an earth quake.  My friends were on the top level of an apartment building, eating matzo ball soup (everyone I know is still Jewish) when the earth moved unpredictably.  We  did nothing mainly out of lack of knowing what the hell you’re supposed to do.  We just sort of sat there, clutching bunny clad napkins hoping that we’d all be ok. 

The irony is that I had ruined the prized Easter lamb cake the night before.  Ironic because I had ruined the structural integrity of the lamb by transferring the cake to a plate.  And the next day the earth was shaking and all of the food stayed perfectly in place.  But my friend performed her own kind of Jesus miracle.  She had stayed up long after I had gone to bed to work on my unnatural disaster.  (The key is frosting and strategically placed coconut flakes).  And on Easter I opened the door of her apartment to the sight of resurrected lamb.  She had a special gift for putting the pieces of her friends and cakes back together. 

This Easter I woke up to an earth quake.  Although, I’m really not sure how real the earth quake was.  I had gone to sleep hoping to experience one and probably imagined it. I wanted an earth quake because it would mean it was a tradition.  That certain things in life can be counted on every year.  So I woke at 4am feeling the earth moving beneath me and it made me ok. It made me wonder about why after years of living my life independently I began to grab people and seat them around my non religious Easter table.  And how much comfort it brings me to know that people will ring your door in pastel when you ask them to.  And that earth quakes, lamb cakes wrecks and loneliness can be survived.    


Hey there, I’m just going to eat food

There are two types of people in the world that I trust

1) Those who love to eat food

2) And those that love to cook food

And in general if you believe in the joy of cooking you believe in the joy of eating.  But not everyone is skilled in the kitchen.  So the two types remain separate like the egg and its yolk. 

On principle, I do not like people who dislike food.  I’m sure you’re thinking “HEY MISSY, everyone loves food.”  But you’re wrong.  And because the concept of true love of food is confusing I’ve provided a handy list of signs that you may in fact hate food.

Your refrigerator is full of lean cuisines.  You can spend all day talking me about the virtues of 400 calories lunches stuffed inside a cardboard box.  But that crap isn’t food.  And does anyone LOVE lean cuisines?  Oh sure, the ladies who get to the mall at 6am to power walk think they love lean cuisines.  But really they love donuts.  Warm, mouth watering donuts.  And they aren’t really walking in the mall, they are running from their love of all things fried.  Every time they pass a krispy kreme they turn up their nose smugly and pat themselves on the back for slaying that dragon one more time and resisting deep fried temptation.  Ladies, do yourself a favor and walk outside.  And grab cute boys butt cheeks as you sprint around the neighborhood.


Your industrial sized whey protein powder container is almost empty.  Guys, I get it.  You want to look like body builders to get chicks.  Chicks are hot and they smell nice.  I actually know a body builder and let me tell you, the quality chicks were afraid of him. And despite the fact that he was kind of a gentle giant, his tanning bed and freezer full of chicken breast scared them off.  And even if they did venture into his “stabbin’ cabin’” they eventually got sick of the fact that he could not actually have fun.  What with his insane work out regiment, inability to have a beer and needless hours of shaving his balls.  To be fair – there is protein powder on my counter.  And it is 99% full.  Because it tastes like balls and is not real food.

You have completely eliminated an element of food from your diet.  This is one of the true downsides of LA.  We have given up carbs, fat, meat, sugar and adding temperature to our food.   What you are left with is a pile of grass and a case of depression.  Please, I beg of you.  Eat what you want.  If you want fried chicken today I swear you won’t want it every day for the rest of your life.  You will eventually want something else. 

You are unwilling to try anything new.  Do yourself a favor and peace out of life if you feel this way.  Something slimy that may or may not smell like feet can rock your world.  I swear.  Just put that deer testicle in your mouth once. Just for me.  And take pictures. But seriously - one day you’re going to come running back to me when you realize that you love wine that smells like diapers.  And you know why?  It’s a sign that it’s really rgood wine.  Wine so good it will make you better at sex.  See? Now you’re interested!


Here’s the thing.  I get that there is danger lurking in everything we eat.  Everything is going to kill us.  And the nice thing about that is that WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE ANYWAYS.   So every once in awhile I am going to love on a giant burger.  And you may or may not want to be around because noises will indeed be made.  And you know why?  I’m going to love that thing like it’s my child.  And then the next day I will be eating grilled artichoke.  Because that’s also fucking good.  And since I’m a functioning adult I can comprehend that if I eat hamburgers every day I will get fat and if I eat grilled artichoke every day I will tap into my urge to kill. 

Capiche?



Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm Buying


You wanna drink?


I'm fine.


Come on, I'm buying.


I don't even know if they have a wine list here.


They have wine here. It's for the wives.


Well, I'm not one of the wives.


God, you just need to relax. You wanted to see what it was all about. Weren't you the
one saying you can handle strip clubs?


Oh, I can handle strip clubs.


I can see that. Let me get you a bottle of white wine.


God, these girls are gorgeous.


There you go, see. Now you're having a good time.


They're everywhere. It's like the playboy mansion.


It's a mans heaven.


What is it for women?


A place where I'm going to buy all of your drinks. You're getting drunk tonight.


How could you want to have sex with a normal girl after all this?


What do you mean?


I mean, it must be a let down. Jesus. I don't look like that.


It's just a bit of fun. Come on. This is Vegas, the whole thing is a fantasy.


I don't feel too fantastic.


Look. The most beautiful women in the world are here. Can't you drink to that?


I like the night clubs better. I like it when men are competing to buy me drinks.


So basically you like it when the shoe is on the other foot?


I guess you're right. I like having the upper hand. I like feeling like I have a shot in hell
of getting picked out of the crowd.


You'll get picked out of here. Men love women who go to strip clubs.


What's the point? I'm the runner up to whoever is on stage. I'm just a projection of that
girl they paid to see.


You're always a projection of whatever a guy wants you to be.


That's comforting.


That's life.


I can't believe you told me I was attractive.


You are.


Yeah but you spend so much time here.


I don't.


Well you spend enough time here. Your bar for attractiveness is pretty high.


These are girls at a strip club. You're a girl from the real world. You're attractive. All
guys everywhere want to fuck you.


No, they want to fuck her.


They want to fuck both of you. I'm sorry men are pigs. We have reptilian brains. We
like to fuck. You said you wanted to come to a strip club.


Well I'm here, aren't I?


What are you getting worked up over? This is all fake. The women, the booze, the
lights. Vegas. This whole city isn't real.


I'm real. You're real.


You and I. We're trying not be real tonight.


So I'm going to pretend that I'm the girl that goes to strip clubs. You're going to try to be
pretend that you're not my boss.


Once we cross state lines, honey, I'm not your boss.


I think I'll take the chardonnay.


What?


The wine. I'm sure they have it. I bet the wives who come to strip clubs get chardonnay.
How many of these girls have had sex?


All of them.


I don't mean fucking, I mean sex. You know, with someone who cares about them?


A couple of them, maybe. Probably none.


So then I guess I have one leg up on the strippers


You have more than just one leg up.


Well now she has her legs up.


Ha. See there's that wit. You haven't given up on me yet.


Given up on you?


Yeah. Given up on me because I'm a dirty old man.


Well right now you are. Why did you want me to come here?


You said you wanted to see Sapphire.


Oh. I get it. This was all for me.


No. It's obviously for me because I'm a pervert. I'm everything you think guys are. At
least I'd admit it.


Doesn't it weird you out to be here? I mean, you had to come to Vegas for a funeral.
Isn't that a little weird? There's someone in a coffin and there's someone in a g-string.


There's always someone in a coffin and someone in a g-string. I'm in Vegas. I like
strippers. Monday I'll mourn.


What about your daughter? She's about the age of these girls.


How many drinks do I need to buy you before you stop asking these fucking questions?


13.


Alright. Here's $200. Get whatever the fuck you want.


Thanks Daddy warbucks.


Don't spend it all on one girl.


I'll stick to the wine.


You can get wine all over California. Have a little fun. Get a lapdance. You're not dead
yet.


Neither are you but you're acting like you're going to die tomorrow.


We're all going to die tomorrow.


We're all going to die. We're all going to end up in a pine box. What the hell is the point, Mike?


Only you would ask me about the meaning of life at a strip club.


You invited me.


I thought you'd be drunker. I thought you'd have fun.


Why did you bring me here?


I wanted to see you.


You always see me.


I wanted to see you outside of work. I wanted to see you having fun. Why are YOU
here?


Same. You really think all of the guys in this room would want to fuck me?


Yes.


All of them?


Yes. You're the office girl by day. And at night you're the one taking off your clothes on
top of a bar. You like to pretend to be an angel but you're not.


You like to pretend to be the devil and you're not. Maybe we need shots?


Whiskey shots. Everyone thinks I'm the devil, might as well be the devil.


How many girls has the devil slept with?


Wait. Sex or fucking?


I don't know, I'm getting drunk.


16. No. 17. And the angel?


6. Any strippers?


No. I think one was a dancer but it's hard to tell. Women say things when they drink.


So do men.


Who was that guy you were talking to before?


Which one?


The one at the bar.


I don't know. He was from Australia. I was just being friendly.


Friendly. Was he your type?


No.


Point to a guy here and tell me which one is your type.


I don't think my type of guy is here.


Oh he's here. Every type of guy is here.


Do you think the Australian would have bought me a drink?


I know he'd buy you a drink. What do you need drinks for? I'm buying.


Maybe I don't want to get drinks from my married boss.


Ouch. Sometimes you can be so mean.


I'm not being mean. I'm telling the truth.


I don't want the truth tonight. Do you?


How much are these girls going to make tonight? More than my salary for a week?


Probably.


I should just quit my fucking job. Become a stripper.


Well we can put you on tonight for amateur hour.


You wouldn't be able to handle it.


Neither would you.


This isn't my first strip club, you know.


Who took you to your first one?


Took me?


Yeah. I assume you didn't walk in by yourself and fill out an application.


I actually took my ex boyfriend to one. At the end of our relationship. I thought it would
help to save it.


How's that?


I don't know. I wanted to be the girl who was cool enough to take her boy to strip clubs.


Did he buy you a lap dance?


No, he bought me drinks.


Why did it end?


He cheated.


DId you cheat?


No, never. Have you ever cheated?


No. It's hard enough to keep one woman happy. Let alone two.


You may be the angel after all.


I know. I'm hoping you're the devil.


What does the angel want the devil to do?


Nah. I'm not going to tell you. It will spoil all the fun.


We're having fun?


Your empty empty wine glass tell me we are.


Your empty wallet tells me we are.


Your ex boyfriend, he had good taste.


Oh, you know that girl he fucked?


No, I know the girl he had sex with. The girl he fucked. She was just easy. Low self
esteem. No fuss.


And the girl he had sex with?


She was intimidating. Smarter than him. Beautiful. Gave him a hard time for
everything.


She only gives people she loves a hard time.


He loved her. He was just young. He wasn't ready to settle down. Once he was ready he
begged to get her back?


He did. But she had moved on.


She doesn't think about him anymore?


No. How does her story end? When all of the guys are going for the girl to fuck?


No. She doesn't need to worry about that. She's amazing.


She's drunk. I forget which one she's supposed to be. The angel or the devil?


Whichever one she wants.








For you WWFI fans.  This is a follow up to this.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ways to celebrate 420 (for non stoners)

Do you ever feel like you are missing out on life by not being a complete waste of life pothead?  Well you too can feel the joys of being stuck in another world, losing your ability to focus and complete tasks!  Just complete the following steps


Consume hot dogs like you’re jabba the hut.  Eat one and feel immensely proud of accomplishing something.  Then completely erase the taste, texture and feeling of satiety from your memory.  Repeat hot dog eating cycle until you’ve determined “whoa dude, I’ve eaten too many hot dogs.”


Lay down on the floor.  Wiggle your ass back and forth on the ground and pronounce “I’m a mushroom. I live in the ground.”


Think about how fucking crazy the concept of e-mail is.  Words that don’t actually exist in the physical form are floating through space to your friends on other parts of the globe.  Instantaneously.  Think about this idea until it has consumed the entire part of your brain devoted to understanding the concept of paying rent.



Know, instinctively, that the cops are on their way.  Even though you’re an upstanding, tax paying adult – they will bust you.  Even if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, they’re going to find a reason to club your ass and send you to jail.   

Tell everyone you know “how fucking high” you are.  Really, do it.  Because everyone is curious and dying to know.

Discover an unnatural love for jam bands.  Don’t know what a jam band is?  Just ask yourself “does this song have a 20 minute guitar intro” … if the answer is yes, you’ve got yourself your fucking jam band.  And if you actually realize that 20 minutes have gone by, know that this is a sign that you are not actually high.


Scrunch up your face really tight to see if your brain explodes.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How did I get here?

This Sunday I felt like I was in the “Once in a Lifetime” Talking Heads video.  I was quite literally looking around and thinking “well … how the fuck did I get here.” One day you’re drowning in unlimited mimosas on the beach and next thing you’re at a nature center, listening to a dude named Davinicus bang a gong during savasana.



Let me back up.  The transition from beach trash to yogi did not happen overnight.  And it pretty much happened despite my best intentions to never become “this kind of person.”  People who sit on rubber mats in the middle of the woods, listening to a yoga teacher from Iowa preach eastern philosophy – seem pretty ridiculous.    I get that.


But I’ve had first hand experience with “these people” before. My first job out of college was a summer internship in DC.  My boss introduced me to a young couple she knew that needed a tenant for their extra bedroom.  Mandy and Rob offered me a place to call home. They were kind, sweet, loving hippies.  They had a compost heap in the backyard; ate an abundance of soy products and would stare at photos of Jupiter projected on their basement wall.  They would get stoned and eat all of my groceries.   But they were the idealist brother and sister that I never had.  They were the kind of landlords who spring for a keg of Yuengling for your birthday and lend you their car to pick up your boyfriend from the Baltimore airport. And they were the kind of friends who listened endlessly, loved unconditionally and believed in all of the hopeful possibilities of my life.  They challenged me to think about all that I wanted to get out of life at 22 – an impressive career, fancy home and revenge against all of my enemies.  They raised an eyebrow at a boyfriend who left me in tears on my more days than I care to count. 


On my last day of residence in their home, they hugged me goodbye and told me that they had seen my soul emerge.  And despite their “summer of love” jargon, I believed them.  I trusted their vision of me more than I trusted my vision of myself. (Theirs being by far the kinder).

And so it seems that years later I found myself on a yoga retreat, surrounded by the West coast versions of Mandy and Rob.  And I think I'm at the same cross roads that I was years ago - I have done some hard work on the inside.  I've paused a lot and listened.  I've stopped trying to prove that the world is out to get me.  And I've tried (really hard) not to judge those with a happy outlook on life.

So bring on your gongs, your feathered hats, your raw food dogma and your tantric love.  I'm "here" and I'm not fighting it. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

The only people in the world you want to knock on your door


Handsome ex boyfriends: with flowers a 6 pack of craft beer, begging to take you back – only if he’s gone to therapy, gotten his shit together and took it upon himself to start washing his pants.  Cue the rest of your life in happy marital bliss.

A crazed kidnapper – sure, those twelve hours trapped in the bottom of a sea faring vessel chained to a heater will suck but every once and awhile the romantic notion of someone …. Anyone …. Taking you against your will away from it all is appealing.  Until you get thrown into their van full of McDonald’s wrappers and you think “not cool bro, I want my fancy apartment back.”

My parents, carrying cleaning supplies, wads of cash and endless praise.

The “you’ve been served” dude – no one likes getting a subpoena.  That is unless the alleged crime involves “being too sexy.”  I’ll gladly take THAT slip of paper from the court of law and walk around the neighborhood triumphantly in my underwear.

The pizza guy – bringing enlightenment to millions with his heat sealed bag of delicious meat, melty cheese and tomato goodness. 


A fairy godmother – finally!  Haven’t we all been waiting for Angela Lansbury to arrive at our doorstep and allow us some fucking wishes?  The only downside is that in my excitement I would probably blurt out “give me unlimited amounts of cheese” and the world would be stuck without me wishing for the end of hunger and suffering.  Although, technically I could solve their hunger with my cheese.



Dave Grohl – he’ll just be wandering around Los Angeles one day, hear his new album on my mac book and decide to knock and say hi.  He’ll share his deep dark inner secrets, forging an impenetrable bond with me forever. 


A walrus in a Hawaiian shirt looking for a luau – coo coo ca choo. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh I'm sorry, was I supposed to stay perfect FOREVER


I was a good kid.  And not the – I only stole my parents car a few times, smoked a few joints and got drunk twice in high school kind of good.  I was like Leave It to Beaver good.  I know this wasn’t because I had a reverence for parents and authority figures that other kids didn’t have.  It was because I pretty much believed that I was smarter than everyone else around me including those who had raised me. 


My reasons for being “good” were complicated … a) I was obsessed with going to college and leaving my home town forever b) all of the cool kids had sub standard IQs and c) I really was full of myself.  Of course, we all really wanted to be cool in high school but I wasn’t and my defense tactic was to be holier than thou.  I treated school like a coveted middle management job – taking on ungodly amounts of “highly visible” projects and eschewing having a life.  It didn’t bother me too much to miss out on nights of passing around a bottle of Hooch and letting a 15 year old boy with frosted tips put his hands down my pants.  I was keeping my eye on the long term prize of getting the fuck out.


But once I got into my top college I didn’t really need to have laser focus on the future.  And all of my smart friends were starting to let loose and enjoy what little we had left of our senior year.  And that’s when my all too na├»ve parents decided to go out of town for a week.  Up to that point, I’d been a saint and they had no reason to believe that I wouldn’t continue to behave like one.  But now that my fate was sealed at Northwestern, I wasn’t anxious anymore about being perfect.  And now, it seemed, was my chance to get drunk and grope someone. 

So I decided to “let it be known” that my parents were out of town and just see what life would hand me.  No one in my AP classes really cared because for my most part, those boys were still waiting for their balls to drop.  But the guys in my mandatory physical education class (whose life long aspirations were to get stoned and listen to Phish) seemed very intrigued.  And all of the sudden kids who had never even blinked at me were giving me advice on stealing kegs, bribing local police and stock piling on contraceptives. 

The story burst like an adolescent ejaculation throughout the school.  My AP Calc teacher confronted me at one point in the hallways with a “scared straight” talk about how his buddy threw a party in high school and ended up destroying the chalice of Jesus Christ himself (which was hidden in the basement) in the fury of party rage.  “Don’t do it” he said.  “You could be destroying not only your future, but the future of the world as we know it.”



And that’s the funny thing about high school.  At any moment kids are foaming at the mouth to destroy your family heirlooms and anxious adults are trying to convince you that life as you know it could end if you make one bad decision.  I’m here to tell you kids that I broke a rule and survived.  And to be honest, the parties were MUCH better in college.  



Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Grandma Diet


One of the preeminent healthy eating mantras you hear is “eat what your grandmother would recognize as food.”  Obviously these well meaning health experts never met my grandma.

My grandmother was a woman whose body ran off a strange mixed bag of food ideas.  Her diet was the hallmark of a woman who was extremely busy, extremely stressed out and consistently thin.  And since we Westerners pride ourselves on one day achieving enlightenment through jobs that stress us out to the point of heart attacks, schedules that permit little to no time for deep thought and bodies that could barely withstand a gust of wind …. I present to you – the real estate tycoon Grandmother’s diet:

A bath tub of diet coke every day

If I close my eyes and try to picture the woman, she is most likely in her Cadillac racing from one appointment to the next, clutching a large diet coke container from McDonald’s with her lipstick imprinted on the straw.  She firmly believed that bottled or canned sodas were the wrong flavor – she would only swallow that which came from a soda fountain.  This meant that she spent at least 15% of her day waiting in line at McDonald’s to get her $1.09 fix.  She thought McD’s food was actually disgusting but never mind applying that logic to her favorite drink


Solve all of life’s problems with Vermouth

To say my grandmother knew how to drink is like saying the Dalai Lama knows a thing or two about Buddhism.  I realize this means I’m basically saying my grandma was the Dalai Lama of martinis (which is probably true).  She was the kind of woman who was infinitely more excited about my grad school graduation after learning that there was a cocktail reception.  Considering the weight of the world on her shoulders (family, business, diet coke addiction) I’m not surprised she decided to escape the stress of every day life in a high ball glass.  And despite her consumption, her high tolerance meant that I never really even saw her drunk.  Although I have heard legendary stories about my grandma dancing on tables at a weddings and playing poker until 6am.  Suffice to say, that the woman knew how to drink and have a good time.



Opa!  It’s Greek salad time

In case you were wondering – you don’t need to be Greek to enjoy the Mediterranean diet.  And by Mediterranean diet I mean iceberg lettuce, chopped olives, feta cheese, liberal use of salad dressing and a small chunk of bread.  While my grandma knew her way around the kitchen, the business kept her away from home for 90% of the day.  This meant she raced to the nearest restaurant (because fast food is disgusting) on the way home to pick up dinner for my grandpa and herself.    And since she wanted to maintain her physique, she would eat the only salad on the menu (almost all of the restaurants in the Chicago suburbs are run by Greek families) and sip her martinis in until Grandpa’s steak was ready for her to take home. 

And lastly, to maximize calories the grandma’s diet does call for exercise.

She was (literally) a master gardener (certified by my Alma Mater) and cultivated zucchini’s that would make a virgin blush.  If you are a city dweller without a backyard, I recommend that you spend all of your weekends on all fours crawling through dirt to simulate the same experience.


Please note, any resemblance to the author (her granddaughter) is coincidental.  I can’t keep a basil plant alive, I’ve only ordered a Greek salad once in my life (I hate olives), and I have never danced on a table at a wedding (yet).