Listen to Karen tell the story…
This aul one has such a sweet tooth that it’s the undoing of her. Always have had, always will have, sure don’t they say acceptance is the the way to go. Accepting that you have a problem is the first step! Yeah, that’s all very well and good, but my acceptance goes a lot further, not only do I accept that I have a problem, I also accept every goody that’s offered and every invitation to places of goody delight.
Being an Irish aul one, I love bargains and sure in the goody department, that’s my downfall. I love crisps, chocolate and sweets, so when I’m walking around those supermarket aisles and see the multipacks of these items, I think to myself, ‘Sure who am I kidding, I’m going to be having goodies every day, I might as well at least save some money while I’m buying them’. So, reaching out to grab the multipack in question, into my trolley it goes and later, unpacking the shopping, the cupboard is its new home, but not for long. No multipack in my house reaches its ‘use by’ date, having a very short shelf life. In fact, no sooner is that multipack opened, than, the goodies are consumed in record time.m It was grand when I had a house full of equally goody loving offspring to share those multipacks with, but when it’s just yourself and your bestie, who has much more self control than I, it’s a whole different ball game. Empty nest syndrome has long since passed but empty tum syndrome has never even been considered.
They say ‘out of sight, out of mind’, whoever ‘they’ are…it is in me arse. I have gone to the cinema, with fruit in my bag, trying to be good, sitting there, watching an amazing movie, purposely not having brought chocolate or crisps. Invariably, no matter how good that movie is, my mind will be wandering to the counter in the foyer, knowing there is an abundance of goodies there, albeit at a ridiculous price and I will not have had a proper cinema experience unless I have eaten some of them. So, instead of just accepting that is going to happen before I go into the cinema, I end up paying triple the price for the goodies there, by not coming prepared. Which totally goes against the grain for an Irish aul one looking for bargains!
On a recent trip to the cinema, in bargain mode, not having had a chance to buy goodies first, multipack or otherwise, I knew I’d have to pay for the triple priced goodies, rather than have none at all. So, to balance the coffers in my favour, I decided to be a cheeky aul one and ask for a ‘senior’ ticket. A friend, who is indeed a senior, had advised me to go to the youngest assistant, who wouldn’t have a clue what a 60 year old looked like nowadays and would be too embarrassed to ask for ID. However, while we were in the chosen queue, the baby faced assistant changed shifts and a poe faced lady in her early forties took over. I held my nerve, driving licence ready if she asked for ID, with the plan being, if she pointed out that I was 56 not 60 I would drag out those acting skills of teenage years and look perplexed, enquiring if it was not at age 55 that you got the senior discount. So, it came to my turn and bold as brass, I asked for one senior, a cappuccino and a bag of minstrels, large being the only option, oh dearie me! Now, I could say that she herself looked perplexed, annoyed even, hesitant to query my age, but that might be wishful thinking on my part. The clever cow may have decided to play me at my own game, for the sake of a couple of quid, allowing me to believe that I looked 60, therefore having the last laugh. Sure I didn’t give a shite, I was delighted with my bargain, being an Irish aul one ‘n’ all that.
I can always justify food, but especially goodies. Even when I know it contains too many calories or I’m eating late at night, there is always some justification. One night my bestie invited me to join herself and a friend for a lovely home cooked dinner, so lovely that I accepted second helpings gracefully. There was yummy cake for afters and though I didn’t have second helpings of that, I knew it would be there the next day for consumption. Sitting in bed later, watching a movie, I remembered I had bought a packet of rolos earlier. They were in my handbag at the bottom of the bed. Do you think I could concentrate on that movie or even consider going to sleep, knowing that those sweets were sitting in that bag? Not a chance. Acceptance being the word of the day, I accepted that those rolos would have to be consumed if I was to settle down for the night, so out they came and I enjoyed every single one of them.
Said bestie is no saint herself, sure one goodyless evening, we’d said goodnight and headed to our respective rooms, with the intention of maybe watching tv or reading a book. I was in bed all of ten minutes when it was too much for me. I knew full well that there were goodies left in those multipacks I had recently bought and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Tossing off my duvet, I crept stealthily to my bedroom door, gently pulling down the handle to open it. As I stepped out of my room, involuntarily I jumped back in fright. ‘Jesus Mary and Joseph’, I exclaimed as there on the landing, stood my bestie, doing exactly the same thing. The look on her face mirrored my own, but alarm soon turned to sheer hilarity as we realised we were on a similar mission. Our entertainment kept us stuck on the landing for some minutes as we howled with laughter, hands holding our goody craving bellies as we guffawed simultaneously. Sure that laughter may have burned off the calories we subsequently consumed as we shoved each other out of the way, still giggling, to see who could get to the kitchen cupboards first.
Now, they say that you should taste with your mouth and not with your eyes, especially when you’re trying new things. I pretty much accept that too, but found on a recent occasion, that like any rule, there are exceptions. My bestie and I took ourselves off for breakfast one morning in a nice hotel. The setting was lovely and the menu interesting, but we went for a good aul hearty full English breakfast. Licking our lips at the thought of the upcoming feast, we dined on hot toast, dripping with butter, tea and coffee, with orange juice on the side, while awaiting our plate of yumminess. While trumpets didn’t exactly blow, when the breakfast arrived, such was our ecstacy on seeing the plates carried towards our table, they may as well have. What’s seldom is wonderful and whilst goodies aren’t seldom, though they are most definitely wonderful, it’s only once in a while that I indulge in a fry up. Looking at the waitress with gratitude and then at my bestie, with shared delight, we both stared at our plates and looked at each other again with concern. Whilst the sausages, egg, black pudding, beans and tomatoes were perfect, the bacon looked like it had had seen better days or at the very least, was sickening for something. I kid you not, it was grey. Sure it occurred to me that maybe it was a new type of bacon, not British, Danish or Irish, maybe from Siberia or something, bluey grey with the cold. Maybe this was the new in thing for bacon in trendy restaurants and if we brought the waitress’s attention to the lack of colour in the rashers, she might think we were fierce ignorant. So, I tucked in, cut a slice off one of the pieces and sure it tasted grand. However as I looked up chewing away, with my mouth closed of course. the expression on my bestie’s face said it all. From Siberia, it may well have been but until the nationality and health status of the bacon was confirmed, this woman was not going to touch a morsel.
Opting to join my bestie’s sensible approach, I called a waiter, who then called the manageress and as nobody was mentioning Siberia or any other new country, from where trendy bacon was now being sourced, the big question was, how sick WAS our bacon? A full scale investigation ensued as the chef was interrogated and it appears that the eejit had left the bacon under lights on the counter but instead of looking pink from too much sun, it looked grey and bleak. Whether this was the truth, we’ll never know but when round two of our full English appeared, the rashers were perfect, in appearance, colour and taste. When paying our bill, which was reduced to just the price of one breakfast, I did point out to the manageress that I had had a piece of the sick looking first attempt and hoped I wouldn’t get food poisoning. She reassured me and advised me to get in touch if I did, though she thought it was very unlikely.
Even the possibility of contracting food poisoning, didn’t stop me shovelling the shite into my gob when we got home and settled in to watch Netflix. Sure time was of the essence. If I was going to be puking my guts up incessantly within the next 24 hours, I needed to have a bit of enjoyment before then. So I sucked chocolate, thereby allowing it to go down more slowly, giving the yummy breakfast and the piece of grey bacon time to go out the other end, thus leaving enough room for it. Now my reckoning was, if I was going to get food poisoning, it would go out quicker, or up and out quicker, so might as well enjoy the forbidden fruit, knowing that it mightn’t be in there long enough to leave fat deposits.
Thanks be to God, no food poisoning ensued and though we didn’t have another meal that day, I did have a nice bag of Doritos. Munching away on the sofa, I watched a great movie with my bestie, then another, until the food took its toll. No, still no puking or retching, not at all, just a nice three hour snooze to finish our calorie laden day. Sure the beauty of all of this is, when you share a home with a bestie who loves grub as much as you do, there’s no judgement, so you can go to the fridge as often as you like and not a tut or dirty look will pass between you, just ‘Ah, while you’re there…..’’. If laughter could burn calories, which I reckon it does, to a certain extent, sure we’d be supermodels. We’re not!!
Shared love of goodies doesn’t stop with my bestie. Sure family traits are often passed on, my love of chocolate certainly being one of them. In fact a rather young family member got a chocolate fountain for Christmas and needless to say all the relations enjoyed its launch. Aside from the yumminess of bananas, sweets, marshmallows, strawberries etc., all dipped in the sumptuous chocolate, once everyone had finished, naturally the machine had to be cleaned. Needless to say, I was first up from the table, to volunteer to clean up, with an ulterior motive, of course. Once everyone was out of sight, I removed the plug from the socket and before the water had left the tap, my finger was scooping up the leftover chocolate from the machine, before it melted. Suddenly from behind, I heard a little voice ‘Ahem…what are you doing?’ ‘Cleaning the fountain chick, what does it look like’, I replied. Now this young family member responds to requests to help tidy up but has never, to my knowledge, actually offered to clean. However, the chocolate loving trait being what it is, the benefits of this particular task far outweighed any disadvantages. ‘Would you like some help?’ came the cheeky voice. ‘Sure’, I answered, through mouthfuls of chocolate, ‘come on, but tuck a napkin under your chin’, I continued, having looked down at my own chocolate covered sweater. ‘‘More for later’’, I noted to myself. I could just pick off the dried chocolate and Bob’s your Uncle…..supper.
Well, the adorable little imp got stuck in and we giggled together as both our fingers removed every trace of chocolate from that machine. If cleaning a chocolate fountain by finger was a sport, we would be champions. When that scallywag and I had finished, there weren’t any traces of chocolate around our lips or fingers, let alone on the fountain. For an encore, grinning mischievously while picking some of the chocolate off my sweater, reminding me of my late Dad the little divil said, ‘Sure we can’t have that going to waste’. Slapping that cheeky hand away, assuring, as I did so, that there was no way I would ever let chocolate go to waste, I grabbed a dish and plopped the remaining hardened dollops in it, ready for supper. Keeping the the dish behind my back, then above my head, high above little hands attempting to snatch it from my grasp, both of us collapsed in a fit of giggles. However, years of experience in the chocolate devouring stakes, combined with the difference in height, helped me outwit my opponent, as I quickly passed the bowl to my very tall son, who was passing at that very moment.
The joke was on me much later as reaching into the fridge for my ‘supper’, I found an empty bowl with a note saying….’Thanks Mum, yum yum lol!!!’ That chocolate loving trait hadn’t passed by him either as it travelled through the generations.
“… neither Jesus, Mary, or even Joseph would have been of any use to her, because they were outnumbered.”
“…However, these fights were the exception rather than the rule”
“…As long as that guy was working in the vegetable shop, there was never a lack of potatoes in our house”
“…Ah sure, for us, there’s always a hot toddy (Irish slang for a hot whiskey, not to be confused with a really attractive man called Todd with the nickname ‘Toddy’)”