Francine’s Guest Blog 9

Wedding Warps, but then…Cake

 

From Patrick’s funeral, I rushed to the wedding.

Normally, I would have felt quite out of place at a gathering where I know only a handful of people, but for some reason, I did not. Grace and I had been roommates at university and though we kept in touch, we did not really mingle with the same crowds. Grace’s dress was beautiful, very lacy, and strapless. The dining hall, which did not have formal seating, was elegant, and the guests were mostly well-dressed. I found a seat next to a couple I knew vaguely.

Halfway through the meal, I looked up to see a familiar figure, which I quickly realized was no hallucination: Mr. Wrong, with the tramp in tow. He saw me before I could bury my face in my food and we both stared at each other in embarrassment. He hastened to introduce me to Tracy as “the girl I told you about”. It turned out that Tracy was connected to the groom in some roundabout way. Wrong had never met Grace, so he had no way of knowing I’d be there, so I forgave him for that. In fact, I forgave him for everything (in my mind) on the very spot, mostly because of Tracy. She was drunk again, and was dressed in a rather decent peach colored dress, which looked nice with her skin. Unfortunately, she was wearing flip-flops, which totally cancelled whatever elegance the dress had managed to convey.

I don’t understand how flip-flops became an acceptable accessory for formal attire. I don’t care how many sequins they put on them, they do not belong in a wedding, unless you’re 6 months pregnant. And the other thing is that if your feet look like two tired trout, you need to show as little of them as possible. And not waste money on expensive manicures either. I’m just saying.

The servers had placed huge pieces of cake on every table, and I was planning on taking some home, but not openly. So I went into the restroom to rearrange my purse. I came back to the table to find that the couple had left, and two guys, one of them really loud, had taken their place. I caught the end of the conversation, which I assumed was about the valet.

“…the idiot had parked my Benz next to a beat-up blue Toyota,” said the loud one. “Of course, I made him move it…”

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The cake was still there, so I sat down, but turned and looked at him. If there is one phrase that describes my car to a T, it is “beat-up blue Toyota.”

“I thought you said there weren’t any attractive women in here,” he said to his friend, when he saw me; then to me, “Are you married?”

Not thinking fast enough, as usual, I said, “No,” and thought about the most sarcastic way to phrase a response to the affront on my vehicle. I wasn’t quick enough.

“Got any kids?” he continued, leering.

“As a matter of fact, yes,” I said, and showed him the pictures of the Somalian and the Syrian. “Different fathers,” I explained, smiling. And suddenly they both had to go talk with the groom’s father. The cake was delicious. Moist and compact, with a light strawberry filling.

My phone rang, and I went outside to answer it. It was Sam the detective!

“I may have a lead,” he said, “but you’ll have to meet me for dinner to discuss it.” My eyes were popping out of my head when my mouth sputtered my acceptance. I vowed not to pursue the bread bandits. Without them, I would not have met Sam. It was fate that led me to remember that I had books to sell that day, and it was fate again that pushed me to go to the police, when I didn’t even want to.

I had had enough of the wedding, and as I floated to my beautiful “beat-up blue Toyota” I reflected on how far I had come since my last encounter with Mr. Wrong. The insignificant dent that he made in my life is all but forgotten. I can move forward with this business of life. I can’t say that any one thing helped, but that everything did.

According to my mother, time is the undisputed healer of all emotional pain. One of the ways to help Time, I’ve discovered, is to fill your days with meaningful things, to be grateful for the things you have; to be generous. And to forgive.  Apart from those early days of the break up, my days have been full of activity and incidents, some good, some bad. Without them I think I would have spent a lot more time feeling sorry for myself. And getting fatter. Lots of people have worse lives than I do. As it is, I feel better about myself; I can sleep through the night; I’ve got a romantic prospect, and…

I cannot end this blog without showing you the dress I’m wearing to dinner with Sam. Robbie says it’s “the bees’ knees.” That means it looks super awesome.

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Francine’s Guest Post 5

The Juice Cleanse

Well, I finally broke down and told my mother about the insomnia. I just did not want to have that discussion about how I’m wasting my life in this “one-horse town” and how it would be better for me to move to “Metropolis” less than a hundred miles away where there are more opportunities and where I can live with her and share the camaraderie of her hairy hippie friends, who are always eager to include me in their sweat lodges, their musical endeavors, and their séances.   Why would an insomnia discussion invite such a response, you ask? Because every complaint or request for help from my mother does. She had never liked Mr. Wrong, and never hesitated to tell me so. When I broke up with him, no one was happier or more vocal. I try to avoid the lectures, suggestions, and advice for as long as I can, but then I always break down…. partly because I know she’s right.

This time at the end of it, she said, “Just take Valerian root.” And she gave me the name of a concentrated brand. For those of you who have never taken Valerian root tea or capsules, be warned: keep a bar of perfumed soap nearby to wash your hands. Valerian root smells like concentrated anus.

Thirty minutes after taking it, I fell asleep.

Feeling very energized and refreshed the next day, I decided to go on a diet. A severe diet. No carbohydrates whatsoever. This will be a big challenge for me, as I have a small weakness for cake. I found a diet on the internet that’s supposed to make you lose as much as 5 lbs per week. Well, it’s been my experience that only obese people can lose 5 lbs per week. The most that a regular overweight person can hope for is 1 lb., and that’s what I’ll settle for.

I have lost the link, but here is the recipe for the Super Fat Cleansing Shake in case you are interested:

  • Two bunches of celery
  • One bunch of spinach
  • One carrot
  • A few spearmint leaves

Celery has been said to have extraordinary intestinal-cleansing and weight-reducing properties. I’m not sure about the other ingredients, but I suspect the carrot is there just to give it taste, because I tasted the celery juice by itself, and let me just say that whoever invented celery was a sneaky rogue. How can something so cute and harmless-looking cause such a violent reaction in a person? It is tall, thin, graceful and shapely, captivatingly crunchy, and let’s face it, is not the color “celery” the most delightful of hues, along with “cornflower” and “periwinkle”? But extract the juice of that lovely plant, and it is the vilest thing on the planet. Celery was not a staple in our family, as my parents never saw any use for it, and when I was younger and I tasted it at parties, I always used to think, these people are just using this vegetable as an excuse to eat dip and to avoid washing spoons.

Anyway, you blend all that stuff together and drink it for one week, while eating bland protein and vegetable items for meals. “And just watch the pounds melt off!” the video said.

I hope you will have better luck with it than I did.

The first morning, I forced it down, a whole cupful of it. I had to lie still for a while to keep it down. An hour later I had one hard-boiled egg, coffee, and a half a grapefruit (no sugar). This I ate very slowly, to encourage my body to believe that it was getting a lot of food. It’s supposed to help with digestion.

Well, I stayed on this diet for exactly two days. Day 2, my body had had all it could take of hard-boiled eggs, unseasoned chicken and fish, and steamed vegetables. The food had settled at the top of my throat and was threatening to come back out. Finally, it did, around 1 AM, and I couldn’t even make it to the toilet.

 

My system had been abused and was forced to refuel with civilized nourishment.

These photographs were taken daily, at teatime.

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Monday

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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You get the picture.

Needless to say, I did not lose one pound.

Do not let this discourage you, however, from your own weight-loss venture. There are probably lots of people who can stomach the celery juice, and I am sure that it has many benefits.

I must say that somehow this hiatus has made the racing thoughts and self-doubts and anxiety a little less severe though. And I have already addressed the sleeplessness with the Valerian. I believe I am on my way to recovery.

I also suspect that cake, especially chocolate cake, has healing properties. It’s just a theory for now, though.