I would like to begin this post by apologizing to my loyal readers, whom I left hanging the past two weeks. But you have to understand…I was so tired.
Honestly, there were like 10 more mussels on this woman’s plate. She had a separate receptacle for shell disposal.
The last week in particular was one of the craziest I’ve ever experienced. I had to search for and move into a new apartment, I saw a black Hassid at Target and witnessed an intense argument between a large, black lesbian and a policeman with a dog on the Franklin Avenue Shuttle. She called his dog a ‘lil n@*!#,’ which was appropriate. Additionally, I survived the West Indian Day parade, and yesterday was Beyonce’s B-day. But somehow, none of these things seems as worthy of a blog post as this…
On Thursday night, my boyfriend David and I went to grab a quick dinner at a Thai restaurant in Fort Greene, before packing up my room. Upon sitting down, I noticed a robust woman of about 30 sitting alone in corner seat. I didn’t pay her much attention, figured she might just be treating herself to dinner after a hard day at work.
Anyway, David and I both ordered (he had the spicy noodles with chicken and veggies, I had the mango chicken salad with sticky rice, thanks for asking), and I looked over to see the waiter place a mojito in front of the woman. Treat yo self, girl, I thought. The waiter soon brought out an order of chili basil mussels, which we’d noticed on the menu but had deemed unnecessary. But homegirl was clownin’ on ’em. She made them look delish. It was a pretty massive plate of mussels, about a pound I’d say. And she was really enjoying them.
“Whoa,” David said, as I pointed her out. She was destroying them, leaving no shell un-turned.
Eventually, our food came out, and we were forced to mind our own business. We proceeded to eat in silence, as we’ve been known to do, taking breaths only when necessary, making eye contact strictly when pleading for a taste of the other person’s dish. It was a really romantic time. Then I looked over.
“David, look,” I said. It had been about 15 minutes, and the woman was no longer alone. She was surrounded by what I assume she calls her “Girl Girls.” The waiter was dropping off entrees in front of all of them. The woman smiled, accepting her plate, as though she was sooo hungry for dinner. For shame, I thought.
“Did she just pre-game for dinner?” David asked. She had. It was clear what had just happened. She and her girl girls had planned to have dinner at 7pm, but this one had arrived at the restaurant 30 minutes early to secretly pre-eat. You know, get a little tummy buzz going. She was pretending like nothing had happened, like she had not just downed 20 seafood nuggets. $10 says she paid off the waiter to pretend like the first 30 minutes never happened. “When my girl girls come, you just keep your mouth shut. I just got here. JUST got here!” (here, she wipes the sweat of guilt and many mussels from her brow)
What’s even better is that her second dinner wasn’t particularly light. I couldn’t quite tell what she was eating, but she was most definitely sucking on a bone. My guess is she either went for what I had, the mango chicken salad (which sounds healthy, but they actually give you half of a roasted chicken), or short ribs, which weren’t on the menu…but I don’t think it really mattered. She also ordered another mojito.
Now I’m not going to pretend like I’ve never dominated an appetizer. We’ve all done it, gone out to dinner with friends and been like, “does anyone want to split an appetizer? I would totally go in for the sampler platter.” And we’ve all been the one to treat the plate like it was ours, and ours alone, only leaving scraps of celery and parsley for the others, saying, “you can have the last piece, I don’t want to fill up before my food comes, haha!”
But this woman had taken it to a new level. I’ll bet she even suggested an appetizer to the group. “So ladies, do you want to get an order of spring rolls or something for the table?” And her friends were like, “ohhh, yeah, the mussels sound good too, girl!” And she was probably all, “Oh, I don’t want to get anything too heavy…” David suggested that we send a dessert to her on our way out, but we both forgot by that time.
I have mixed emotions about this new pre-eating fad that this woman just started unknowingly via my blog, and which you are about to partake in. I mean, being full is pretty high on my list of priorities, somewhere between physical and mental health. And appearing to exercise portion control sits right between brushing my hair and making eye contact on my list of things I have to do to make people like me sometimes. Aside from the fact that pre-eating in a restaurant setting can cost you anywhere from $10-$20 more than it needs to (when you could just snack on some bodega cheaps, for real), it’s a pretty awesome trend.
So, the next time you’re scheduled to meet up with friends for dinner (or even lunch, hell breakfast), get there a little early and find yourself something to snack on in a corner. You know, something light, like a short stack or BLT, just to hold you over until your girl girls arrive. You can thank me, and the beast from the Thai place, later.