What is it about a new relationship that makes getting full on just appetizers possible? This is a phenomenon I have heard of but never actually experienced until now. M and I were definitely becoming a couple and in between the phone calls, hourly text messages and predate primping, I just wasn't hungry. My Spanx were a thing of the past, tucked away in the drawer with my stirrup pants and leg warmers.
We were about to take a major step towards solidifying this new found union, spending a weekend away, together in a hotel. M had a business trip coming up and invited me to attend a food show with him in Orlando. Normally the words food and show together would set my salivating glands in motion but all I could think about was lingerie. I guess it was in the middle of Victoria's Secret, rummaging through the 3 for 1 thongs (question: why bother wearing them?) when I thought of something that struck a wave of fear in me so intense, I almost dropped my panties: sharing a bathroom, more specifically, USING a bathroom with a man only three feet away.
I began to sweat profusely, table of thongs swimming before me. One thing you should know about me, during 25 years of marriage I used the bathroom at the other end of the house. I know couples who leave the bathroom door open during, uh, private time. I would rather run naked through Times Square. I lock the door, run the water, put on the fan and that's just for number 1. This was mind blowing to say the least.
Pulling myself together I realized that M would be busy at the show most of the time and that I could probably have some private time then. If I was careful and stayed away from dairy products, (I diagnosed myself as lactose intolerant when I was about 5,) I should be fine. I picked out the perfect thong for a weekend away (which I may still have on and just forgot about, how would I even know?) and left feeling a lot better with my plan in place.
It was both strange and exhilarating going to a hotel with a man who was not my husband. There were different clothes hanging in the closet, different toiletries in the shower. This man did not leave dirty wet towels on the floor and I felt somewhat embarrassed when he said, "Ohhhhh, THAT'S where these go," as he stepped over mine. At times, we were almost shy with each other,
"Do you want to shower first?"
"No please, you go."
Still, it was exciting, fun and romantic.
That morning we attended the food show which consisted of rows and rows of unbelievably savory offerings. There were gourmet pizza samples, cheesecake samples, wine, cheese and even sliced pieces of rare filet with special seasoning rubs. There were organic coffees, teas, fresh baked pies and the latest craze, gourmet cupcakes. We wandered up one row and down the other arm in arm.
"You have to try this," M would say pushing some delicious morsel up to my mouth.
"Oh no, I'm too full" I would say though I really hadn't eaten anything since we arrived. I could not see any way of stuffing a wad of pepper spiced filet into my mouth without looking like a camel chewing straw so I politely declined.
M had several business meetings lined up for the afternoon, so I saw this as my time to get back to the hotel, have some private time, brush, floss, and tidy myself up.
"I have a great idea," M said. "Why don't you make a tennis court reservation for 5:00. I'll be back around 4:30 and we can play some tennis, then shower and go out for a nice romantic dinner."
Plan in place we parted ways and I made my way through the convention center back to the hotel. All at once I found myself starving, ravenous, famished. For the first time in months, I needed to eat. I looked around and low and behold at the entrance was a sandwich stand offering fresh roast beef sandwiches on sour dough rolls. I literally ran up to the counter and ordered a hot roast beef sandwich and a coke. The sandwich guy took my order and then asked "Do you want horseradish sauce on that?" If I could change anything about the last year of my life it would be my answer to that question. Mouth watering, I looked at him and said, "Yes."
I wolfed that sandwich down before I even made it outside. Once inside my hotel room, I kicked off my shoes, removed my makeup, brushed my teeth and booked our tennis court. I lay on the bed, put on Judge Judy and started to doze off. Moments later I was awakened by a sound I can only describe as ominous. It didn't take me long to realize it was coming from my stomach. Please God no, this cannot be happening.
Let me put it this way, from 1:30 pm to 4 pm, I was having private time. I emerged from the bathroom on shaky legs, white as a sheet and dripping sweat, and I hesitate to tell you the bathroom had seen better days as well. I had just crawled over to the bed when the phone rang.
"Hello?" I croaked.
"Hi baby! On my way, did you reserve the tennis court?"
Just the thought of my white tennis dress in the closet caused my stomach to clench. I was now at a loss, M would be in the room within the next five minutes and my private time was about to go public.
"I have been sick since I left you, I think it was something I ate."
"What could you possibly have eaten since I last saw you?"
"Um... a roast beef sandwich from a concession."
"Oh no, I should have told you NEVER eat at a concession outside of a food show. They have been standing around out there for days trying to sell those sandwiches."
"Well they found a taker," I said, "And I am sick."
Five minutes later M came through the door, went directly to the bathroom, (I tried to warn him,) and came out with a damp face cloth, which he laid on my forehead. We lay on the bed together watching the news for a few hours, until miraculously I began to feel better and had an intense craving for sushi.
That evening before heading up to the room I made one pre-emptive strike at the bathroom in the lobby, but really, it was too late. The cat was out of the bag and I had learned a valuable lesson: horseradish sauce is considered dairy.