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You Can’t Make Me Do It

Last night I gathered with a group for a girls’ night out. We met under the auspices of a book club, but it is really an eating and drinking event. Book talk is merely the appetizer and takes about two minutes at which time we proceed to the main course.

The idea of reading books that will stretch my feelings and imagination, that in turn push me toward a better way of life is quite appealing; however, it didn’t take long to discover this little soiree would not be a likely venue. That’s fine because I really like these women, but I found the book portion of the evening, albeit brief, a little frustrating. Therefore, I proclaimed a couple months ago that I was no longer going to read the book selection. I got a few stray looks and a couple, “but it’s a book club,” comments, in which I replied, “It’s a lot of things, but a book club it is not.”

There were complaints that books were too serious or didn’t have happy endings… I’m not a book snob. I like to read junky novels as much as the next girl, but I just want to control the mind-numbing dribble. Last night someone said, “Are you going to read the next one, Melissa?”

“Maybe. Well… Probably not,” I said. “But I love you guys so I’ll be back next month for our non-book club, book club.”

We may not manage a deep and intellectually stimulating conversation about literature, but we do just fine around a table with wine and hors d’oeuvres.

When I attend this monthly event, I know I’m going to indulge – the food is just too good. But what about the adult beverages? I can’t opt for food AND wine unless I want to totally desecrate the buffet table. I’m also a cheap date, and once a get about a glass and a half of wine in me, I suddenly feel like a malnourished old lady from the Andes who hasn’t eaten in four days so drinking and NOT eating isn’t a viable option either.

Teetering with common sense challenges me, but I generally navigate fairly well given the temptation. At least eating yummy stuff at someone else’s home is safer because I do it in a social way. I don’t want to embarrass myself by asking for a tumbler of icy cold milk, plopping on the sofa with the tray of cookies and shoving one after another down my throat for the next three hours. Return invitations may be hard to come by after that, especially given my other quirks, like announcing my refusal to read a book for a book club.

I did manage to snarf down a Korean spring roll, two tablespoons of hummus, five olives, a piece of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, low-fat pasta fagioli, whole grain bread, a chocolate cookie and a big hunk of some kind of Danish pastry, which literally translated to real butter lard ass.

Thankfully there are others in the group trying to watch what they eat so there were quite a few healthy choices available, and I managed to avoid two different kinds of garlic bread, tortilla chips, raspberry filled cookies, chicken salad and three kinds of dip.

One woman brought this fantastic broiled Brussels sprouts dish; however, I learned that people carry a maximum load capacity on all cabbage-like products. Hell, I woke up this morning still farting.

Sure, I could have made a few better choices, but considering I wanted to grab the dessert platter and roll around naked in the sinful decadence, I feel pretty good about my evening.

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