She Persisted: My Failed Attempt at Cooking a Nice Dinner

“So maybe I should just stick with chicken nuggets?” This is what I asked my kids as they crinkled their noses and stared at the sauteed shrimp skewered on their forks and turned it round and round, like a pinwheel.

“Sorry, mom. I just don’t like garlic,” my sons says, trying to be nice. He actually, I think, felt bad for me, since I’d make a big deal about cooking this special dinner since we woke up this morning. See, this is an aberration. I am not exactly known for my culinary skills, and, truth be told, I’d be happy having chips and wine for dinner. But, I tried to be all maternal and decided I’d watch the Food Network and start making actual meals. Typically, I have a rotation of pasta, veggies and rice, steak, and chicken. As my son James says, “Mom, all you cook is chicken with a different sauce and side.” The grill is my friend: easy and fast, and the mess is outside. No lingering smells in the house, and basically no dishes!

But, today, I went to Roche Bros., equipped with my recipe and took to task. Of course this Spicy Fennel Shrimp meal ended up costing twice as much because I had to essentially buy a spice cabinet–the one I had included salt and pepper, nail polish remover, dog treats and gummy vitamins. This was my amazing basket. Oh, and see that random vegan stuff in there? Well, I decided I might try going Vegan for a week and see how it goes. So far? The smoked vegan cheese is dis-GUS-ting. Note to self: no fake cheese.

So around five, I decide to give it a whirl and take out the shrimp. Alas, what the hell is deveining??? I read this on the recipe. And, by the way, anything with veins? I don’t super want to eat. However, I watch a You Tube on how to pull the legs and shell off the shrimp and then cut a line down its spine to pull out what is essentially poop. I mean, I have goldfish, and this “vein” looks very similar to the bottom of their tank. I thought to toss them right then and there but, as Chelsea Clinton wrote, “She Persisted.” I persisted and cleaned those babies.

Well, I made quite a tasty dish, I must say. Here’s a pic:

But, when I had the kids try it, all fired up, saying grace, staring at their scared faces, all I could say was, “Should I stick to the nuggets?”

And I did.

I ate the shrimp, and I’m writing this as the nug’s cook. Round two on dinner…

Retirement Ain’t Just for the Birds!

Since I retired a few weeks ago, life as an unmarried housewife has been, well, delightful! For starters, I have a savage tan. It brings me back to the days I used to pump gas as a dock master (er, “master” might be a stretch) and wear my royal blue Body Glove bathing suit on the beach without one drop of sunscreen in the 80s all day. My freckles speak to that, and I think I might even be growing some more. Punky Brewster is back! The wan and sallow glow I had in summers’ past from my overhead cubicle light is now gone. I’m more Baywatch than Dilbert–well, minus the you knows on Pam Anderson.

Okay, so what else has changed? Oh, I realized I have no clothes. I used to get dressed for work in the morning and put on my Mary Tyler Moore knee length Talbot’s skirt (super hot), a blouse, pearls, and some flats. Now, that look doesn’t quite jam when flagging down the ice cream truck on the beach or buying beach chairs and umbrellas at Christmas Tree Shop.

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Before Retirement

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After Retirement

Speaking of jam…I really might try to bring back Jams. Remember those? Those like flowered longer shorts from 1986 that look more like a man’s Panama Jack bathing suit than something any eighth grade girl would EVER wear now (well, yes, because they actually COVERED me, unlike the midriffs and short-shorts girls wear now). Jams? Might not be so hot on Tic Tock. And it’s all about the likes. Am I right? I could try to bust into a midriff now, but probs not the best idea when picking up the kids from camp. Wait, did I say pick up the kids from camp? Bwahah! What camp? No such thing! It’s back to Up my Grill camp here at Al’s, just like the good old days when the kids were toddlers, and they stayed in their pajamas till noon (okay, more like four), and I was the entertainment.

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Jams

 

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Dinner outfit=Same as breakfast outfit.

 

Okay, so what else has happened in retirement, besides the obvious attrition of my bank account, and not just from Roblox purchases? Well, I’ve enjoyed the crap out of my days. And the days go a heck of a lot faster when I’m not sniffing white out. Wait, what? I never did that. But, it’s been so nice spending time with my family and friends. I’ve also taken up gardening and am sewing a lot. Ha! Kidding. Come on now. Have we met? I still enjoy a cocktail at 3 and pretending I’m in St. Barth’s drinking rose while sitting on my backyard swing set. It’s almost the same thing, especially when I call the dogs in French.

So! So far, so good! I think I might ride this out a bit longer. Retirement is not for the birds. It might just be for me!