I Work for Cheese

Last summer, one of my more trouble-making friends, Sammy, came home to visit. Her dad was sick, so I met her in Naperville at the hospital. As any good friend would do, I took her out drinking to “drown her sorrows.”

What was supposed to be a few drinks turned into a few pitchers, and I could no longer make my way home safely. As one who does not condone drinking and driving, I needed to call my amazing (and still new-ish) boyfriend for a ride. After a long commute on the train, he got in his car, backtracked to pick me up, and met Sammy and I in the downtown Naperville area. Sammy and I were giggly, and she was wonderfully adorable, telling the boyfriend that I hadn’t officially declared my love for, that she could see why I love him so much. Truth

The problem was my vehicle. At the bright and early hours of the following morning, I had to ride with Brian to the train, take the train to Naper, and grab my car–backtracking to work before 8 AM. At the train station, though, I discovered a sign for the Aurora Farmer’s Market…

I love farmer’s markets. They usually have delicious fruits and veggies, tasty snacks, and so much more. Oh yes, I would be checking that out the following Saturday morning.

The next Saturday, during a rainy, wet weekend, I trekked over to the market. Perusing the booths under a light drizzle seemed all well and fine, until I got to The Cheese People booth. Cheese?! Yes. That’s right. Cheese. and LOTS of it.

Just as I was beginning a conversation with the man that I now lovingly refer to as Cheese Guy (whose name is actually Rick and he is fantastic), the rain turned on me. That light drizzle became a rolling storm, in which I sought out shelter under the bright yellow tent, sampling cheeses to my heart’s content.

It was that moment that turned me from slight cheese lover to cheese snob. My knowledge of cheese improved drastically over the last year all because of Cheese Guy. After the rain simmered down, and business started picking up, Cheese Guy asked what I was up to for the rest of the day. I told him that he was looking at my plans. Not a whole heck of a lot.

“Well then get back here and grab a knife.”

The next thing I knew, I had a glove on one hand, a knife in the other. I was slicing and weighing cheese, learning prices, and offering samples to passersby. I was good at what I did. We got busy, and Cheese Guy appreciated my efforts. I had already set aside a pretty hearty portion of cheese, and when the afternoon was over, I asked what I owed. Cheese Guy took an inventory of my purchase, did some mental math, and said, “Nothing. You just worked your ass off for me.” My rate was apparently equivalent to the cost of cheese that I was intending to buy.

For the next few months, I made my way over to help Cheese Guy out whenever I could, and when the market started up in May, so did I. Cheese Guy was promoted, and my weekend schedule got hectic, so I no longer work for cheese…but I certainly consider myself a Cheesemonger now.

It’s so cliche I can hardly control myself: Out of a drunken night of debauchery sprung a cheesy love affair.

 

Apparently Dunkin isn’t as cool as Cheese Guy. That’s fine; I’d rather be paid in cheese anyways.

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The Dating Game

If you’ve ever seen How I Met Your Mother, you know the “Have You Met Ted?” game. I discovered this amusing “game” while watching HIMYM with Mark, who replaced Scrubs with the cast of Barney and his pals. Not going to lie, Barney makes that show. In fact, the BF makes a really great point: Why bother watching the show, when you can watch clips of the funny parts later? Which is what he’ll say right before we look up the video about the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal (which CLEARLY makes perfect sense).

Anyways, so the Have you met Ted? game translates pretty well in real life. In fact I’ve used it often. One of my most entertaining evenings, was several years ago at a dive bar in Lombard. My pal, Molly, and I were out drinking. While I was in a relationship at the time, Molly was trolling for dudes. Of course, maybe we should have known better than to be trolling for dudes at a dive bar…but we were young.

While I’ve always found a great deal of enjoyment in the chase, Molly is one of those ladies who prefers to be chased. But the shy girl thing doesn’t always work too well without additional help. That’s why girls like Molly have friends like me. To increase the chances of “the chase.” Among other things…

Cue a tall, attractive man sipping on a cheap draft. Molly scopes, then points him out to me. Oh, this should be easy. Without a second thought, I grabbed Molly and dragged her up to the bar. I squeezed in next to the cutie and ordered a drink. As I was waiting for my beverage, I turned on the Chrissy charm.

“Hi!” I grinned at this tall thinner-than-I-would-go-for guy.

He smiled back at me. “Hey, what’s up?”

“Not a whole lot. Have you met Molly?” I asked as I pulled Molly in towards my spot at the bar.

“No, I haven’t. I’m Tom.”

“Hi, I’m Molly” she whispered with the shy girl, I-have-no-idea-what’s-happening smile.

I looked at the two of them, and giggled to myself at the awkward silence that followed their sort of self-introduction. “OK, Tom, this is Molly. Molly, this is Tom. A peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss.” And with that, I walked away.

Fifteen minutes later, Molly was back at my side as I was chatting with one of my other girls, Becca. “Not so much?”

Molly shook her head. “I didn’t know what else to talk about.” Then she laughed. “I can’t believe you just did that!”

I shrugged, “Just doing my thang…”

She laughed. Just then, Becca’s douchebag boyfriend and his roommate walked up to us. His roommate seemed a little f*ed up, but harmless. He proceeded to shower Molly with compliments and affection. By the end of the night, the were canoodling and kissing. And I barely had to put in any work into that one!

Of course, he wasn’t really boyfriend material. So, even though he continued to call Molly for several weeks thereafter…and pester Becca about Molly…nothing ever came of that night. But hey, Molly had fun. I was entertained. I call that a winning night for a couple of early to mid 20-somethings.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Knock Down Drag Out What?

One of the few times I saw the sun come up before going to sleep, happened about a year after I graduated college. We decided that once Flaherty’s closed, it would be a good idea to go to Galways, the nearest 4am bar, which closely resembles a frat party. One 30 dollar cab ride later, the cabby was trying to screw us out of another 10 dollars, because we were 3 drunk girls. Unfortunately for him, I was smart enough to catch that shit. So I handled it and we proceeded inside. We went in, and found it was exactly like a frat party complete with the typical Talky McOld Guy who would always manage to find me and not leave me alone at these places. Finally, we were hiding pretty decently. Beth was getting her mack on with some very nice guy, Elizabeth disappeared and I was chatting up some random cute guy.

Fast forward to my showing off to the cutie and hanging out in the DJ booth, talking to the DJ, who somehow remembered me from the night before when I was at a random bar singing karaoke like a rockstar.

Out of the blue, I saw this security guard slam some dude against the wall, grab him by his neck, put him in a head lock, drag him out of the bar, and I swear to God I thought he was trying to break the guy’s neck. Elizabeth was right there in the line of fire when this craziness ensued and she managed to get slammed equally as hard by the security guard, who cared about nothing but his pride, apparently. Elizabeth was standing between the miscreant and the wall, hence being slammed into.

So Elizabeth walked over to me in the DJ booth, and started speaking strangely and acting really weird. For the soberest one in our group, she looked and sounded pretty hammered… The next thing I knew, she had dropped down to the floor like a noodle. My brother was there in seconds to help me out; thankfully he was there, too. He picked Elizabeth up and said in his most dominant don’t-argue-with-me voice, “We’re leaving now.”

I thanked the DJ and waved goodbye to the cute guy as Elizabeth was trying to stumble out, hanging on to my brother. Before we even left the dance floor, she passed out again. I grabbed Beth and told her that we were leaving immediately, as my brother and some other guy carried a limp Elizabeth out to the parking lot. I was yelling at the security guards trying not to cry, basically freaking out because my best friend since forever had come to visit me and this shit happened under my watch, so to speak. I was PISSED.

So we made it out into the parking lot, and the paramedics came to look at her. They were yelling at her, Talky McOld Guy refused to shut up and kept saying that she was fine and didn’t need anything, and  I was sitting there watching her unable to focus because 10 minutes earlier she was FINE. There was no way that she was drunk. Either she was drugged or she had a concussion.

The paramedics were all over the place saying she needed to go to the hospital, threatening Ella’s impending death. I asked them very nicely if I could ride with her so she wasn’t alone and would have someone with her at the ER.

“NO,” they tell me, “Don’t you have a car?”

Um HELLO?

I told them, “I’ve been drinking, and I can’t drive.” What? Do they want me to get a DUI on the way to the hospital because my friend got knocked out by a security guard?

I may have started to make a scene, arguing with the paramedics and police…The police officer yelled at me, “No, you don’t have to get a DUI. Take a cab.”

I had two dollars in my pocket and I wasn’t really sure how I would get home from the hospital even if I could get there.

So finally, my brother came around and said “Get in the car, I’ll drive you but then I gotta go home, you’ll have to find your own way home.” In the hopes that someone would come pick us up and for fear that I may have gotten arrested, I got into the car.

We beat Elizabeth to the hospital, snuck our way into the ER, and finally (after her arrival) ended up in her little curtained corner of the ER world. The super bitchy registration lady and the evil/awful nurses shot us dirty looks every time they passed. I really wanted to say to them, I’m sorry, do you SEE my friend laying there shaking like a freakin’ Mexican jumping bean? She’s alone and scared and this wasn’t her fault. I’ll show you bitch ass nurses what you can do with your dirty looks.

So finally, this adorably hot doctor (Doctor Rob) came to the rescue. He checked out all of the important stuff, got Ella’s CT scan taken care of, and spent a little time chatting with us.. He told us that Ella had a concussion, and he said we could go home. The bitchy nurses took their sweet time getting things unplugged, but Dr. Rob talked to us for a while like we were actual people. We told him our story, including the nasty paramedics who yelled at drunk Chrissy and told her to drive herself to the hospital. And he sympathized and joked with us.

Finally, we got to go home. Joe, this guy that we all met at the bar (the one with Beth) who’s a friend of my brothers had graciously stayed at the hospital with us, and kindly offered us a ride back to Flaherty’s for our cars. Thank God for small favors.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Turned 23? Are You Sure?

My 23rd birthday was kind of a blur. And by that, I mean that I drank myself into a stupor long before my party started.

Less than a year out of college, and my pal Mark and I were stoked that Daddy gave me a keg for my birthday. So excited, in fact, that Mark came over 3 hours before the party started to help me tap the keg.

Of course, with a big keg like that, we couldn’t just let it sit there. So we started drinking…

A few hours later, my first set of guests arrived. The party was essentially an open house pool party, in which guests came and went, swam or didn’t, drank, ate (I think), and enjoyed the merriment. When the first set of guests arrived, I was, at least, still coherent.

As this was long before my catering days, and my experience with being a good hostess including offering a variety of booze for my guests to sample, I had made a fancy fruity punch, but didn’t really have a lot in the way of food. We had burgers and hot dogs from Flaherty’s (my family’s bar), but not much else. Mark was in charge of grilling.

You can see where this is going.

So we did get hungry, and made some burgers and dogs for everyone at about 2:30… but that was the last I remember regarding food.

The party started hoppin’ and I ended up in the pool. Instead of continuing with the beer drinking, I switched to Vodka. Let me tell you right now. Vodka and the sun do. not. mix. ever. Also, never let other people make your drinks. I believe that I was drinking Vodka and club soda, and boy were there strong.

By about 4:30 (I’m told), Mark was passed out in my bed. I followed shortly, though my passing out happened on the bathroom floor.

I woke up several hours later, to discover a slew of new guest arrivals in my living room, others outside in the pool, and me groggy with a hint of drunkover (the point where you’re still drunk, but feeling the hangover).

After conversing with the guests, I discovered several who had come and gone during my ‘party break’ time. Those remaining were the out-of-town guests who came up to party with me…Of course, I was a mess and certainly done drinking. But the way I see it, it’s better than the 22nd birthday, in which two friends showed up, and we went to see Ratatouille (OK that was cool in its own right).

sigh

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!