3.01.2009

Alcohol and Sweets Don't Mix

(Evan and Crysti at New Seasons Cedar Hills --->)

I have this theory: if you like to drink, you probably don't order dessert. I don't know anyone who likes them both. Me, I'm firmly stuck on the sugar side. I don't even have to say this out loud. If you know me, you know this. I'm not ashamed. The more you worry about something, the more you judge, the worse off you get. Who wants to live like that?

Even if I liked to drink, I probably wouldn't. My sisters are very similar. We had a step-Grandma who turned into a nightmare when she'd start up with the alcohol. Even though we were little, we could see the craziness coming out. We didn't have to be told not to drink. No way would anyone drink if they spent a dinner with Grandma Dolores.

The wonderful Lis, who works my favorite New Seasons (Cedar Hills) sweets counter, is a strong, independent, tough little blonde Irish girl. She doesn't take crap from anyone. She's so tough it's hard to ask her for bread pudding. She doesn't like New Seasons' bread pudding, which admittedly, sucks. She won't let me have it.

Sometimes, bread pudding at New Seasons is better than nothing and I really, really want it. But to get it I must go through Lis. Her sweet little smiling self is way too intimidating to dare ask. I'd go without before I'd confront her for bad bread pudding. That's how strong she is.

I get gelato almost every time I go to New Seasons so I see her often. She's the gelato gate keeper, too. She says, "Don't you get tired of gelato?"

"If I get the same thing every time, I don't have to think," I say. "I know I like it, so I get it." I don't tell her sometimes I want bread pudding but I wait until she takes a break.

"That's like me," she says. "I have the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch."

"So do I!" I didn't know other people were so blissfully monotonous. "What do you have?"

She told me all sort of things she likes to eat -- lots of healthy things, and lots of bananas. Three, I think she said, before lunch. She sure does like bananas.

I was thinking about how much I hate bananas unless they're baked into something. I'm thinking about how they make that white smear when they dry. What is that white smear? Why don't other fruits make that weird white mark?

She must have thought I was judging her. "I eat a lot, I know," she said. "I like to eat."

"Me, too," I say. "Life's too short. When I die, I'm dying with a full stomach."

Now it's her turn to be speechless.

"Honestly," I continue. "We were made with taste buds. What's so bad about using them?"

She sort of smiled. "I never thought about it like that." She smiled even more.

"I don't drink," she said. I could have told her that. People, like I said, who like sweets don't usually drink. Even though she's Irish, I could guess by her thorough knowledge of the cookie display that she doesn't drink.

"I don't smoke," she says. "If I have a dollar, I can make two. I ride my bike enough to work it off. You're right."

I know I am. There's no such thing as a gelato DUI.