It’s 24 hours before our Livin La Vida Vegan adventure is set to begin. Also, our 10th wedding anniversary.
I come downstairs to find a vase filled with 10 white roses and 5 sunflowers, a box of 4 truffles from my favorite chocolate place, a $10 lottery ticket (with a 1 in 10 chance of winning), and a dime to scratch it off (from 2007, the year we got married). I’ve mentioned before that Hank has a sordid past with gift giving, but this was the perfect gesture. A beautiful bouquet, a sweet box of sugar, and a little bit of luck. I tuck the box of chocolates into my purse and promise myself this will be a little treat for later.
Everything was just perfect.
I walk into my office and there is a giant pink box on my desk. I lift the lid where the cardboard parts and a waft of sugary glaze erupts below my nose. Cinnamon rolls. A dozen of them. Huge pastries the size of Princess Leia’s buns, drizzled with thick white lines of frosting. Oh shit.
I get a call from the front desk. There’s a delivery for me. Cupcakes this time. A dozen of them. Swirls of thick frostings in pinks and browns and crystal white. Tiny cookies and wafer twills adorn each one, their contents a mystery. I smell peanut butter and marshmallow and strawberry.
The front desk again. She’s just laughing at this point. “I’ll be right there.” Now we’re looking at cookies. A dozen of them. The gang’s all here: Chocolate chip and peanut butter came, and they brought their sister snickerdoodle and her best friend sugar. Oatmeal was lucky enough to get an invite as well, but stands out as the only one in this crowd with a morsel of actual nourishment, dressed in sugar though it may be.
By lunch I was convinced that my husband either loved me so much he couldn’t contain it in just one box of confections, or he was trying to trigger type 2 diabetes so he could collect my life insurance.
“Babe!” I said when I called him at noon.
“You realize we have to eat all of this stuff by tomorrow morning, right?”
“Well, I just love you,” he said, pretending to be innocent.
“Oh my gosh, you’re so sweet. It’s so much …”
“I tried to find a place to deliver tacos, but I couldn’t.”
“Ohhhhhhh, boy. Well, I love you. Thank you.”
I went out to get a probiotic drink and a trough of vegetables. I could already feel the sugar shock setting in. By now, my coworkers had consumed a total of 4 cinnamon rolls. Just 36 treats to go, counting the chocolates I’d packed from home. This would be my Everest.
I started doing hot laps around the office, making up reasons to check the printer and interrupt normal people as they finished up their last-minute Friday to-dos. At one point, we used an app to check my heart rate. It was all good. But my eyes were as wide as quarters and my limbs were moving without prompting. Remember when Mike Myers played Simon on SNL, the sweet little boy who wore a harness and, when given chocolate, pulled an entire jungle gym out of the ground and ran down the street with it tethered to his back? Yup.
People started taking baked goods out of concern for my safety. I threw my hands in the air and exclaimed, “It’s the best anniversary ever!”
Fancy anniversary dinner time. We’re all dressed up and I’m still flying a foot off the ground. We debate some mini hamburgers on the menu (these weren’t junior bacon cheeseburgers, guys. These were Mini Wagyu burgers with bacon, jalapeno, onion jam and bleu cheese mousse. Yes, yes we’ll have that.) They came out and looked like they were from an easy bake oven, tiny in an almost did-we-turn-into-giants kind of way. But I assure you they didn’t taste like anything I’ve had from an easy bake oven.
We followed these little guys with a wedge salad and corn soup, respectfully, Wagyu strip steaks on a bed of garden vegetables, a lavender latte, creme brulee and an apple tart. Ohhhhh, the apple tart. As Hank said, many, many times, “It’s like an elephant ear wrapped around apple pie!”
We met some friends for a few beers to end the night because there was just enough room in there for some liquid.
And now, here we are. The morning of Day 1. I’m either set up to fail or so incredibly food wasted that I have no choice but to succeed. Here … we … go …