I know this looks like a waste of perfectly good food, but someone had to drown—and better the brownies, than me.
Let me explain.
This was a long three-day weekend and seeing that my husband went on his annual Memorial Day motorcycle ride through the Sierras, I was left to my own devices—along with my bitchy malcontent of a dog whose every thought causes her to whine miserably.
She is the furry, four-legged embodiment of that friend we’ve all stopped seeing. The one who drove us nuts with her complaining. My dog suffers from the same affliction. She whines when I walk her because she finds the scenery uninteresting. She whines when she’s hungry (which she may have learned from me), and she whines when I feed her because I’m not moving fast enough. She whines when she’s in the back of the car and when she’s not—on the way to and from doggie daycare—and while falling asleep.
I can only assume that must be because her bed is too soft, the blankets smell too fresh, and yet her dreams are not exactly what she had hoped. Gahhhhh…
Anyway, I tell you this so that you can understand why I was sucking down the whiskey sours with my girlfriends all weekend. I was so grateful to have someone to talk to who wasn’t complaining about my shortcomings as a mother.
During the days I worked in the garden, wrote a little, took turns reading the three books I’m in the middle of, and by Monday night I forbid myself to make a whiskey sour on account of the fact that I would be drinking hard liquor alone.
I wish that bitch of a dog of mine drank—it could improve her disposition.
Since alcohol was out of the question, 6 pm found me rummaging through the pantry looking for something sweet. That’s when I discovered the box of brownie mix left over from the holidays. Maybe not the 2016 holidays, but I can safely say it was bought this decade. Right then I could hear my sister screaming at me, “Throw it away! That shit goes bad!”
She and I have agreed to disagree on this topic.
Processed food, in my opinion, will outlive us all.
Post-apocalyptic cockroaches, zombies, and astronauts from the future would be thrilled to stumble upon my brownie mix, so I figure if it’s good enough for them—it’s good enough for moi.
And just like that, I found myself pre-heating the oven, cracking the eggs, and adding the melted butter to the powdered chocolatey mix. I waited for that familiar tap on the shoulder from the part of my brain that rules common sense and good judgment. It needed to remind me of a thing called moderation and the fact that while I was home alone a batch of hot brownies was not only a terrible idea—it was about to be like crack to an addict.
I could feel the shaky anticipation as the house started to smell like Christmas. I savored every drop of raw batter as I licked the beaters. (My sister just hurled reading that.)
Only two things trigger me this way, brownies, and pie. I felt like I imagine a junky feels waiting for a fix.
I waited a whole five minutes for them to cool off before slicing them into neat little squares. Because my old O’Keefe and Merrit has a mind of its own, they were crisp on the edges and seemed a little dry but I didn’t care. I ate three in quick succession standing at the counter without taking a breath, while my dog whined about a long-lost morsel of kibble she had spotted under the stove.
I finally forced myself to walk away—but I could hear them over the constant whining; calling me from the kitchen. Brownies are cruel that way. “Janet, (they know your name), we’re here. Just a few feet away. Happiness disguised as chocolate gooeyness.”
And so the battle began. The douchebag brownie’s siren song versus my willpower (and the fact that I was full), telling me to forget about them.
But I couldn’t.
I lasted about one hour. That’s when I found myself back in the kitchen, staring into the pan, seriously scoping out the best section to get the maximum chocolate return. The middle pieces, of course!
As I reached for the knife the part of my brain that had forsaken me suddenly kicked in “What the fuck are you doing?” it asked in a decidedly judgy tone, “This has officially turned into a binge. Stop a minute and think. What’s going on with you?”
It barely took an instant before I heard “I’m lonely”, come out of my own mouth.
Before I could process this sudden wave of vulnerability my hand took control. In order to save me from myself, it grabbed the pan and in one giant sweeping motion threw it into the sink, turned the faucet on full force, and drowned the brownies!
I was stunned.
I hate wasting food and chocolate food even more than most. But sometimes extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. Thank God a teeny-tiny part of me knows that.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a perfect person who always saves herself from disaster; far from it.
I am someone who, for the last decade has had a stubborn five (x4) pounds to lose yet I have secretly gorged myself on entire bags of Ranch Doritos, eaten entire half gallons of ice cream at a single sitting, and scarfed a second Thanksgiving dinner an hour after everyone has left while I clean the kitchen.
I’m not a serial binger but I know a binge even when its disguised as real hunger.
These days I’m just really working on being more conscious about everything I do and it sucks. You have to feel stuff. Like loneliness and the fact that after three days of whining you want to throw your dog in a blender.
The feels aren’t pretty and if you stop and acknowledge them they tend to circumvent instant gratification and who wants that?
But they saved me the shame of an additional five pounds tomorrow so I’m grateful. Not really, but I’m working on it.
And when she’s not whining I get this: Silent. Judgy. Side-eye.