Days 9 – 11, Flop And Flutter. And Flop Again.

I know I haven’t updated in a few days.  It’s not like I can say I was busy, either.  You guys already know I don’t really have that much going on.  I barely ever leave my house; what could I have so pressingly important?

Nothing.  I just needed a break.  I’ve spent many years avoiding dealing with my problems and then spent the last week talking about them here.  I just needed to go back to avoiding for a couple days.  This may sound like  I slipped up or went into some kind of depression, which isn’t the case.  I was already slipping up and no more depressed than usual.

I did go out once since I last wrote.  Sunday, I was really craving some Melting Pot.  So I told my fiance to shower and get ready, because we were going out to dinner.  He looked at me like I was an alien.  But, since there wasn’t any football on, he decided he was curious enough to just go with it.  He showered and I panicked.  I really wanted Melting Pot, but I didn’t want to go anywhere.  Maybe we could just buy a fondue set (wait, don’t we already have like four of them somewhere?  doesn’t everybody?).  Maybe I could just heat up some pizza and we can watch movies.

No, none of that would quench the lust I had for their spinach artichoke cheese appetizer and their mojo style oil.  I needed Melting Pot more than I needed to be panic free.  But, I’m not a fool.  The only way I’d survive the outing would be to be 100% prepared.  For everything I could think of.  After packing up three of my son’s backpacks – one for food for him, one for toys, and one for diapers and emergency items – I went and got myself dressed in something other than my usual drab of jeans and a spaghetti strap bra top.  I remembered that I used to like getting dressed up.  At first, it kind of made me sad.  Thankfully, though, Melting Pot brings out a very special and happy side of me, so it didn’t last long.

So, B was showered.  X was packed up and ready for nuclear attack.  I even had on a long skirt.  It was time to go.  We stood by the door and B stared at me, again like I was an alien.  I was waiting for him to grab the keys.  He asked me if I had seen what he was drinking before I told him to get ready.  I remembered seeing a yellow plastic cup from his bachelor days, but I didn’t happen to notice what was in it.  He’d also chugged the last of it right before showering.   Crap.  He was too tipsy to drive.  I felt the blood leave my face as I felt the happiness of Melting Pot leaving my grasp.

My exact, but censored for blog land, words were “F. that.  Give me the keys and get in the car.”  I had not endured panic and preparation, and god forbid – effort to have my mojo taken from me.  (Yes, I just made a fondue pun.)  I was going, and no one better stand in my way.  I was ready for all of it.  People staring at me, ordering at a restaurant, having X throw tantrums of epic proportions while the whole restaurant stared at me.  I still cared about all of that stuff, very deeply, but I couldn’t be bothered thinking about it.  I could smell and taste the spinach artichoke cheese fondue already.  I would stop at nothing.

And there we were.  We were the first customers there, which people with small children will tell you is prime time to go.  I used to go to Melting Pot every week, but stopped a few months ago as the agoraphobia got worse.  It was also putting a significant dent in my expendable budget.

The strangest thing happened when I walked in.  The two hostesses squealed when they saw me and came running up to meet X.  They told me they talked about us (me and Alli) all the time and thought they’d done something to make us stop coming there every week.  They were so glad they finally got to meet X, who they insisted was “much bigger than the pictures”.  They called me by my name and asked me if I wanted to sit in David’s section or Gary’s section.   Holy crap.  I remembered David and Gary.  Those were my guys!  They both know my drink (it’s a specialty drink of theirs with a few substitutes – usually only the staff drink it).  They both used to load me up with tons of extras and freebies.  They were both such nice guys.  I was stunned that I’d ever made any kind of impression on a restaurant across town.

It worked out that I sat in Gary’s section, because David was coming in thirty minutes later that day.  Gary strolled up to the table and kind of stage shouted “Annie!  Where have you been, girl?”.  He had my drink in hand.  I felt like the princess of Melting Pot.  Immediately, I was at ease.  David came over later to talk to us before his shift.  They brought a bunch of stuff out for X, including a balloon – how did they know he loves gravity defying objects?

I had his backpacks next to me in the booth and added a few things to his kiddie plate.  He was satisfied for a while.  And when he wasn’t satisfied anymore, I pulled out one toy.  When he wasn’t satisfied any more, I put it back and pulled out another.  I repeated this several times throughout the night.  Meanwhile, B had found his favorite wine in the whole world that is almost impossible to get in the states on their wine list.  Even in his favorite year!  So, I told him to get a bottle of it.  Again with the alien look!

I don’t even think I have to say it, but dinner was amazing.  It came time for dessert, and I looked over at X, who was flirting with a nine month old in the high chair next to him.  Tears came to my eyes when I realized we’d made it to dessert with ZERO tantrums.  People were staring at us and talking about us, but it was to notice how well behaved he was.  I was so proud of him and I really let him know.

Dessert – also amazing.  Paid the check, packed up all of my bags, said goodbye to Gary and David, and left.  Alli only lives about four blocks from the restaurant, so I dropped off my broccoli leftovers.  It’s her favorite food in the world.  Yes, you heard me right.  After driving to the restaurant and knowing I had to drive home, I also agreed to make a pit stop at Alli’s with my family in tow!  And then I drove us all home.  (For anyone wondering, I was not drunk.  I had the one drink Gary brought at around 4:15pm and didn’t leave the restaurant until 6:30pm after eating a four course meal.  Drunk driving is what killed my best friend and set into action my fear of driving, so I don’t mess around.)

It was a really great day.  It makes all the previous days’ failures not seem so bad when I make up for them on a binge like that.  Reflecting on the evening, it could not have been more perfect.  I can’t remember the last time B and I went out for an enjoyable evening together.  I certainly can’t remember doing so with X in tow.

And that wraps up my long, long update.  On a side note I’d like to ask anyone who works for Melting Pot if they put crack in the dishes there.  There’s no good reason to have the sort of intense cravings that both Alli and I get for their food.  It must be crack.

3 Responses

  1. Wow, I know it had to be even better than you made it sound, and you made it sound like a really good time!

    Good job, I am proud of you, fwiw!

  2. Michael, I really have to say that you are a super cool guy. After having flipped out and blogged about your last comment, here you are offering yet more support. It goes straight to the heart this time! Thanks so much.

    PS For those of you unfamiliar with Michael’s blog, please visit I promise it’s worth your two minutes to check out.

  3. Hi Annie!

    I’ve just read ALL of your blog. In one sitting. How did I miss it before? Anyhow, I had already subscribed to your blog, so I’ll be able to keep up-to-date.

    I must admit that I disagreed with Michael’s comment, however well-intended. I have come across this attitude before. Our (now-retired) family doctor told my wife that she was agoraphobic because it got her what she wanted, and I accommodated her agoraphobia because it also benefited me (he suggested that I liked to be dominant in a relationship)! He was wrong on both counts – my wife continually tries to reduce her agoraphobic tendencies and THAT’s what I accommodate the most! And think about it – what benefit does an arachnophobic get from their irrational fear of spiders? How could hemophobia benefit anyone?

    I was very jealous of your evening out at the Melting Pot. Marie & I have enjoyed many fine meals together, but there seems to be a lack of Texan restaurants hereabouts ;-(

    Any chance of a picture of your (obviously adorable) toddler?

    Best wishes!

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