I’m so glad winter is here. I didn’t think I would be, but I had a rough holiday season. I overate at parties and dinners and a tea and three luncheons. I sang cheerful and poignant holiday songs at least once a week for six weeks and put smiles on the faces of strangers. I gave gifts and got gifts and cards and letters and emails. And The Daughter introduced me to Peppermint-Chocolate Chip milkshakes at Chick-Fil-A. All that fun was exhausting.
I needed to put on the brakes. If I had been a runaway train, at least I would have been moving and expending calories, but standing around with a glass of wine in my hand at a party doesn’t register much on my Fitbit. Everything that I ate, from Thanksgiving on, settled in parts of my body that hadn’t seen fat in months, and it needed to vamoose pdq, asap, or at least before I leave on vacation in a couple weeks, where I will be required to wear a bathing suit in public in front of people who know me.
Did you realize that chocolates come with “nutritional statements?” I didn’t either, but they do. On the box of chocolates that My Sister gave me, they even break it down according to “milk” and “dark” chocolates. I’m partial to dark chocolates, which are higher in iron than milk chocolates. Milk chocolates have 2% of the recommended daily requirement of iron, while dark chocolate has 4%. That’s twice as much! Yay, dark chocolate!
I checked my other Christmas treats, and, sure enough, there was a nutritional information sheet for the pralines. Who does not know that pralines don’t provide any shred of essential nutrients? They’re just sugar, butter, milk, and pecans, which are probably the most nutritious ingredient. Really, people. It’s c-a-n-d-y. No one expects it to replace any major food group, although it will probably be outlawed by next Christmas for my protection. Glad I stuffed myself when I had the chance.
Plus, I ate potatoes. Well, you can’t have the Christmas standing rib roast without mashed potatoes, can you? What are you going to put the au jus on? The Yorkshire pudding can’t soak it all up. And no one would take the leftover mashed potatoes home with them, so I put them into a potato-corn chowder. Then, I made scalloped potatoes because there were potatoes left in the bag. I was tempted to make home fries or French fries or hashed browns, but I resisted. Instead, I baked one and ate it with butter and sour cream. I do that when I’m feeling content. I can’t eat when I’m upset.
Like I said, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because, what is the point? (see last year’s Resolutely Not Making Resolutions) I am not going to keep them. Oh, I try to be sensible. It seems reasonable for me to make changes in small steps. Yep. Two weeks is a reasonable length of time for my energetic (and somewhat scattered) brain to stick with something. On New Year’s Eve, on the verge of not making New Year’s resolutions, I made sure that I had eaten all of the sugary chocolates, pralines, cookies, and cakes that were gifted to me in December. And I vowed to plank every day.
I failed with the sweets immediately.
The Daughter and her beau came for dinner on Sunday, bringing the most amazing chocolate cake, a box of macarons, and — you won’t believe this — a “Red Velvet” cupcake, which is wrong for so many reasons. I could have killed her. PLUS, I made her favorite scalloped potatoes with the potatoes that were left in the bag from Christmas. I am my own worst friend.
The cupcake, of course, was easy to resist, because there is no commercially-produced “Red Velvet” cupcake that will meet my standards.
“It’s terrible, Mom,” she said, as she handed it to me. “Really. I’ve never tasted anything like it. The frosting isn’t even cream cheese, so you can eat it. You taste it and tell me what you think it tastes like.”
“Of course, I’m not going to taste it, but that chocolate cake looks like heaven.” And it tasted like it, too. For three days. About 4” in diameter and unfrosted, it had the rich flavor of cocoa and the texture of a Queen of Sheba cake without the almonds. I made her eat a quarter of it and then ate one remaining quarter a day.
That was good, right? I was tempted to eat the whole thing after they left, but I resisted. I resisted eating the remaining half yesterday, just enjoying a quarter after lunch with a cozy cup of tea. Today, I made it until lunch time, when I finished it off for dessert with an espresso…right after I ate the leftover scalloped potatoes.
Against all my principles, I tasted the Red Velvet without the frosting. The Daughter was right. It was completely tasteless. Whew! Saved a few calories there! Besides, it’s sub-freezing today, and I can use a little blubber to keep me warm. I still have the macarons to go, but I have planked every day and walked more steps than the minimum, so I’m actually feeling quite virtuous.
I just need to take it slow and easy. Maybe if I take the first two weeks of each month and follow something. Planking this month and (mostly) avoiding dessert.
Ok. What can I add on in February? How about avoiding dessert and keeping my closet clean for 14 days? Between February 1 and 14, I will put away, in its proper place, everything that comes out of the dryer and goes on a hanger. I will clip every skirt to its own hanger, carefully drape every pair of pants so it doesn’t need to be ironed before I wear it, put every shoe back on the rack, every purse on the shelf, every belt on the hanger, every odd sock in the sock drawer. I will fold every set of sheets and all the clean towels and put them on the shelf instead of tossing them on the chair next to my bed.
That should work. The first two weeks of February will end with Valentine’s Day, and, although Lent starts on February 10, the 14th is a Sunday, which, technically, isn’t actually Lent (there are 40 days in Lent; you do the math). How virtuous!
In my second week of my return to match.com, they have not found me one, single “mutual match.” That’s where they tell me what men are looking for what I have to offer. They’ve thrown a lot of “Maybe you’ll like this guy” (I paraphrase) at me, and now they’re giving me options from out of town. Way out of town. Like, Watkins Glen and Nyack, NY, Hampton and Virginia Beach, VA.
I had coffee (that I purchased for myself) with a man one year younger than I who said he was retired. He looked and acted like he was 80. He didn’t want to talk about his children, his previous job, or his education. He said that he had been “in real estate” and fills his retirement hours “reading,” “playing a little golf,” and “travelling.” No volunteer work. No hobbies. He wasn’t even close to being “Athletic and Toned” (more like “A Few Extra Pounds”), and, apparently, has lost the ability to carry on a conversation. My BFF is more interesting.
Match says that I should “Make sure [I] haven’t been too restrictive with [my] matching criteria.”
Let’s review this:
Men 50-65. (I’m not sure I can take someone much older, if I could find someone who was interested in a woman over 50.)
Never married, divorced, or widowed. (I’m not going down the slippery slope of “Currently separated.”)
With a photo.
Body type “About Average.”
Within 50 miles.
Some college education. (I really like to have intelligent conversations.)
Most any occupation.
I’m not sure what else I could ask for. I’d like someone who can cook, but I don’t say that because it seems to be a rare commodity in a man, although the Veterinarian and many of his friends were great cooks. I’d like someone who knows when to wear a coat and tie, but that’s probably elitist of me, so I don’t say that.
Match tells me that more new people sign up between Christmas and the end of January than at any other time of the year. I guess the competition is too stiff. Too many attractive younger women who don’t mind dirty baseball caps and sunglasses and suggestive t-shirts and motorcycles, who kayak and cycle and hike in the wilderness and — <shudder> — camp. You know what that means, don’t you? The guy is too cheap to take you on a real vacation in a real hotel with running water. And you get to do the cooking!
Oh, well. I still have those macarons, so who am I to complain. Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo gloria!