I got to taste the year's first eggnog sample at work yesterday afternoon. It was amazing.
And even though I honestly didn't expect it to be -- for reasons I'll explain in a moment -- I shot out of my chair and zipped right over there to the Merchandising table maybe 50 feet from my desk as soon as I saw Scott and Erica waving me over, telling me they had eggnog. Even subpar eggnog is worth taste testing, hello!
I like my eggnog to be thick, you see. Generally speaking, this means it can't abide by our strict and vast ingredient standards. Consider the ingredients of the Darigold version, which I tend to like best. It actually does not have a huge number of ingredients, but it still has several that preclude it from appearing on our shelves: artificial flavors is a big and obvious one; we are in the process of phasing out carrageenan, which means we still have some products with it but do not authorize any new products with it; mono and digylcerides.
We have four brands of eggnog in our system, the best of which is probably the one by Sunshine Dairy. I'll drink this one in a pinch. I mean, I do get a huge staff discount, either 15% or 25% depending on when I use the monthly 10% coupon. As much as I love eggnog, I actually try to limit my consumption of it every year, and generally do not buy any -- I just wait for any possible samples I can take home. Otherwise I will seriously shutgun the stuff. I tell people every year that I would mainline it if I could.
But when it comes to my ultimate preferences, eggnogs that meet our ingredient standards do not tend to have the thickening agents in their ingredients that give them the thickness I prefer -- actually, the very quality a lot of people who hate eggnog cite as the reason they hate it.
Scott had two samples yesterday. Both were relatively small jugs, maybe 12 ounces. He poured samples into tiny little cups. One jug said "Natural" and the other said "Artificial," referring to their separate ingredients. The thing is, even the so-called "Natural" one, according to Scott, had four ingredients that do not meet our standards. I tried the "Natural" one first and was shocked by how delicious I found it -- as I said, ones we carry are not the best tasting available, so I did not expect samples we're sent to be either. But god damn, that was good.
I exhaled in a way that was borderline obscene. It was totally a "holy shit" moment of deliciousness. Erica actually laughed and put her hand on my shoulder, almost as though to make sure I was okay. That was when Scott said, also laughing, that I looked like I had just taken a hit of heroin. This is pretty much the reaction I have the first time I get to taste eggnog, after endless months without it, every fall.
I took a sample of the "artificial" one and did not find it to be quite as good, which was an even bigger surprise. Not that it matters; we won't be carrying either one of them. Scott later came by my desk and said he was surprised I did not finish it all off. I told him I was resisting because I already had several bites of chocolate and a slice of carrot cake that day. Earlier mid-morning, several cakes were set out in the kitchen, products from a photo shoot which now needed to be either eaten or disposed of. I could not resist the carrot cake. Long ago I thought I did not care for carrot cake, until I tasted PCC carrot cake. It's so delicious I don't even care that it includes raisins, and I fucking hate raisins in my food! It's perfectly moist, almost fluffy, and has perfect cream cheese frosting (as long as you don't get the bullshit vegan version). Even with eggnog around, I have to reign it in when I've been eating chocolate and cake. Honestly I was shocked to weigh in this morning 2.6 lbs lighter than I did yesterday. I think maybe our scale is just erratic and confused and perhaps we should invest in a more accurate one.
Sometimes I get hit with reminders of how stupid it is for me to obsess so much about my weight. I went to Steamworks right after work yesterday really only because Shobhit worked all evening and, with the receipt coupon from my last time there offering $4 off and the price break for getting in before 6 pm on a weekday, I was able to get in for only $5. It was much busier than usual for a Wednesday and I got some action in no time. More than once I caught myself in a mirror and was struck by how even at 8 lbs heavier than the lightest I've managed to get to in my adult life, I still look pretty damn good. Clearly others feel the same. I found a guy who was particularly enthusiastic, almost comically so.
And then, this morning, as soon as Tracy (the new Senior Deli Merchandiser) came in, he mentioned how "I've never seen anyone move so fast" when he saw me make a beeline for the eggnog samples yesterday. And he actually said, "Ironically you're the thinnest guy in the office!" Um, okay, that's objectively untrue; there are at least two or three men in the office either thinner or just as thin. (Call me the thinnest guy in the Merchandising Department? -- okay, that I'll accept.) But he's still my new favorite person! Okay I'm kidding. He's just my favorite person this morning.
So remember in yesterday's entry in which I shared the comment I posted on a Facebook post about the man who molested me as a child, apparently hanging around kids at a public pool with a camera? Well, this morning I finally got a comment by one of the people in the thread who is claiming the man's innocence -- in spite of Jim Duffy's 1987 conviction being a matter of public record. This guy is apparently one of Jim's grandchildren. In spite of his denials clearly revealing him to be a little out of his mind, I found the comment a bit of a mystery:
Can you not tell me to f off. That's disrespectful.
Uh. What? Not one part of the relatively lengthy comment I posted came anywhere close to telling anyone at all, let alone this person, to fuck off.
I have to admit, I came this close to replying with this: "My apologies. I'll tell you to eat shit then."
I decided in the end it was best not to engage with the person at all, though. So, the comment still just hangs there, unacknowledged. That's probably better for everyone involved.
Darcy has already responded, I see now. And this is the thing with that family: they're the types who are inclined to take the bait when it comes to drama. It's already clear to me that I'm better off staying out of it, once I stated my piece with the one comment I posted, as a favor to her.
I got home yesterday around 6:30, and there were three packages for Ivan, so I brought them all up to the condo for him. "It's like Christmas!" I said to him.
Two of them were a hoodie and a jacket he'd ordered, from some Canadian company. He took it upon himself to model them for me. He came out of the bathroom and then sort of pranced around in a small circle, his arms nearly straight down but his hands to the side, palms down. It sort of looked like a slow-motion version of Riverdance, only with the hands out instead of behind his back, and without the crisscrossing of the feet. I found it to be equal parts hilarious and adorable, and it really made me laugh. "I think I found my calling as a runway model," he said.
I asked him how much he paid for the hoodie, and he replied, "That's private, Matthew." Oh, whatever! "You get cagey about the weirdest stuff," I said, and he responded with a kind of mix of chuckle and scoff. But then he came out with a light zip-up jacket that was black with red cuffs and a red collar, and I really liked that one. Perhaps finding it easier to share about this one because it was on sale, he then volunteered that it had a regular price of $240 but was marked down to $99.
Jesus Christ! Even at nearly 60% off it was still almost a hundred bucks! (More than that with tax, and certainly shipping, I'm sure.) I mean, I have no idea how much the hoodie price compared -- I made a mental note of the logo and brand to look it up later, and now for the life of me I can't remember what it was. I'm sure it was comparably ridiculous. The last time I bought a hoodie, it was on clearance, at American Apparel, for less than ten bucks! Granted, it was the blue pullover one I almost never wear; I much prefer the solid red zip-up one I got there earlier in the year, and I think that one was around $20, or something like that (also on clearance: prices kept going down in the lead-up to those stores closing -- but of course, the later we waited, the worse the selection was). In any case, when it came to the $99 price, I said to him, "Even at that sale price, I'd take one look at that tag and be like, 'fuck that.'"
It occurs to me now that I probably seem super cheap to everyone except Shobhit, who raises (or lowers?) the bar when it comes to frugality. He still thinks I waste money, even though most people literally spend exponentially more on plenty of the same things I refuse to spend very much money on. When it comes to spending on clothing, I'm the outlier here, not Ivan. I really want to buy a new iPad now that the iPad 2 I have no longer supports anything past iOS 10, so the apps on it are one by one ceasing function, and Shobhit is trying to talk me out of it because he thinks I don't use it enough to justify the expense. Except I make purchases like this once a year at most.
I swear to God, if Shobhit had his way, all of my money would still be in savings, unspent, the day I die. In which case, what the fuck was the point in having it in the first place? It should be noted, however, that our plan to spend our anniversary in 2018 at Yellowstone National Park, which I already booked, was his idea. Sometimes he contradicts himself, and really picks and chooses when it's apparently okay to splurge. Granted, that's a trip he and I will be sharing, rather than my purchase of a device for myself. But, I want to cover the cost with the VISA gift card I got at work for my 15th anniversary. His argument is that he never sees me actually using the iPad, except, hello, that's because I use it when I'm not with him! When we're together we generally are watching the TV in the living room. Duh.