I don't have a cool bone in my body. I'm so uncool, I'm almost hot. Not hot in today's vernacular, just, you know, the complete opposite of cool. I say that as preface to admitting a quilty pleasure I have. I think that if you're not cool, it kind of negates the whole guilty pleasure idea. But when it comes to food, I think I know worthy food, good-tasting food, for those of us "super-tasters" with discerning palates, as opposed to just stuff you eat because somehow it got put on the grocery list.
Let me just spit it out: I eat at Chuck-A-Rama. It's kind of a tradition for my birthday. I always start with the salad, but not in an "I'm a lover of green healthy foods" kind of way. It's not special. And if my birthdays didn't last at least a couple of weeks each and get celebrated at a number of restaurants, I wouldn't choose this place for my birthday dinner.
My daughter does not like it very much. So many times after we've finished a meal there, I will say to her, "You know, this really isn't that good. Remind me of that the next time I say I want to eat here." And after months of not even thinking about Chuck-A-Rama, I will suddenly have an urge to go eat there, and Katy will descend. She'll remind me that I don't want to waste my money or time eating mediocre buffet food. Sometimes I will trust my past self, but sometimes I just want to go to Chuck-A-Rama and get a piece of fried chicken that really isn't good after the first bite or two of really salty skin.
This year, Katy and Jon decided to celebrate my birthday long distance by doing things in my honor, for a couple of days, since I'm not where they are. Things that I would enjoy doing with them if we could be together. Going to see a movie I like at the Egyptian theatre, visiting a bakery in Salt Lake City for some of my favorite pastries, going to a drive-in movie, and yes, having dinner at Chuck-A-Rama. That's satisfactory to me. I had my own (better-tasting) birthday dinner here in Anchorage at Fressen German Cuisine and then I visited friends for dessert and a new game about Alaska that some of their friends invented. The best of both worlds, as they say. I don't think it's too ironic that Katy's the one who had to actually eat at the buffet, do you?
On my actual birthday, I was finishing up a road trip for work that felt like a little vacation. That's another thing I like remembering about spending time with them. Road trips. I do certain things in rememberance of their having been with me when I visit places we have visited together. I think we are too far away from each other and of course it would be more fun to do these in the real physical presence of each other, but so far, we still have the future. I especially like it that we can talk about it over the phone. Doing things in honor of someone who is still alive is a good thing, I think.
And, oh yeah, they're having a baby.