I have been finding solace in carbs lately.
I don’t know, but there’s something quite comforting about the taste, the feel of perfectly salted and buttered mashed potatoes sliding down my gullet. And we’re not talking a mere serving or two. I’m jonesin’ and have been jonesin’ mashed potatoes in a big way and have eaten an enormous amount since Christmas.
How much have I downed?
Well, let’s just say Richard Dreyfuss could build a starchy effigy of the Sears tower ( a la Close Encounters of The Third Kind) a with the amount of mashed solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family that I’ve consumed in two weeks.
Now, the amount I’ve eaten is a concern, but the real problem is why? Why have I felt the need to drown my sorrows in mashed potatoes? I think I’m feeling dissatisfied with my life.
The holidays came and went and came and went with a few disappointments and while the Annual Kendrick Family Receipt Exchange (we stopped trying to give meaningful gifts to each other; we instead withhold the presents that will no doubt disappoint and just hand over the receipts by the festively decorated Receipt Tree) went without a hitch, it just didn’t seem to fulfilling. You know, spiritually fulfilling and I know that’s my responsibility. I didn’t seek it, neither did I supply it.
And to make matters worse, eating all those spuds have left me feeling paunchy and bloated. The kind that sends the elastic waistband of one’s leggings in a downward death roll towards Pudendum City.
Well, it all culminated tonight in face slappin’ reality.
Houston’s newest resident and my lovely niece Kelly—who is tall and lovely and obviously a genetic mutation in the Kendrick family–and I went to a wine bar in a kitschy area of Houston called Montrose. If you’re familiar with Houston, you KNOW Montrose. It used to be Houston’s very own version of the Castro, but over the years, the gays moved to the suburbs to own homes and till their gardens and for a while, Montrose became home to angry runaways, crazed homeless people, tough-love Emo kids and erstwhile vampire/Goth wannabe’s. Now, the Yuppies have taken over and the area has become clean and pristine and rife with decorated artifice.
But it do gots some nice wine bars and that’s where the niece and I went tonight. We went into one that was lovely and dark and ensconced in Moroccan decor. Comfy and not very crowded. We were talking about family things when we ran into a Houston TV News Anchor/Reporter who I’ve never met in person, but because the broadcast circle is small in this big ol’ little city, we know of each other. Well, this reporter proceeds to talk about what’s next on his career horizon because the mid 50’s have arrived in his life and local TV news ain’t what it used to be. We then talk a little about my plans and this virtual stranger then starts telling me that my attitude is all wrong with regard to tired, old terrestrial radio. Then he kept trying to tell me that radio (especially NPR) was “renascent”. Oh really? That must have been a word that he just learned because it was uttered in every other sentence.
And might I add, there is NOTHING even remotely renaissance -ish at all about terrestrial radio in any form or fashion.
After a while, I stopped listening to the unceasing rhetoric and instead, looked into this person’s face and saw what my old Sony Triniton doesn’t show. I realized that there was a lot of discontent coming from this person. Dare I say self loathing reared its ugly head through the “look at me, I’m on TV” bluster. Because under that arrogance and layers of Max Factor pancake make up, was a cheek mole with a hair growing out of it, dark under eye circles and evidence of adult on-set acne. Besides that, it was hard to take this person seriously when his own version of comfort inducing mashed potatoes sat on the bar in front of him in the form of a sixth glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
This handsome TV news person wasn’t handsome at all. He was human….and errant and incredibly annoying and he oozed unhappiness. But as I stood there, I understood the real problem for me was coming to grips with the fact that I was oozing a little myself.
Well, the buck stops here, so do the potatoes. I don’t want to be that goddamned miserable. I will choose to be happy.
My niece and I left and on my long drive home from Montrose to the city’s far southwest side, I started thinking: I’m going on a diet, beginning today. I’ll be cutting out carbs, sodium and local TV newscasts.