A new mother doesn’t get out a lot. Or at least this one doesn’t. It has something to do with my nature to behave as a shut-in in combination with the fact that I only have one (formerly two, boohoo) friend here and she has a baby, too. So really, who would I leave the house with? Sidenote: A trip to Target doesn’t count.
Dave’s team has had a lot of success this year, and their ownership has set up little incentives along the way to encourage them. Or reward them. Or whatever. A few months ago to celebrate some kind of milestone, they were taken to a well-known steakhouse and fed expensive steaks and hand-battered onion rings and bottomless wine AND dessert. And significant others were not welcome. We had to stay behind and wait for them to get home, goofy on wine and adult conversation, stuffed to the brim with delicious and FREE food. Did I mention they got dessert?
Last week the guys achieved some other kind of milestone, the details of which are fuzzy to me but it was good and they were happy and the ownership deemed it worthy of another free meal. And to my surprise, the women-folk were invited. And my initial excitement about the prospect of socializing and eating a free meal was only somewhat dampened by the prospect of bringing an infant past her bedtime with me as my plus one. I made an executive decision: dad could be on duty, mama’s putting a dress on.
The hitch was that this is a chop house, meaning there are slabs of meat all over the place. Every meal is planned around how ever many ounces of whatever cut of meat you want in the middle. And I’m a vegetarian who aspires to be vegan. In a room full of hockey players drooling over filet, this is fodder for a lot of eye rolling. But I fight the good fight!
So together with some eyeliner and a not-new-but-as-yet-unworn dress, I made myself look like a human who leaves the house regularly and hit up Bob’s with the team. Obviously the baby stole the show, but it was nice to walk into a room full of Dave’s teammates, a number of whom I’ve never met and get looks of ‘She DOES exist.’ I felt like anyone who thought Dave was exaggerating when he told people he had a wife was quickly proven wrong. I felt like standing on the table, naturally making this function all about me, and yelling ‘Remember that rather rotund woman waddling around at the beginning of the season? I’m sure you were all wondering whatever happened to her. Well that woman was ME, I made this human (at which point I would hold up the most beautiful baby in the world like Simba), then I pushed her out, and I’m here for my free dinner!’
So what does a vegetarian eat at a steakhouse? She eats her weight in warm French bread. She eats a spinach salad minus the bacon with bleu cheese and poppy seed dressing. She eats a baked potato the size of her head and samples the creamed corn. She imbibes in the guilty pleasure of all breastfeeding mamas and has a delicious glass of red wine. And after all that, when they ask about dessert, she invokes the steadfast rule of life: IF CHOCOLATE MOUSSE IS ON THE MENU, IT MUST BE ORDERED.
Everything was delicious. Especially the adult company and the laughing out loud. Really loud. Note to self: Must put on a dress and leave the house more often.