Doodad Kind of Town


Weekend Wrap-Up (a little late)
May 31, 2007, 1:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Memorial Day weekend turned out mostly lovely – sunny and gorgeous on Sunday and most of Monday after a decidedly dreary Saturday. I spent the weekend pursuing a nice balance of social and solitary pursuits.

No Memorial Day weekend is complete without a trip to the movies, although this year, the pickins’ were slim. As one of the two or three people on the planet who has never seen the first two “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, part 3 held no interest for me. Ditto for “Spiderman 3” and I’d already managed to see “Shrek the Third.” So, my friend Susan and I sought out a screening of “Waitress,” a sweet, slight little movie that owes a lot to “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” and it’s subsequent TV series spinoff. You know the formula – there are three waitresses (one sassy, one shy/goofy and one plucky, downtrodden-but-never-quite-down-and-out heroine of the story). And they work with a cranky cook in a dumpy diner. Or in this case, a pie shop, which features daily pie creations made by the plucky heroine waitress. It was cute, and I like that movie celebrates the art of pie-making as creative, joyful – even redemptive. But after looking at one delectable pie after another for 90 or so minutes, I turned to Susan and said “I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a hankering for Baker’s Square!” (Note to far-flung friends – Baker’s Square is a chain diner that specializes in pie.) So off to Baker’s Square we went, and I treated myself to a generous slice of warm Triple Berry with a scoop of ice cream.

On Monday, I met friends in Long Grove Village for lunch and shopping. Now, Long Grove is an especially girl-friendly shopping hamlet, featuring all manner of litte frou-frou shops where you can buy any or all of the following: Scented candles. Scented soaps. Handcrafted jewelry. Fancy bottles from which to decant fancy olive oil. Colorful, oversized coffee mugs bearing slogans like “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Decaf.” Colorful refrigerator magnets bearing slogans like “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping!” Little plastic packages of garlicky-herby powder you mix into sour cream for a dip to serve with crudites. Compact discs of Celtic Harp Music or Sounds of Nature. You get the picture.

There were a lot of wives dragging reluctant husbands around the shops on this holiday. But Long Grove doesn’t seem to be the draw that it was in the mid-90s. Back then (oh lord, am I already referring to 1995 as “Back then”? How damn old am I?), you’d be hard-pressed to find a parking place on a gorgeous weekend afternoon. Nowadays, the same parking lots have plenty of empty spaces.

I suppose the perfect culinary accompaniment to this little world of high-priced preciousness would be an English tea, complete with little cucumber sandwiches and tiny scones with jam. Fortunately, I was lunching with a more subversive crowd, which included one male friend, so we opted for the heartier fare at the Village Tavern. The perfect antidote to an overdose of girly gift shops is a big ole’ cheddar burger cooked medium rare and served with a side of huge, crispy onion rings!

Now you may be wondering, “But Pat, where is Jenny Craig in all this?” HA! She’s gone, baby, gone!!!! My inner diet rebel has prevailed. Somehow, I always knew I’d be a Jenny Craig dropout before long. I’m just not the kind of girl who lets herself be told exactly what to eat and when, or who can stay satisfied on tiny frozen dinners three times a day. (The desserts, I will still admit, were quite tasty.) So I quit! And not just so I can be a glutton forever, and eat till my jeans explode. I just want to stop dieting . As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been doing that for 33 years, and I’m exhausted. I just want to eat small portions of whatever I like and exercise a lot. And not think about it beyond that. Is that so wrong?

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