Bad Karma For Eating Out (A Foodie Blog)

Let’s just say that my husband and I should have stuck to our original plan to stay in tonight and eat scrambled eggs with toast. But no, I had to see a video of a new Ethiopian restaurant ten minutes away and want to go. I wanted to go as in now and immediately. Big mistake.  First of all we go there and having read that they were open seven days a week, they weren’t. It’s Monday and yes, they were closed. We moved next door to a tiny Jamaican Jerk Chicken place which did say, on their front window, “We Are Open 7 Days A Week.” Guess what? They weren’t. The door was open and so we walked in only for the owner to tell us they were closed!  “Oh, he said, just today, but we are open on Mondays.”  That said, we walked out again, even hungrier than before.

Starving now, and not having enough to eat during the day  I was not happy; my husband was not happy. We were hungry. We get cranky when we get hungry sometimes. It happens. Down the street is a very inexpensive Greek restaurant, ample supplies of food at the most inexpensive prices. We have been going there since it opened about five years ago. It is consistently good, cheap, portions are enormous and they serve the meals rapidly. My husband ordered the Lemon-Chicken soup (Avegolemono or something that sounds like that) with grape leaves stuffed with rice, sour cream sauce (Tzatziki which I thought was supposed to be made with yogurt, my bad) on the side. It says yogurt on the menu, they serve real sour cream. Can’t argue the taste.

I wanted to have something different so I ordered Lamb Souvlaki on pita bread. I eat sliced lamb about once a year and only in this form and never in front of my daughter, the vegetarian. I ate several bites and swooned, it was fresh, juicy, filled with lettuce and tomato…….and a dead bee. I swear, I picked this odd-looking thing out of the pita sandwich, thinking it was just part of a vegetable and looked straight into the dead bee’s head and body.

The owner saw what had happened, took the dead bee and asked if I wanted another sandwich. Honestly? I couldn’t face the thought of even looking at the same dish so I politely declined. I ate some of my husband’s salad and that was it for the night. Well, that is until I start snacking later….with my dog around 10:30 PM.

My husband looks over at me and says  “why do these things always happen to you?”  He did not say this with loving concern but a bemused, comical grin. “Just lucky I guess” I answered, heading for the doorway to LEAVE.  It’s true though, things like this happen to me all the time, a bug, hair in my food, egg-shell in eggs (this is all making me gag).

After the first unsuccessful trip to the restaurant we should have just gone home. The scrambled eggs would have been shell-less, the toast would have been crisp and I would have put butter and honey on it. This is what happens when I get an idea in my head and change plans. I should just listen to the signs when they first appeared, stopped, stay put and settled into our uncomfortable kitchen chairs. We would have been happy with either scrambled eggs or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. That would have been ideal. Will I learn? Probably not.

What Are YOUR *Fimmels?

A “Fimmel”* is a word  Fred Fessler, (my dad) made up that is defined as “an irritant, an idiosyncrocy, a major annoyance or an  intense dislike.” Depending on the intensity of the fimmel, this could make you angry, vomit, disgusted, nervous, anxious, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a “fimmel” that makes you happy. It’s not used in a positive way. Ever.

I have a fimmel with finding egg shells in my egg salad or scrambled eggs. Once I find a piece of unintended egg shell in egg  salad I cannot, repeat, cannot, physically  continue to eat the sandwich. No how, no where and no way.  Serious gag reflex time. Another “fimmel” of mine is finding someone’s hair in my food. It COULD be mine or it could be the dog’s, the waiter’s, the cook, the sous chef, my daughter, my husband, my son…..you get the idea. I cannot eat another bite of whatever dish was inhabited by that lone ( well we hope it’s lone)  hair.  If I could bottle these two together, I would have a serious diet revolution. Fimmels do NOT necessarily have to be associated with FOOD.

For example, I, have an extreme fimmel with people clipping their nails in public; particularly toe nails.  I still remember the story of an old friend whose work partner sat in his office and clip-clipped his toenails for all for the world to see and hear. The sound alone, in public, makes me want to throw up. This is a fimmel that defies an  accepted social boundary . One just shouldn’t clip your nails in public:  you can’t convince me of one reason unless you are in a Podiatrist’s office.   This story, was told to me about 8-9 years ago and  will not dislodge from my neurotic brain. The sound alone of someone clipping their nails in public puts me way over the edge. It also happened once on the subway about 30 years ago. I still remember it and in addition to utter disgust I find myself furious. Perhaps fimmel is the wrong word for it, it has progressed to an utter dislike of any person that would do it .The mere thought of it makes my blood pressure go up and my stomach to clench in disgust.

I have a germ fimmel that is really a phobia.I have been using Purell way before the H1N1 flu virus came along.  I ALWAYS have a small bottle of Purell in my handbag, a larger container in the car and one, ok, at least one at home. I must come from the same family as Howie Mandel (or is it a Jewish thing?)  The difference between a fimmel and a phobia can be hard to distinguish sometimes. You have to know the person to assess the severity of the problem. One person’s fimmel is another person’s phobia  is another person’s delight. It’s also linked in our minds to a specific situation that may have happened 25 years ago but will not disappear, ever.

I often went out to dinner with my then friend Toby when we lived in Boston. We were single, hard-working and lived in studio apartments that were about the size of half a garage. We went out to eat approximately 3 times a week and that is modest. One night Toby and I went to a restaurant called Cappuchino’s, one of our favorite Italian restaurants.  We ate our meal and of course ordered our  desserts.  Back then in our late twenties, desserts were a given not an exception. Toby had hers served and I had mine and before I could blink Toby stabbed my dessert and ate a piece before I could taste it. This, in our language became “Tobying.”  “Don’t Toby me” is heard often around my house now, a mere 30 years since it actually happeaned. It is one of my children’s favorite stories. However, the phrase will live in infamy. Even distant family members and true friends know the saying. “Tobying” is forever, never forgiven and certainly, never forgotten. Don’t touch my dessert, much less try it first. “Tobying”desserts  should be a punishable offense.

Last but not least is the vomit fimmel. It’s ok if my kids throw up, but not others or those unknown.  Seeing vomit outside on city streets or in an apartment building, basically anywhere , is the leader of the gag pack. If I smell throw-up, I immediately feel like I am going to throw up too. For bad smells anywhere, my mom perfected a quick antidote which she swears by. She always has a small handkerchief doused with her favorite perfume stuck in her pocketbook. I must say, this is pure genius. If only there were simple remedies to fimmels like that. Therapist would be sent packing, there would be a steep decline in the profession and there would be a lot more people, men and women, carrying handkerchiefs filled with sweet perfume.

What are Your fimmels?  Write back and tell me…..