Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Report Card

I have to give myself a failing grade...yet again. No big surprise there, albeit some disappointment. I'm only a tad disappointed though because despite eating more than I had planned to, it was an enjoyable good time. So I'm not going to beat myself up about it, anymore that is, because I did do a little soul searching as to the whys of my over indulgence. Why I over-ate, for instance, despite my good intentions and a plan to curb my enthusiasm for all things food on this day of national thanks. What I came up with was the clear culprit, a Bombay Saffire Gin martini. I was not expecting my brother to have any of this potent potable available so I did not even consider it in my plans. Well when he announced that he did have a bottle, everything went out the window, because, after all, I could not pass on such an opportunity to indulge in this fine gin that I have held in such high esteem all these years.

The reality is that this nor my other all time favorite, Tanqueray Gin, really don't taste good to me anymore. There's a couple of reasons for that. One is just the fact that I've crossed over that chasm that separates the young from the senior citizen. Time marches on inexorably, and, if we're lucky, we get old. I believe that this has a lot to do with my lost ability to enjoy one of these juniper berry flavored libations that I have cherished for so long and always looked forward to having before a sumptuous dinner, because one of my good friends who also felt the same way about these two gins, cannot drink them at all. That tells me it's not just me that they don't taste good to, and even though he's a few years younger than me he's still getting "up there" as they say. The other thing I can pinpoint this loss of appreciation to was an incident that took place about ten years ago.  This same friend had me over for dinner and when we went into the liquor cabinet to fetch the 1.75 liter of Tanqueray Gin that he always kept on hand, there was only a smidgen left in the bottle. So we jumped in the car and went around the corner to the local liquor store to replenish. While on the way I asked him if he had ever tried the latest (at the time) super-premium offering from Tanqueray, which was "Tanqueray 10".  He said he had not and came back out with a 750ml bottle. What a guy! His guest's wish is his command, even at 30 bucks a bottle! He was and still is, I might add, the "host with the most". Well, accommodating as that may have been, it turned out to be a huge mistake at least for me. I was ten years younger, but even then I did not have the capacity to hold liquor like I did till I was well into my forties. The new offering was packed with flavor and intoxicating fragrance, not to mention the 94.6 proof potency of it. I let my exuberance get the best of me and knocked back a couple of generous martinis made with this glorious gin that made you smack your lips with delight. I was feeling the effects because I had lost my capacity to withstand the alcohol due to lack of practice and my age, but nonetheless thought I was OK. Then we sat down to a dinner of beautiful Porterhouse steaks cooked on the Weber grill. Of course, how is one to savor the king of steaks without the king of red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon? My friend and most gracious host did not disappoint by serving a deep purple-hued, full-bodied, robust selection of this noble wine, to which I could not refuse, even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I was pushing my luck. My luck did run out, as it were, because about midway through dinner the noble red on top of the two ample martinis proved to be too much. I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom, and rest is what I did after having to disgorge myself of the food and drink I had feasted on here-to-fore because of my over consumption of adult beverages. The next thing I remembered was my friend knocking on the bathroom door when I found myself asleep on the tiled bathroom floor. I was embarrassed but did not care because I was still not able to return to the table in any kind of presentable shape. I eventually came out feeling much better after having slept off the residual effects of the alcohol, but from that day forward a "Tang" or Bombay martini has never really tasted good to me again, try as I might to right the ship. It's a case of Paradise lost and there's no getting it back, ever. Believe me I've tried and tried, because I've been in denial ever since, all to no avail. They just taste like poison to me now, but the denial still persists. That's why I agreed to have one before dinner Thanksgiving Day. Alas, the result was the same, it tasted like gasoline. It also hit me like a lit match on gasoline because I have even less resistance to the effects of alcohol now than I did ten years ago when I was the hit of that ill-fated dinner party. Since it felt like I had ignited a runaway fire half way through the drink, I started loading up on the appetizers to tamp the fire that was stating to rage inside me. They did the trick, but now I was pretty full and the turkey was being carved. I did what was expected of me and ignored my diminished capacity and proceeded to load my plate, but with some restraint I might add. Still there was so much to "try" that my plate ended up, as always, with too much food.

I did my duty as best I could and finished most of what I put on my plate, and with the same result, that unique, oppressive, painfully stuffed feeling that occurs only at this time of year. I had good intentions and a plan to use considerable restraint so as not to create too great an obligation for myself that would force me to overeat. It all went out the window though when I opted to live in denial once again and have that accursed martini. Now instead of feeding my appetite, I had to feed the booze to sober up and that caused me to eat way too much. All I can say is I hope I'll be the wiser when faced with a similar choice in the future and make the right decision. Only time will tell.

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