One year J (the brave, the bold, the husband) and I decided that our New Year’s would be an intimate party of two. It was before we were married and our love was still new; it was to be the most romantic New Year’s ever. EVER. To celebrate accordingly, there would be a wood burning fire, brilliant martinis, live Maine lobster, fresh Pacific oysters, and of course, sparkling wine for the moment when the new year turned her shiny new face towards us.
But this seemingly simple, quiet romantic meal was wrought with some near misses, some wrangling and plenty of profanity.
Like a child on Christmas morning, I jumped out of bed early on New Year’s eve with a list of things I needed…this was to be the best.New Years. EVER. I created my list, check it twice and then mapped my route for efficiency..and other details, like living shell fish. My first stop was to the market to get my hands on the very best and biggest live lobster. I knew I wouldn’t be the only one with this idea-so I stormed down there to be first in line. 20 minutes later I walked out of there with 15 fantastic pounds of live lobster and 10 of the largest oysters I’d ever seen. Gluttony was mine as I marched out of the market. Tucked safely away in a carrying box (almost big enough for my live dog), my two live lobsters are gently placed on the front seat of my car. Don’t send me any animal cruelty notes, I put the seat belt around the box.
It was I who was in danger. From inside the box I could hear them plotting their escape. Their huge claws against the top of the box-BOOM-BLAM-BOOM- for the entire 20 minute drive home. Well, at least they are fresh…but I did begin to have some empathy for them. I mean, boiled alive sounds kind of prehistoric. I figured I’d let J prove his manliness-he could cook them. Despite the logic (I know they don’t have vocal cords) I didn’t want to hear it.
I thought I was safely at home, until Rudy (Jack Russell Terrier extraordinaire) met me at the door. My quest to the refrigerator ensued. At once I visualized an epic battle between dog and lobster. In this imaginary fight between beast and beastly, there is yelping and growling, screeching and screaming (despite the fact that lobsters don’t have vocal cords). This horrific battle could not be allowed to ensue, I strongly urged Rudy to leave me alone, and stop jumping at the box. But the box was a’bang’n and
Rudy was barking and I was shrieking..and this was 30 seconds in the door. Finally, I reach the final destination and place the lobsters and oysters gently in the refrigerator. I was on my way out the door, when for some reason I thought I should check to see if my boiling pots would accommodate the jurassic-sized monsters I’d just introduced to my mental and physical habitat.
Huh. Wouldn’t you know it? I can barely get the small one in my largest pot. Oooh-kay. Nooo problem, its New Year’s eve and very bumbling-list making-procrastinator is out there driving around like they have ALREADY started their celebration. Add another stop to the list…oh, that makes me a bumbling-list making-procrastinator doesn’t it?
Now I need: wood for the fireplace, sparkling wine for the toast, pots for the lobsters, vodka for the martinis, cheese for the cheese plate (oh, and pears too), I need to create the.best.ever. playlist for the evening. I also need to get candles for the butter warmers, get my nails done and ironically, shuck oysters. At this point…a word that rhymes with shuck is exiting my mouth. It is almost as if I have never cooked a meal in my house for all the running around I need to do.
Delegate! Delegate! That’s what I need to do. So, I call J-I ask him to bring the vodka (he knows what I like) and oh, the beautiful martini glasses I left at his house. “Will DO! CAP-I-TAN!” he pronounces. Every person who has ever entertained at home can relate to this list, and also to the depth of gratitude that some is willing to help.
Sparing you the ugly details about being at a grocery store, a Williams Sonoma, Trader Joes, a wine shop and a nail salon all on New Year’s eve (you know, the less-stressful one where we stay at home?) I’ll just say that I was really, really ready for my first martini of the evening when J (the lionhearted, the heroic, the husband) got to my house around 8PM. He rolls in the door, vodka in hand and before I can even give him a kiss, I am asking for the martini glasses. J gives me a sheepish, “oops” grin and says “I guess I forgot them in my freezer.” At this moment a furious diatribe is storming through my brain with a refrain of “you mean to tell me I did all this running around today and you couldn’t remember two items? REALLY?! F-SCHHHHUCK!” Before
I can even say anything J says “I’ll fix it!” and runs out the door. I take this opportunity to take my fury out on some innocent oysters.
Upon his return, his grin gives away his victory before he can even pull the glasses out of the bag. “Your kidding me! Where on EARTH did you get martini glasses at 9PM on New Year’s Eve?!” J (the strong, the brave, the husband), ever the resourceful one, paid a store manager at a grocery store to let him take the display of two martini glasses home. We wash them thoroughly.
Now onto the business of the great lobster slaughter of ’05. With two ginormous boiling pots taking up all the room on the stove, we proceed with methodical precision. The lobsters were in the freezer where I hoped they were go into a coma never to feel the
pain of this journey into lobster heaven. When I open the freezer door, I am shocked that not only are they still awake, they are
making a break for it! The have escaped their prisons and made it to the door where they were waiting for us to open it.
Acting a lobster wrangler, J (the man, the legend, the husband) wrestles them to their boiling demise, as I plug my ears and lick my lips.
Only a few minutes later, we enjoy the spoils of our hard fought batter to have a relaxing, enjoyable New Year’s Eve, in. And yet with all the chaos, it was the best. New Year’s. EVER.
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