Words Carmen repeated over and over again trying defend me from a party full of concerned guests....
The other evening--smack in the middle of this awful frigid, snowy weather wave we've been having-- I traveled the dark and windy roads to this incredibly lovely restaurant on the river banks to meet Carmen at a holiday business dinner he was hosting.
It wasn't an easy thing. I had to fly home from work and quickly change, update my hair and makeup and be out the door in moments. Then, I had to make the one hour drive. Plus, I had to arrive on time looking spouse-of-the-host-ready. Thankfully, my new figure hugging LBD (little black dress) with black maribou fur trim on the 3/4 length sleeves (it had a real "grown up cocktail dress" look to it) made it all worth while! I wore it with black and grey leopard print tights and a pair of the most wonderful grey and black shoes with a big bow. When I left the house--I felt amazing. I felt grown up and even kinda sexy in a business-y party kinda way. I would have taken a picture but time was short. Maybe next time. And, there will be a next time.
Anyway, it was one of those events that started with heavy appetizers and cocktails, followed by a gourmet four course meal and ending it all with amazing desserts. All the while, the booze and the wines were flowing.
Because Carmen was hosting the event, the 2 of us were on center stage. Everyone was watching if we would order drinks, what kind of alcohol we would order, if we would eat, etc. They were just being good guests.
Carmen was doing his make-nice business chatting while I was shaking hands, making merry and sipping on my gin martini. We hadn't made it over to the appetizers quite yet with all the hosting activities we were doing. Although I hadn't noticed it at the time, everyone else was following our lead. At one point, during the cocktail hour, one of Carmen's colleagues offered to get me a plate with appetizers. I declined, thanking him politely and told him that I was waiting for my dinner. Carmen chimed in and invited he and his wife to please eat. The colleague's wife looked over at me and said "oh, let us get you something too". Again, I declined politely, telling her I was waiting for my dinner. Carmen smiled a bit and said "my wife doesn't eat much".
His response made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Not so much because of the fact that he said that I didn't eat much but because I was concerned about how that made the colleague's wife feel. Add that to the fact that I said I was waiting for my dinner so I was not eating appetizers--I didn't like the way it portrayed me. Was I a non-eater? Was I one of those people who judged others who ate appetizers and dinner???
I didn't want anyone to think any of those things.
But, I didn't know how to turn it around.
Without telling my Lap band story.
As the party moved along and people started eating the appetizers, not one, not two, not three or four---but FIVE people came over to me and offered to get me a plate. Each time...Carmen smiled and said "she doesn't eat much". Again, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable. But, given the situation, I couldn't pull Carmen aside and tell him the shut the hell up nor could I figure out what else to do or say.
Then, at dinner--when everyone had finished their meals and I was sitting there with a plate that was 3/4 of the way full---the man across of me asked if I didn't like my pesto salmon with risotto. His wife looked on with interest. "No, it's amazing!" I responded. "I'm saving room for dessert, I hear they are great!" I told him. His wife laughed a bit..."It's the holidays! Just eat for heaven's sake!" Just then, before I could kick Carmen under the table, he said "She doesn't eat much."
The entire table looked at me as if there was something very wrong with me.
I just smiled.
Then, I ordered the New York cheesecake and proceeded to eat the entire thing, making sure I made comments after every three bites.
I wanted them to see that I do eat much.