Monday, June 27, 2011

Can I get some fried Pepto Bismol with that?

There is a vacation memory that won’t leave me, in a physical, sensory way.

Is it the feeling of careening over the waves, practically experiencing flight (and death) when Whit made me try the boogie board for the first time in an insanely wild ocean?


Is it the memory of the oddly excellent goodbye hug from one of my sisters-in-law? (Odd because she doesn’t really like me, or anyone, but she gives these great, enveloping hugs. Maybe she’s saying, “That’s it; that’s all you’ll ever get from me.” Or maybe she’s saying, “Thank God I don’t have to see you for a full year.” But whatever the reason, they’re lovely hugs.)


You want to know what it is?

It’s the dinner we had the last night on the island.

At a steam bar.

Where nothing was steamed.

Want to know what was on our table? This is a totally accurate list:

Fried hush puppies
Fried calamari
Fried onion rings
Fried flounder
Fried cod
Fried shrimp
Fried oysters
French fries


Not yuck then, but yuck ever since then.

Maybe there was a salad on the menu, but I didn’t see it. The only healthy option I can remember is that I could have sucked on the lemon that came with the shrimp.

I didn’t even do that.

And, don’t get me wrong, it tasted g-o-o-d. Really good. Maybe because I never, ever eat fried food, unless I’m stealing a French fry from the kids. And maybe because we had pretty healthy food the rest of the week: our grill was fired up regularly. Or maybe because my body knew it was the last night of vacation and was saying, “Woo hoo, we don’t have to wear a bathing suit tomorrow!”

Regardless. That was Friday night. It’s Monday. It’s still with me.

Literally, people, I am burping fried shrimp, three days later.

I have tried to undo it all. I have tried drinking water and milk (and just a tiny bit of wine). I have tried eating salads; I have tried eating apples; I have tried eating nothing.

I have taken vitamins and laxatives. I have gone for runs and walked the dog and have a 5:45 am body pump class on my schedule for tomorrow. It’s just not working. I am at a complete loss when it comes to getting rid of the fried city that has taken up residence in my stomach.

Would it be sacrilegious to call a priest and schedule an exorcism?

Would it be asking her to break the Hippocratic Oath if I offered my doctor friend a really good bottle of wine to operate on me?

Would it be a little too bulimic if I made myself barf?

Would it be weird if I googled Wiccan remedies for upset stomachs? (Really; I tried it – you can do that.) (Who knew?)

I guess since I’m not sacrilegious or unethical or bulimic or Wiccan, I just have to keep plodding along with my water and my grapes and my running and maybe add in a little deep breathing.

And remember to bring my own side salad if we go back to that place next year.

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