Bright and early on Saturday morning my husband T and I hopped a train to New Jersey to celebrate our nephew's third birthday. Luckily, I had the wherewithal to turn down one of my "crazier" friend's offers to hit a guaranteed rager the night before. Even I know it's inappropriate to show up at a family affair soaked in the stench of sweat, booze and hairspray and I didn't want to be introduced to the twenty or so children as Bozo the Hungover Clown. With the panic-attack inducing gifts I had purchased at the children's department in hand, T and I arrived at his brother's home to be greeted by the sound of banging, laughter, tears and "mooooooooommy."
As tiny, adorable little mini people whizzed back and forth past us, up the stairs, down the stairs with parent's chasing them tensely shouting through smiled teeth, "get that out of your mouth!", T and I looked at each other and I said, "Oh shit. Remind me to take my birth control as soon as we get home."
While kiddie parties are often scary (to us non-parents anyway) they do have one amazing upside. Sugar. And lot's of it. Not being one to understand the concept of moderation, I devised a plan. As I stated to T on the train, as thoughts of cookies and cake and chocolate whirled through my head, my plan was to skip all real food and save the calories for dessert. (I decided to do this as a precursor to the experiment I'm planning which is to ditch my normally healthy meals for one day and instead eat the same amount of calories in some sort of completely bad for me food - i.e. an entire box of Enteman's chocolate chips spread out over one day OR three five hundred calorie Oreo McFlurries - breakfast, lunch, dinner).
So while I watched T march back and forth from the lunch table deservedly enjoying an i-don't-have-to-be-on-a-wedding-diet-bliss pizza, sandwiches and whatever else he could get his hands on, I carefully plucked a few snap peas off the veggie tray knowing my moment was coming. Pretty soon, they lined the kiddies up and we sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday and my mouth watered as I watched the cake being cut into tiny child-size pieces. As I stood there feeling my bloodsugar dropping, silently thinking to myself, "you better start cutting grown-up sized when it's my turn" I noticed the fruit bowl. In a moment of sanity I decided that I would skip the cake and instead have a feast of fruit and M&M's. Which I did.
Sometime between Happy Birthday and opening presents I ingested so many M&Ms that I felt my body go into some sort of sugar shock. I was literally grinding my teeth and shaking and must've looked like something that came out of the toilet in TrainSpotting. At this rate, I would've been better off showing up as Bozo the Hungover Clown and at least have had a good reason for looking and feeling like Andy Dick's twin sister. Needless to say, I saw my only line of defense to be salt. I mean, they're opposite in taste so they must have the opposite effect right? So after everyone had left and it was just the four of us sitting across a kitchen island seperated by a small sea of Doritos, Tositos, pretzles and dip I did what was necessary and began inhaling piece by piece the salty snacks that in my mind were going to counteract the evil effects of all the delicious sugar I had ingested. Bad idea.
As we rode the train back to the city I downed bottle after bottle of water trying to flush my system out in enough time to be able to suck in my stomach, pull on my favorite jeans and head downtown to Cheap Shots with one of my friends. As I said, I do not understand the concept of moderation so after a nap and quick fix of my make-up, I was sipping a pre-game glass of wine waiting for the call that it was time to go. On my junk food kick and having skipped dinner for two reasons 1) it took about five hours for the feeling of sugar-induced naseau to subside and 2) knowing I'd be drinking enough to warrant a very late night snack, I entered the bar, ordered a Vodka Club and a round of Jolly Rancher shots (did I mention we were pretending we were 20 years old that night) and cheersed my buddies to a long night.
Somewhere between three and four bars later I looked at my Blackberry and saw that my 3 am, self-imposed curfew had arrived. Had I not had a wonderful husband sleeping at home I probably would've said "F-ck it" and used my new Google App to find out which NYC bar stays open the absolute latest, then hauled my group of friends there to keep the party going with the inevidable group of Irish lasses and lads we would find at such a place. Luckily for me, with marriage comes a newly found ability to be rational when you're out without your better half (if T is out with me it usually ends with me holding the camera snapping shots of people's reactions to whatever hilarious, obnoxious and so-unlike-him-snarky remark he just said to a complete stranger). But alas, it was girls' night so at three am, like cinderella, my towncar was about to turn into a subway ride and I grabbed a cab back uptown.
I spent the ten minute ride home deep in thought contemplating what delicous snack I was going to "treat myself" with (as if I hadn't already treated myself like a friggin Oompa Loompa in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory all day). Pizza - No. McDonalds - No. For some reason, again, my 3am rationale kicked in and I decided I was going to have a treat, but not something so bad I couldn't recover from it. I instructed the driver to drop me off in front of the 24 hour Duane Reade and wondered the aisles slowly, contemplating the many options laid out before me. Chocolate and cookies and cake, oh my! Then, like the sun breaking through the clouds, resting gently on a wire rack, was the snack of my dreams. First, I checked the nutritional content (yes, I actually did this). Second, I rationalized that at 140 calories per serving and only 2.5 servings per bag, that 330 calories was reasonable. Third, I took them to the register grabbing a mini Ghiradelli dark chocolate on the way to get some sweet on with my salty.
I walked the block home and on the way ate half of my piece of chocolate and threw the rest out. This is a horrible calorie-saving habit I have and I am fully aware that by even metioning it, half of my readership will step-back and think to themself that I am derranged. The other half will think, "good idea" and enter it into practice immediately, so it's a draw. After over-excitedly greeting our overnight doorman who "it's been way too long!" since I'd seen, I made it upstairs to my apartment, tiptoed into the bedroom, gave T a kiss on the forehead and thought, "see you after the feast."
On the couch I turned on a DVR'd episode of My Name is Earl (which I had to subsequently rewatch the next day for clarity) and downed the bag of SunChips, carefully savoring each bite. I truly believed that the bag would be enough to satisfy my late night craving but when I walked into the kitchen and opened up the fridge to get a glass of water, I saw my favorite of all the food groups staring at me: Butter. Now, if the rest of civilization wouldn't think I was disgusting, I would gladly eat butter and all butter related products with a spoon. No vehicle necessary. However, I'm aware this is socially unacceptable so even at three am, by myself, I took out a piece of bread and piled on enough butter to make it unrecognizable and then went to town. Rinse. Repeat. Only this time with a half of slice of bread (so as not to be "totally disgusting")
I woke up the next morning feeling still full and none to proud of myself. It only got worse when yesterday, as I cleaned out the fridge, I noticed that I had at some point ripped into a leftover piece of chicken as well. I dumped the chicken and headed to the gym where I put in another hour and a half of cardio to try and counteract the effects of my three am feast. Clearly the effects had already taken hold because when I stepped on the scale, the needle was a few notches higher than I generally like it to be.
Perhaps my experiment in junkfood will have to wait or perhaps I already conducted it without even realizing it. Either way, three year olds and three am nights do not a healthy, fit lady make.