Looking Cool in Paris while Tossing Fish

When I was 24 I guilted my mom into going to Paris with me. It was my second international trip.  (My first being a trip right after college graduation with Shaun and this poor schnook who life’s ambition was to become Amish.)

I had been living in Berkeley for 3 years by then and I had been engaged for about two weeks when I landed in Paris. I wasn’t just a girl from Iowa anymore. I was a sophisticated, affianced, cosmopolitan woman!

The trip was fantastic and on our last night in Paris my mom and I went to this incredibly posh restaurant to celebrate.  We dressed up.  I had on a little black dress, full make-up, heels, and my shoulders where draped with the brand new cranberry colored pashmina scarf we had bought the day before.  My mom even took a photo as proof for my dad.  This probably gave her great hope for the wedding.

I thought I was going to be really shocking by ordering a glass of wine in front of my mom. I was 24! I could have wine!  And then I was going to order another glass to have with dinner!  Take notice, World!

I indulged and got a crab leg cocktail as my appetizer.  It came and was placed in front of me with flourish.  The crab legs hung over the side of a cocktail glass and the sauce was nestled in the bottom.  Lemon wedges were artfully arranged around plate at the base of the glass.  To my 24-year-old self, this was incredible.

I was trying to delicately and sophisticatedly pull the meat out of the leg and succeeding for the most part.  One leg was a little tougher than the others, however, and I had to give the meat a bit of a tug.  As I tugged, it slipped from my hand and I flung this crab leg through the restaurant and onto a woman’s purse 3 tables away.

My mom whispered, “Oh my God. Malinda.”

Another woman saw it happened. We locked eyes – her’s shocked and mine horrified.  And then I did what any 24-year-old, newly affianced, cosmopolitan woman would do: I casually put my fork down and wiped my mouth; pretending like I hadn’t just been caught catapulting a crab leg in Paris.  She collapsed into laughter so hard she had to excuse herself to the bathroom.

I flagged down the waiter and asked for another glass of wine.


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