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.