Yes, it was scandalous. I was having lunch with an old friend… did I mention I’m in New York City? At the moment I’m at a Beach House on Long Island working on my book for the weekend. I know, I sound like a pretentious author. That’s what I was going for, although I was totally kidding.. not about writing at the beach house, which I am AND stealing WiFi.

That’s not the only rule I broke today. I walked 4 miles in Manhattan and J-Walked like crazy! I was such a rebel! For years I’ve been living a law abiding life. NO J-walking. LAPD takes it very seriously! You will be ticketed and if you protest you will have to lie on your stomach on the ground with your hands behind your head. It’s not worth it to me. I’d rather cross at the light when the hand is white… if it turns red I wait instead..  just went from snobby beach house writer to Dr. Seuss.

Anyway, I was J-Walking around the city from the East side to the West where I met my old friend. He took me to an amazing Gluten Free restaurant. Of course NYC has awesome Gluten Free restaurants. I ordered a real dish, a dish I would have eaten before the Gluten Curse. I ordered pasta and clam sauce.

A lot has happened to me in the last 8 years, as you all know, but he had a lot to be caught up on. So lunch lasted two hours, most of which, I was talking (imagine that). Every once in a while I would stop to take a bite of my meal and savor the deliciousness of restaurant “Chef-cooked” food. By the end of the two hours, I had just about finished my meal. All the pasta was finished, I just had a few more chunks of clam. I was delighting in them. SO YUMMY, until….

It had to be the last clam! It was a big one too. I forked it into my mouth and began to chew… and chew…. and chew…… and chew….

Are you getting the picture? It’s Friday, so my friend suggested we get drinks. He got a beer and I ordered my signature Dirty Virgin Martini. Five minutes have gone by and I’m still chewing the damn clam. If you want to picture it, it’s about the size of a chewed up piece of Hubba Bubba. Not as big as Big League chew and not as small as Trident.

Here’s the problem- CLOTH NAPKINS! Now had this been a girlfriend, I would have figured something out, but this was a guy, and there was no way I was spittin’ out a chewed up hunk of clam in front of him. Of course now, for the first time in two hours I was not talking because I was chewing like a cow on cud, and he had to be wondering what the heck I was doing. I tried washing it down with my DV Martini, but then I was just chewing on clam on one side of my mouth and chewing on an olive on the other. It was just not working out! I got the olive down, but the clam was just not happening. I had created a psychological block around swallowing this huge hunk of clam!

I shoved the clam to the side of my mouth and told him I’d be right back. Luckily, because I’d walked, and therefore arrived 20 minutes early, I’d befriended the waitress who’d just moved here from Albuquerque a week before. I asked her if she could get me a paper napkin and explained the clam situation. She was right on it.

She went into a storage room and came out with a paper napkin. I quickly spit out the clam and crumpled the napkin only to realize, I couldn’t hand it to her. I had to go back to the table with my spit out clam.

My friend wanted to know what happened, so of course I had to tell him. “Why didn’t you just spit out the clam?” he asked. How do you explain to a guy who informed me that he had spit out his gum in the cloth napkin, that you just don’t do that. I didn’t. I just told him that’s how I roll.

Anyway, I’m falling in love with NY again. I never thought I’d say that. Of course it’s not winter. Am I too young to be a snowbird? Live in NY six months and live in Florida six months, and then travel to LA every other month for two weeks?

Maybe I should be a stewardess! Of course I’d have to work for Virgin…

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