You know what sucks? Waking up in the middle of the night from a dream in which Santa Claus is making you cry.
MOVING ON, THEN.
As usual I’m a mite gut-wrenched about this post because it is just so casual and personal, and because somewhere along the way I’d decided that unless I publish only the finest in wordsmithery that my stubby fingers can manage to tap out, you will all delete my blog from your readers faster than I can mumble “wordsmithery” while crying into a drink. As if my blog is intended to be the most consecrated text ever rendered in UTF-8, or something.
Well, screw that. I’m ready and quite willing to besmirch its golden eminence in favor of feedback. Because, friends, I desperately seek your counsel on a two-part crisis of first-world concerns.
Part 1 — What to Make
Here’s the deal: I’ve been invited to a dinner tomorrow night for my American friend, who is currently visiting the states from Scotland with her new husband. I’ve been tasked with bringing dessert. These are the facts:
- At my friend’s request, the dinner hosts will be serving barbecued chicken and ribs. Apparently barbecue, along with proper Mexican food, is something my friend feels is not well-represented in Scotland.
- Every internet search I’ve conducted that includes the words “barbecue” and “dessert” results in thousands of hits for lemon bars, fruit salads, peach cobblers, and American flag cakes featuring strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream. I don’t need to remind you that it’s November and none of these things are currently in season.
- I am not aware of any guest food allergies/aversions, but I’ll probably want to avoid nuts anyway just in case.
- At their wedding celebration on Saturday my friend and her husband served coconut-pineapple cake and chocolate cake, so I should prooooobably not bring either of those items to the dinner.
- My friend’s husband is Scottish. Everyone else at the party will be American.
- Poor guy.
What the hell can I make that’s seasonal, enjoyed intercontinentally, and won’t clash with the flavors of the main course?
Part 2 — What to Say
My friend’s husband is an absolute delight. However, when I had an opportunity to talk to him at the wedding celebration it became horrifically clear that I suffer from Dumb American Syndrome.
I’d start in on some witty banter, see, and then immediately freeze up because everything I could think of to joke about seemed to be related to American culture or American politics or American quirks or just plan AMERICAN, ALL CAPS, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS MY FRI-IENDS. I didn’t want to actually blurt out any of this stuff because I was afraid of coming off as the quintessential American stereotype that spends her life safely ensconced in a little American bubble, so I desperately wracked my brain for every bit of topical information I had about the UK. But all I could come up with was “Topshop sure does make some piss-ugly outerwear, don’t they?” or “So I hear Downton Abbey is priddy good, huh?” Neither of which I was quite drunk enough to actually inquire of a man wearing a kilt.
In the end my method of interacting basically boiled down to saying absolutely nothing and then laughing uproariously at everything he said. He really was a quite brilliant man, but I’m not sure my bouts of hyena-like “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” hysterics did anything to make an positive impression on him. I’m fairly certain, in fact, that he believes me to be a few potatoes short of a full sack. This is why I’m terrified to ever meet my UK blog friends — as soon as I leave, they’ll all shake their heads slowly. “Nice girl, quite jovial,” they’ll murmur to one another. “But she hasn’t quite got any sort of personality, has she?”
So — what the hell can I say to an Edinburgh boy who’s currently stuck working in Glasgow?
Suggestions? Ideas? Topics? Recipes? Prayers?