“I shouldn’t.” I tell the bartender at the Fireplace Lounge at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California.
He nods skeptically. I can tell he thinks I’m a bit loopy. And not just because my face is the poster child for why it is necessary to wear sunscreen, and my eyes are bloodshot from exhaustion.
I smile, pretending to be confident in my decision not to order the warm baked apple tart with caramel pecan gelato “to go.”
“The wine will be fine.” I insist, waving him off as I slide my glass of Sauvignon Blanc off the marble bar and turn toward the exit.
I plod across the parking lot toward building number eight – the location of my hotel room for the duration of my six-day stay in Monterey, and try to convince myself that I made the right decision.
“I’m so tired I won’t even care that I’m not having an overly indulgent dessert. I’ll be asleep within the hour.” I think. “The Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolates I brought with me, Thursday’s episode of ‘Royal Pains’ and the aforementioned wine will be more than enough of a treat after my long day of work. I don’t need to ingest 500+ calories to massage my battered soul.”
I arrive in my room and set my wine down on my bedside table. Just as I start to pull on my pajama shorts and tank, I remember the Jazz apple, sunscreen and aloe vera that I’ve left in my rental car downstairs – a short distance away from the hotel’s bar and, by extension, the apple tart.
“It’s a sign!” My inner greedy gobbler declares with enthusiasm. “Clearly this means you were meant to have it!”
“But by the time I get it back to the room the ice cream will have melted into a soupy mess.” My rational tenth rebuts.
“Not if you request the ice cream in a separate to-go container.” The gobbler points out.
My inner neurotic smiles. “Well put, Sir Gobbler. You are quite the intelligent voice of nonsensical reasoning.”
I yank my dark wash Joe’s “Honey” jeans back on – ignoring their snugness after five days of emotional eating, and head back down the now too familiar narrow suitcase.
“I think I need the apple tart.” I tell the bartender with a sheepish smile once I’ve obtained the sack of Safeway acquisitions from my vehicle and have arrived back at the bar.
He gives me a tired look, but gives no verbal indication that my bizarre behavior has worn down his patience. I hand over a tenner for the $7 dessert – fully cognizant that this indulgence will not be expensable – and he heads back to the restaurant to put in my request for the apple tart with caramel pecan gelato on the side.
Minutes later the two diversely tempered containers are in my hands, and I’m off again in the direction of my room. When I arrive at the door, I picture the key card malfunctioning and immediately decide that if said unfortunate event should transpire, it will be a sign that I truly am off my rocker and shouldn’t have gone back for the dessert.
I hold my breath as I slide the key back in. I’m fully expecting to see the evil red and yellow lights that mean the card has been demagnetized yet again.
The single click and subsequent flash of green eradicates any and all doubt in my mind.
I really was meant to have the delectable tart that I soon discover is worth every single one of its 500+ calories.