Monday, March 19, 2012

Me, Marilyn, and a Fish Sandwich

The past few weeks I have found myself in the unusual situation of not having to work until late in the evenings on Fridays. And so I have perfected an approach to that day which I refer to as “Marilyn Monroe-ing.”

I sleep in until my neighbor begins his Jefferson Airplane tribute with an open door and MAX volume setting. I’m quite sure he believes himself to be filling a void in the apartment complex, but once in a while it might be nice to leave that void unfilled.

I find my glasses, which is always tricky without glasses on, an irony that consistently amuses me, and get up and make coffee. While I continue to prefer coffee made by others to my own, when the goal is to not leave the house until absolutely necessary, self-made coffee becomes unavoidable. I like to spice up the process by purchasing one of several varieties of “exotic” creamers. Green cap means Irish Cream, and the one with the cinnamon roll on the bottle tastes like a liquid cinnamon roll. So, despite our numerous problems, at least as a nation we know that we have nailed the drinkable cinnamon roll. Hard to imagine that quality inexpensive health care is far behind.

When the coffee is perfectly swirled, just like in the commercials, it’s time for Phase II. And Phase II, is when I get BACK in bed.

I adopt a semi-reclining posture, like the kind people with long illnesses in old movies demonstrate. I put a heavy book on the bed to use as a tray for my perfectly swirled and exotic-because-the-Eiffel Tower-is-on-the-creamer-bottle coffee, because reaching ALL THE WAY to the nightstand would be laborious. And that would be missing the point of this day. This day needs to be Saturday and Sunday rolled into one lethargic and restoring chimichanga.

And then: I “Marilyn Monroe.” Which is to say, I lounge. But hardcore.

I get every remote that might be needed within a 5 inch radius. Perhaps I catch up on the daytime television I haven’t seen since college. (Interestingly enough, Stefano still has the entire town under his control on Days of Our Lives. Honestly fictional town of Salem, it’s like you want to live in fear.)

Some cooking shows might happen, some texting occurs, emails get returned, and a general re-charging through lack of strenuous activity occurs. Some very good and lovely people that I completely adore, recharge with a nice brisk hike. But unbridled nature tends to make me anxious. No bathrooms and no guaranteed food source mean that I WILL have to pee, and I WILL get hungry. Take me hiking with you and I’ll show you how a snake bite, sprained ankle, and panic attack can all happen at the same time.

Other respectable characters restore harmony and balance to their lives by attending a sporting event of some kind, or a jaunty concert. I am simply not that respectable.

And so, last Friday as my Olympic lounging was in its early stages, I would have told you that nothing could stand in my way. An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by some outside force.

But on that fateful day, the outside force was a man named John, and a Fish Filet Sandwich.

As I lay in bed, (not yet semi-reclining, still just a full-on laydown) it came to my attention through leisurely Twitter scrolling that the Get Toasted Truck was in my neighborhood for lunch.

Tip. Of. The Iceberg.

You see, not only were they in my vicinity, but their special of the day was a Fish Filet Sandwich. In Upstate New York where I grew up, a Fish Fry Friday is a given, especially during Lent. And in the South, where I went to college, a Fish Fry is a nearly religious event.

It was Friday. And it was Fish Fry Day.

And so, not unlike Lazarus, though with unquestionably crazier hair-I went from the laydown to the semi-recline, to the standing up, to the teeth brushing, to the putting on of strange jean shorts I don’t actually remember purchasing, to the freeway, to the Get Toasted Truck.

John and Manny were in the truck making miracles. I mean-frying fish. They were making other delicious sounding treats as well, but I was single-minded about things. My Friday Fish Filet came on the bunniest of buns. Crackle-y and shatter loving on the outside, soft and lovely on the inside. A serious slaw,and a perfect spinach leaf provided the needed vegetal crunch, and a tart and creamy aioli really tied the room together.

After the first bite, I simply could not put it down. Once it left its cardboard home, it never hit the plate again. If I said “hypothetically” what if I knew someone who dropped basil slaw on their flip-flopped foot and a nearby dog came over and licked it off during the mother of all awkward moments, what would you think of them?  No, not me-I SAID this was hypothetical. Why does everyone assume when you say hypothetical, that you really mean it was you?

It was me.

When you sacrifice your day of Marilyn Monroe-ing to a roasty-toasty sandwich from the dudes working their magic in the Get Toasted truck, get serious about things and have the iced tea. Mine was Vanilla Pomegranate, and it was the sort of thing that really kicks off the weekend. Sweet but not too sweet, perfectly iced and clinky in its plastic cup, and straws always make me happy anyway.

Fish Filet Sandwich with Basil Slaw and Vanilla Pomegranate Iced Tea. The Marilyn Combo.


  1. you really have your priorities straight. while i firmly believe that staying in is totally underrated, you also have to know when to get out. a fish fry friday clearly is a prime example!

  2. I always love reading your blog Frances! You have such a gift!
    Miss you =]