calling an ace a spade

Today, I found the answer to the question I have been asking myself for years. Who the hell is sitting at Shipyard Brewing Company outside security at the Portland Jetport and why is there even a need for such a thing?

I will offer you my response in two parts. A) Me. I am sitting at the Shipyard Brewing Company outside security at Portland Jetport. B) Because Groom doesn’t get out of a meeting in Bethel until 3:30 and my two-day late flight arrived today at 2:30.

I always thought it must feel lonely to sit in this weird little spot at the airport. But, after sitting for only a few moments, I decided it was actually kind of cool, with a view of the happenings on the tarmac and such.

Then, I heard “Daddy!” from over the partition as some super sweet loving Portland family reunited at the bottom of the escalator. Did I mention the little brewpub is located at the base of an escalator where families reunite? Yeah, that doesn’t sting. (To find that “Daddy!” link, by the way, I spent about 20 minutes watching footage of soldiers meeting their families in airports so now I have the added embarrassment of actually crying while sitting in this weird little brewpub at the base of the escalator on the outside of security at the Portland Jetport. Fabulous.)

I’ve been traveling for about two weeks and if I’ve been a fraud at any other time, there’s no time like the past two weeks. I was staying with my sister in Florida for some of those travel days (with a bonus two extra days because of all the freshie pow pow falling in New England–and, yes, I owe a dollar). Sister–the one who runs, not the one who swims–was really careful about the kinds of food she offered me. It was so nice and so thoughtful and I felt like such a hypocrite because all I wanted was cheese and meat and more cheese and maybe some cream. Fried cream. Why doesn’t that exist?

I’ve mentioned it before, but I have lost sight of my goal of living the vegan life. I’m starting to identify myself as an occasional vegetarian, which basically describes every single person on this planet. Did you have oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast? (Ha! You are a vegetarian.) How about a nice grilled cheese for lunch? (What, you have a problem with meat?) And, for dinner, let’s just eat some pasta with cheese and broccoli. Would you like some Lindt dark chocolate for dessert? (I thought you’d never ask, you delightful non-vegan vegetarian.)

Traveling can be tough on the diet, much like it can be tough on the ears. Do I really need to hear Let Her Go or Say Something one more time? But, traveling with dietary restrictions (no, I dislike that word), traveling with specific dietary requirements (oh sure, that’s better) can be tough. Between the lack of choices (it is a fact I ate a doughy piece of pepperoni pizza while driving Alligator Alley in Florida this week because there was nothing else available at the roadside rest stop) and the crazily tempting treats (I did eschew the truffled fries I saw during my travels but I still think about them which means I will likely eat some bad fries as compensation), it’s really difficult to stay on track if you’re pretending to be vegan(ish).

[While looking for the Say Something clip, I stumbled across this little nugget of cuteness. Skip to the one minute mark. It’s like Muriel entered the X Factor.]

I ate what?

I deliberately choose to fly Jetblue through JFK out of PWM when I travel because there are so many healthy alternatives at the Jetblue terminal in New York. But that just adds to my guilt. I did eat a “chef’s choice” sushi salad on my way out of town and it wasn’t until my stomach gurgled on the plane that I thought, “Did I just eat sushi at an airport?”

I forgot to mention the
Maker’s Mark Mint
Iced Tea. I had that too.
I did. And the wine.

By the time I was headed home through JFK this afternoon–after a week at a conference where I’m supposed to be some sort of expert, but where I felt more like the fat kid at the popular cheerleader’s party swinging blindly at a pinata as a bunch of baseball recruiters looked on, and comforting myself with cheesy lasagna, homemade meatballs, bites of delicious steak, and finally a very necessary pool-side Cuban following a night that had wrapped itself into the next morning (Cuban sandwich, not Cuban man)–I had convinced myself that arugula with parmesan cheese and cheesy wild mushroom arancini would pass as healthy. Nothing about that decision was healthy. To make matters worse, I read gossip magazines. And it wasn’t even People magazine, which at least highlights real people making a difference in the world.

I mean, not that I read those articles about the blind man who climbs Everest or the one-armed woman who coaches inner-city youth, but I feel better giving money to a magazine that celebrates those good people. Instead, today, I bought OK, Star, InTouch, and Vanity Fair, but only because it’s the issue that was supposed to eviscerate Gwyneth Paltrow but instead sort of talks about how wonderful she is. As editor Graydon Carter wrote, “It’s a story I might read. I just don’t want to publish it.” Bastard. That’s $4.99 and an hour of my time I’ll never see again.

I’ve even reverted back to my habit of “If there’s a Mounds bar here, I will buy it. If not, it means the cosmos are telling me I shouldn’t get a Mounds bar” method of avoiding bad foods.

I should have just bought a steak and been done with it.

It’s time to call it. I’m an occasional vegetarian pescatarian who takes cholesterol medication. Except in the summer when I shall be a mostly vegetarian localvore pescatarian who takes cholesterol medication and has a tan.

We’ll talk about sunscreen later.

[The title to this post is a deliberate nod to my friend Nate who said “let’s
just call an ace a spade” one night over a decade ago after a couple of beers. I have yet to stop laughing about it.]

Sarah Devlin

About Sarah Devlin

Sarah Devlin has been writing about the recreational industry since the late ’90s but ironically can’t run, swim, or bike a mile.