Saturday, November 22, 2008

Brown Paper Packages, My Ass

I've been meaning to write a post about the wedding, but haven't really had the energy to revisit the whole thing. For those lucky folks out there who haven't catered a wedding before, I'm not even sure where to begin... In general, if you were to call me on a Friday afternoon and ask me to cater a party for 150 people the next day - assuming I could get some deliveries and a few people to serve - I could do it without breaking a sweat. If you are having 150 people in for a wedding though, better give me a few months notice. The thing is, weddings are tricky. People are excited to have parties - sure, they're a little nervous and hope things go right, but for the most part they assume parties will be fun. Weddings on the other hand, are all about what might go wrong... oh, and brides (and grooms, to be fair) like to heap on at least one ridiculous expectation. This last one, for example, had a full hors doeuvres and dinner menu (with four different entrees, no less) and neglected to mention when she was deciding on the menu that the facility's "real commercial kitchen! Isn't that great?" didn't have any ovens.... Which was totally fine though - because in the end after weeks of work getting insurance riders, dealing with three rental companies, twelve different hires, coordinating with both set of parents and an anal-retentive florist (all of whom were so thoughtfully given my phone number by the bride), four truckloads (literally) of equipment and food, setting up tables, chairs and chair covers, tablecloths, place settings, centerpieces, a candy table and buffet lines according to the bride's AutoCAD rendition of the hall, not to mention actually making food - the last thing I minded doing was cooking in $1200 worth of rented ovens under a little tent outside in the blinding forty degree rain.
Yeah, that was sarcasm, in case you didn't notice.
In the end, a month of stress and assload of work lead to some unexpected realizations. For one, I realized that if you give a DJ enough food, they will play a Sugarhill Gang song whenever the hell you want them to.
Second, after stressing too much to give a damn about the rest of the world, when I'm finished I fall in love with stuff all over again. Passionately. Like lemurs, for instance. I've always had a thing for lemurs (meerkats, too) but I saw a show about lemurs the other day - almost cried. Seriously. Love me a good lemur show. Never particularly liked kittens or their whiskers, raindrops on roses, or clothes made out of curtain material - but I'm all about freaky looking primates. Oh, and you know what else? Mushrooms, duck meat, goat cheese, pumpkins, red curry and coconut milk, cheddar grits, and fresh figs.
Third, I've lost my patience for idiots. If you tell me you're a waiter and I have to explain what cilantro is, please know that for the rest of the evening until I pay you I'm going to treat you like shit.... and fresh out of today's paper - if you are a college student and break into a panda's cage to give it a hug because it's so cute, you deserve to be mauled. It's a panda BEAR, and you are a fucking idiot.
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