Thursday, July 16, 2015

Don't Mind Me - I just smell like a latte

After a fun two weeks of late nights, early mornings and various engagements, my delay arriving into Boston was just one more hiccup. I crawl into bed at 4am, set my alarm for 7:30 and hope I can get an uber to get me to the office by 8:30. Anything later than that and I know I will get one or two tongue in cheek comments. I like to think they are just joking but on this little sleep I know that my personal resolve to not take things personally won’t hold up as well.


The alarm goes off, I bounce barely drag myself out of bed. My suitcase is still packed and so I unzip and start digging for all my essentials. With one eye open I manage to pull on pants and a shirt. I grab a blazer – because really, that dresses up every outfit. Doesn’t it? I attempt to use all my tricks in the book to lighten the circles under the eyes and look peppy. It didn’t work but alas it was the best I can do. I quickly debate flats verses heels. While heels can so often take the outfit from thrown together to spectacular, I know how klutzy I can be in heels, especially when I am tired. Choosing flats as my safest choice I think I am ready. The room looks like a bomb went off but Jimmy’s not home right now. So grabbing the essentials,  I head out the door.


The uber ride was not my best uber experience ever. It was an older gentleman who whistled along to classical music. He has a blanket draped across the back seat – I never trust cars with blankets on the back seats. It is usually because you are either trying to protect the seat or cover up something – and in the cab/uber variety we all know it is to cover up something. I notice little hairs and hope that this does not mean I am going to look like I am taking the faux fur trend a little too far. The car smells stale. Yuck – really stale. I slowly slide in, pretending everything is fine while I ‘watermelon’ in my head to help fight the urge to dry heave. I put on my new favorite podcast – The Mortified Podcast – hoping that a little humor will help distract me for the rest of the ride. The older gentleman extremely slowly   carefully   ugh – painfully slowly - drives me to the office. Wearily I climb out noticing a colleague is also just arriving (win) and get into the office.


As I settle into my desk and get out my computer I am already dreading how long it will take before the clock strikes 5. Nothing can salvage this day. Nothing.


Well, wait just a minute. I get an email that says it is Muffin day. Maybe this day can be salvaged after all.


Periodically Global will pick up treats for their employees and put them out in the common kitchen. My favorites are hands down the hoodsie ice cream afternoons and muffin days (despite the fact that I have only experienced one prior muffin day). Now these are not ordinary muffins. Oh no! They are these delectable mountains of all things delicious. There are a variety of options and I hear they are all good. Delicious strawberry cream, gingerbread, blueberry, lemon custard, carrot – I could go on and on. But the one I had last time. The one I have not stopped dreaming of. The one that could turn this frown upside down. Well that was the banana cream.


Ahhhh – let’s just take a moment to settle in. Pour yourself a hot cup of tea. Find a comfy position. Lean back, close your eyes, focus on your happiest memory – your wedding day, the day your child told you they loved you for the first time, the most favorite birthday present,  and be prepared to elevate above even that most happiest moment!


Picture a larger light buttery muffin. The kind that melts in your mouth. It is incredibly moist. The perfectly crunchy yet soft  top is perched slightly askew. It has that slightest taste of caramelized sugar. You see a mound of delicious whipping cream. The next layer is this beautifully yellow custard. It has a hint of vanilla in the rich creamy crème brule like custard. You can see dark chocolate shavings peeking out. These shavings are the perfect shaving – not so large that they resemble chunks but not so fine that you can barely get the taste. Just the perfect balance of that bitter cocoa to cut the cream and the right crunch to provide the perfect amount of texture. And you know – oh yes you know – that beneath all that, nestled firmly into the muffin bottom is flambéed banana. And not just a little banana but enough to salvage any muffin bottom!!!! (Seinfeld – I am talking about all muffin bottoms right now)


Oh please let there be a banana muffin in the mix.


Suddenly any sense of tiredness appears to drain from my body. In fact – I am almost giddy and vibrating with the anticipation of the perfect muffin. I join my colleague, Dave,  and head  skip run downstairs. Please let there still be a banana muffin. Please please pretty pretty please with a flambéed banana on top. Pretty please!


We arrive in the kitchen with a few others milling about. I quickly grab a plate – pretend to politely survey the situation. I mean it is in front of the client after all. I do have some dignity! I come to a box that looks like it might be my treasure. I evaluate carefully – there is an unexpected drizzle of chocolate on top. What can that mean? Is this perhaps Boston cream instead of banana. Or was the drizzle unimportant and so I just don’t remember it from last time. I quickly circle again, like a hawk choosing its perfect bunny to clutch in its talons. Yes, this must be the banana. I am sure I can see a bit of the banana flambé. There are only 5 left – we came just in time. I eagerly choose the perfect largest muffin and head to the coffee machine to make myself a latte.


With the muffin on the plate I know I am safe. I can take all the time I need to prep my latte. Finally, my mouth is watering so much it is becoming embarrassing, Dave and I both have coffees and muffins in hand. As I proclaim to Dave that I really hope this is a banana muffin, we head to the stairs (I mean I somehow need to balance the calories of  this ‘muffin’  so I cannot head to the elevator). We start the climb. My toe of my ‘safe’ flats catches the edge of the stair. In slow motion I can feel myself falling forward. I watch in horror as the muffin does the triple loop dismount off of my plate. I feel a shower of hot latte land on the right side of my face. Behind me I hear Dave: “oh” . . . “oh” . . . “oh”.


Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo it cannot be so! I am nervously giggling, my hair is pasted to my forehead, coffee and mascara are streaming down the right side of my face. I slowly survey the situation. The muffin top has rolled down a stair or two. The bottom has decided to land cream side down on the stairs. There is coffee running down the wall starting about 3 feet up with the latte foam sprayed everywhere. Worst day ever!


Alas, Dave graciously helps me pick up the pieces. He asks me if I am all right. He wisely chooses to not make any comments about my hair, mascara streaks or watching the flailing limbs as I fall up the stairs. He licks his finger and loudly declares that the muffin is indeed banana!


p.s. For those of you interested:


Yes - there was another banana muffin left that I was able to secure.

Yes – my hair was crusty all day.

Yes – I did leave the scent of latte behind me

Yes – I did have an eye that was obviously with mascara and another eye that was obviously without

No – I was too cranky to really fix the eyes

No – Not one person told me I smelled nice

No – Dave did not loudly tell the story on the office floor; however, I am quite confident it was in his improv routine that night

No – I did not clean up the stairwell

Yes – there is big brown coffee stains on the stairwell carpet and wall

No – I will not clean up the stairwell today

Yes – I will tell building maintenance that it looks like someone accidentally spilled something that looks like coffee and a banana cream muffin


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