How I Almost Ate Meat

While on our anniversary weekend, Blair and I stopped for lunch at a cute little corner diner called "The Starving Artists" cafe.  Big bang for the buck, as the sandwiches were huge and they weren't stingy with the side items. Looking over their surprisingly extensive menu, I saw a smoked turkey sandwich on honey rye, with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, granny smith apple slices and herbed cream cheese.

It was the granny smith apple slices that caught my eye. It was the only sandwich on the menu that had them and my taste buds salivated at the thought of tart apples, cream cheese and rye bread. Once I saw that, nothing else sounded good.

One small problem--I don't eat turkey. I thought of my friend, also a vegetarian, who declares vacations off limits and eats a burger and steak every time she travels. Hmm....

"What are you getting?" asked Blair.

"I kind of want the turkey," I half-whispered, eyes sliding around the room to make sure no tape recorder was in sight.

His eyes widened and God love him, he tried not to show his excitement. (Blair's dream in life is for me to start eating meat again).

"Well," he said, "I think you should get what you want."

I hesitated. "I don't know..." I looked at him. "Would you promise not to tell?"

He nodded. "Absolutely."

So I did it. I ordered the turkey sandwich.

When it came to the table, it was huge, piled high with slice after slice of smoked turkey. I sniffed the sandwich. Yuck. Meat--any meat--has a distinct smell. I fingered the meat. Yuck again--slimy.  Across the table, Blair was digging into his burger.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

I stared doubtfully at the sandwich. "It smells bad and the meat is slimy."

He looked over. "That meat is not slimy."

"It is very slimy. I'd forgotten how slimy turkey is." I sniffed again. "Forget it. I'm not eating this." Blair sighed as his dream crumpled before him.

I took the meat off, piled it to the side, and enjoyed a delicious rye sandwich without it. And frankly, I'm grateful for slimy, smelly turkey meat. Otherwise, I would have caved and felt guilty about doing so.

After the waitress cleared our plates, I kicked myself for not getting the meat in a to-go bag for Consuela. I may not eat it myself, but I'm not above using slimy, smelly turkey meat to bribe an Akita to love me.

Happy Tuesday. - Dena