Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stick a fork in me

Puerto Rico was not what I expected. The hotel was not what I expected. The beach was not what I expected. Sooo, Carpe Diem and screw expectations, we had a ball anyway. A ball, I tell you. For the record, Puerto Ricans have the right attitude.

The first day on the beach we were carefully encased in our fluffy lounges with a perfectly tilted sunbrella. I moved my book down a few inches from my face (my daily exercise) and noticed a woman walking toward the water. Not skinny, definately pudgy, more than pudgy actually and in a two piece bathing suit. My first thought, of course, was you've got to be kidding me. She surely cannot believe that that suit is weight appropriate. Please, no, that is not a good look. Book creeps down farther, more exercise. Heavens, it's been 15 years since I've even picked up a two piece at the store and she's got 50 lbs on me. Hrrmpf, what is she thinking?

I never found out what she was thinking, but I slowly realized that she wouldn't give two shits what I was thinking because she was having a good time. She was comfortable in her own skin, enjoying the beach, catching some rays and carrying the right attitude. And she wasn't the only one. I saw many, many women shakin' what their mamas gave them who in the U.S. wouldn't be caught dead without full cover pantaloons. Freeing actually. That's not to say that I skivvied down to a g string and nipple tassles, but it did cause me to think about how we Americans are so image obsessed. More than image obsessed, I think. We tend to define one standard of beauty, which is always skinny, skinny and impossibly young.

And speaking of skinny, I did some fine eatin. If you're ever in San Juan, ever I say, immediately exit the airport, head straight for Old San Juan and immediately go to Marmalades. http://www.marmaladepr.com/index.htm If the restaurant is closed, just sit patiently on the front stoop until dinnertime. My dinner consisted of three appetizers: (1) grilled peaches with lemon mascarpone and proscuitto; (2) paella bites and (3) gnocchi with braised beef ribs...don't know that I ever would have typed those two together in the same appetizer, but such is life's little blessings. I also got a little sample of love...the white bean soup. With thin scallions. Crispy pancetta. Black truffle oil.

Next week I'm off to Newport, Rhode Island for a company meeting. I've never been to Newport, so let me know if there's a sight I absolutely shouldn't miss. If it involves food I assure you I'll find it. My return should be greeted with a very large, expensive box of medicines. Sigh.

Did I tell you about the paella bites?


S said...

Oh..how fun!!! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. I so wanted you to say that after you saw the not so skinny in a two piece that you ran to the nearest store and bought a tiny one for yourself! The food sounds yummy too, that's usually my most favorite part of a trip!!

luna said...

looks like I need to head to puerto rico if I'm ever inclined to put a bathing suit on again.

glad you had a good time, the food sounds divine.

PJ said...

It's all about attitude, I tell ya! I admire a confident woman, no matter what her size. American standards are unrealistic.

Those appetizers sound scrumptious!

Glad you had fun!

Denise said...

You're making me drool.

Glad you had a good time!

gracechild said...

g-strings & nipple tassles indeed! I'm going to burst out laughing everytime I think of that.The food sounds so good you make me wanna jump on the nearest boat heading there.

Shinejil said...

Confidence is a large part of beauty, methinks, and women are so discouraged from feeling at home and confident in their bodies. Alas.

Paella bites... they should send a few of those along with IF meds. Or at least some good chocolate.

Thanks for the virtual culinary vacation!

TABI said...

Sounds like a great trip! So glad you had a fun time!!

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a great trip...I agree with what you say about the image conscious Americans...we care too much. Those appetizers sound great! Now I have to go eat something, but it won't be nearly as scrumptious!

Joonie said...

Just reading your post made me salivate for the food! I'm glad you had a good time.

Carrie said...

I find it odd too when I obsess over carrying a little extra weight and then I see someone who is big wearing an outfit I wouldn't dare, and they look great. I wish I was less shallow!

Jaded Girl said...

American standars are very much unrealistic, rigid in the cookie cutter image of women. i myself am very ample, plus sized if you will, and also from the carribean. the culture of the carribean is one where ample hips and some junk in the trunk is a good thing...so glad you enjoyed the exposure.