Shake it Up
For the past two weeks, I've been obsessed with the idea of a milkshake. I haven't had one yet, but as I tally up the items I have had instead of a milkshake, I start to wonder about the logic in my milkshake-avoidance policy.
I'm not a habitual milkshake drinker (eater?) by anyone's measuring stick. I can't remember the last time I ordered one. I had some of the Shaman's chocolate Ben & Jerry's milkshake during our first day of summer Fisherman's Wharf outing, but as far as actually walking into a place and ordering a milkshake -- it was long enough ago that I don't remember it.
But I do have a history with them. My first job was at the Baskin-Robbins on Tustin Avenue in Orange, where I often ignored house rules concerning limiting personal ice cream consumption. For awhile, each shift I worked featured a french vanilla shake, frozen for the final two hours of the shift, to be enjoyed following closing. I was eventually fired from that job for defacing a drawing of a smurf, and for juggling the schedule to allow me to work alongside my girlfriend.
During my first two years of college, I enjoyed the largesse of my roommate, The Funniest Guy in the World, who was a milkshake afficionado. He actually had a hand-held mixer, provided by his parents, the King and Queen Bee, who were unusual in that they -- well, actually, it was his dad, the King Bee -- encouraged unusual, actually uniquely state fair-like unusual, behavior like having your own hand-held mixer with which to make milkshakes. Malts, for him. Milkshakes for me.
And who cared back then? We were 18, 19 years old, 185 pounds of low-fat, carefree teenage hedonism. Bring on the milkshakes!
So why, now, after 20+ years of only occasional milkshake consumption, do I find myself thinking of milkshakes? And why is it that, though every day I tell myself that today I will have that milkshake, have I not had one yet?
In the milkshake's place I've substituted all manner of attempted lesser evils, but when I add them up, the aggregate total of their life-shortening potential exceeds that of a single milkshake, and yet the satisfaction I've derived from them falls far short.
Last week I had actual ice cream. They had milkshakes, but I figured a small ice cream cone would damage my body less. Anticipating soft serve, I received instead two small scoops whose flavor, shape and consistency recalled the days of the Thrifty Drugs $0.05 per scoop cones. I was so disappointed that I didn't even finish it. I tossed it into someone's brown trask can on Capp Street.
Yesterday, as I drove to Sacramento to see my grandparents, I stopped at a bakery, figuring that a single cookie might make me forget about milkshakes. But no! Instead I got a too-large, very dry chocolate chip muffin. Not cold, didn't involve a straw, left me thirsty, bloated and unsatisfied. This after passing several fast food places. No way does a McDonald's shake stand in for the real thing.
And there have been small, "fun size" candy bars, grabbed in secret from the admin's desk at my part-time job. I've always wondered what's so "fun" about a smaller candy bar? I find that I have more "fun" with more bar, myself.
I don't want to tack a milkshake onto a meal. I could have done that, also last week, when we went to that nice place in Noe Valley. They had milkshakes, but I was already having a garden burger and fries.
No, I want no distraction when I finally have my milkshake. I don't want to go in full, telling myself that THIS is the milkshake I've been waiting for. I want to be alone, maybe in the middle of the day, sitting down or walking, with my milkshake. Probably vanilla, though maybe something exotic with caramel thrown in.
And once I do that, I will be cured. No more milkshake obsession. Back to good food, like carrots and yogurt.