Sometimes, we all just need an evening to relax. Whatever that may mean to you. To me, it might mean different things on different days—a long walk, a dinner out with friends, an evening spent making a mess in the kitchen. Last night, it meant making a decadent snack before dinner and curling up on the couch with Edith Wharton.
I arrived home from work feeling happy that the work part of the day was done, but I was also feeling flattened by it. It definitely did not help that I had opted for tea instead of coffee that morning, and the previous night’s wine may have been hanging around in my system, trying to convince me Friday was Saturday. But the science must go on, so I diligently went to work, did my thing, and came home, ready to unwind.
I’ve gotten into the habit now of making myself a pre-dinner snack, which means I eat two snacks between lunch and dinner. I admit that it’s kind of ridiculous, but I really need to eat every three hours or so, and there’s just too much time between lunch and dinner to eat just once. So I eat two snacks and hope that it’s truly hunger and not gluttony guiding my hands into the refrigerator. It can be hard to tell the difference, you know. Last night’s snack was two huge dates, one stuffed with peanut butter and the other with blue cheese, a skinny carrot, and a chocolate-strawberry egg cream. It seemed like a lot of food for a snack, but I was pretty hungry and not in the mood to eat dinner right away, so I decided to go for it. Such a large snack gave me lots of time to lounge on the couch, reading The Age of Innocence.
I discovered a serendipitous mistake in my 2011 reading list. The Edith Wharton book that Matt had recommended to me was not The Age of Innocence; it was The Age of Mirth. Clearly I was easily tricked, but I don’t mind because I am really enjoying The Age of Innocence. I’m about forty pages from the end, and it’s been a delicious read. Edith Wharton has an elegant, concise style that captures the temperament and emotion of her characters in a way that seems effortless. Her writing is really lovely, and though she is telling what seems like a timeless story—a love triangle, told primarily from the perspective of the guy in the middle—the way she tells her story makes it seem fresh, intriguing, sweet, and sad. The love triangle is one of the oldest tricks in literature, or so it seems, but this one strikes me as more mature than most versions. And it has some great humor in it, too, which is really fun.
Between the stuffed dates, the egg cream, and a terrific novel, I was restored back to good health. I think I am easy to please.