they don’t actually grow octopus in the garden do they?

Monday has become my official day to buy lottery tickets.  I don’t buy them every week, and I never spend more than a few dollars, but I bought tickets today.  Two chances to win millions.  If I had millions I wouldn’t have to go to work!

Today was a day that was custom made for the lottery.  And the funny thing is…nothing really bad happened.  The alarm went off the same way it does every Monday.  I didn’t even oversleep.  I only hit the snooze bar five times before dragging myself out of bed.   It was just cold and dreary after such a beautiful weekend, and I had to go to work when I would have much rather slept in. 

Work was busy.  Like work tends to be.  That’s why they don’t call it “play.” 

I often feel like I have way more to do than I have time to do it in.  My backlog keeps building because  there is always something new to add to the stack, and I can never get to the bottom of my thick “to do” pile. Most days I love my job.  But then there’s Monday.

And Monday doesn’t just affect work. 

Monday is the day the dogs have to get readjusted to being home by themselves all day after getting used to having their humans around all weekend.  Monday is the day the kids have to run around reminding their tired parents that they need a check for a field trip, or their lunch account has run dry.  Monday is also the day that I seem to discover that we are completely out of milk immediately after pouring a bowl of cereal.  And that’s just in the morning. 

When I get home from work the fun just keeps going. 

I love my husband so much.  And I love that he has an adventurous streak.  I just don’t always love that streak finding its way into my food. 

The adventure tonight consisted of octopus stew for dinner. 

I like seafood—lots of different kinds of seafood—shell fish, salmon, tuna, scallops…you name it!  But there are some things that I just don’t eat.  And octopus is at the top of the list. 

My husband is a great cook (most of the time) and admittedly, the stew smelled divine.  And maybe if I didn’t know what was in it.  Or maybe if I couldn’t see what was in it.  Or maybe if it had been made with crab or shrimp instead of slimy, tentacle covered octopus!

My husband asked me to try it.  He promised I would like it.  I compared it to eating fish flavored rubber bands, and I hadn’t even tasted it yet.  I just couldn’t get past the idea of eating the outside of something.  I don’t think we are meant to eat the outside of animals.  We’re meant to remove the outside and eat the inside.  Preferably after it has been cooked to perfection—whatever that might mean.

I lifted the spoon to my lips and savored the wonderful smell.  How could something that smelled so delicious be bad? I closed my eyes and opened my mouth and in went the octopus stew.  I chewed quickly, trying not to think about what I was doing.  It wasn’t easy.  As wonderful as it tasted, it was grossing me out beyond words.  I swallowed my bite tentatively and it stuck halfway down.  I think it was a tentacle gripping the inside of my throat with its sucker things—hanging on for dear life!

I took a swig of a watered down soda left over from lunch to wash the thing down.  I’m not sure if it actually went down.  I think I can still feel it, hours later.  But I’m still here, so I guess I’ll be fine. 

The moral of our story is that I didn’t die from eating octopus.  I didn’t even get sick.  It wasn’t even terrible.  But it just goes to show that the imagination is a powerful thing—and mine tends to run wild. 

So I’m taking my wild imagination to bed where it will likely invent something interesting in my sleep.  With my luck I’ll have a nightmare that I’m being attacked by the monster from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, send a search party!

Until the next time…I’ll be navigating the deep in my leaky submarine!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on April 26, 2010 .