Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Allow Me to Introduce...


Maroline is the combination of Lobster's and my name, Mary and Caroline respectively. Let me go ahead and say that we were on top of this trend WAY before Brangelina (ew), Gyllenspoon, Vaughinston (now kaput, obvs) and the others.

Maroline (as many, many things are) was conceived over Spring Break '05 - the second semester of our freshman year. At this point, Lobster and I only knew each other casually. Our boyfriends at the time (now exes for both of us) were friends in high school, and Lobster and I became acquaintances when I transferred from Virginia Tech. My ex's grandparents had a beach house, and we all loaded up along with our fifth wheel friend and road tripped to Surfside Beach for Spring Break (at State, that meant the first week in March... not ideal beach weather).

After a couple days of playing Mall Madness, watching the ACC tournament and not being able to don bathing suits, Lobster and I decided we should do something fun for all three boys. After brainstorming for several minutes we decided that surprising them with dinner was the right way to go. We sent them off to a bar, and we got cookin'.

After a trip to the local Piggly Wiggly, Lobstina and I decided that burgers and grilled chicken were the way to go. Tasty and easy. We are both competent chefs, so we knew this was failsafe. We also purchased small Barbies and candy to decorate each room. We put our pictures on the Barbies (and one of Paris Hilton for our fifth wheel) and surrounded them with a heart of candy. All together now... awwww (WTH were we thinking?! Did I mention we were freshman in college?).

To jazz up cooking night, we decided to make the house into a restaurant, complete with menus. It didn't take us long to establish the name of our restaurant... a name that captured our equal efforts. Maroline's was born.

Unfortunately, our dinner didn't turn out as well as our friendship. Ex's grandparents' home came with a grill that was kept on a screened in porch, and I assumed that it should stay there (BIG mistake... grills are outside toys). I lit the grill and placed the meat on the grates, closed it and walked away to work on other dinner preparations. Without warning, the entire house was filled with smoke. I made my way back to the porch, and lo and behold, a fire had begun in the grill. Fortunately, it hadn't spread past our chargrilled entrees, but the smoke inhalation alone did plenty of damage on our lungs. Panicked, because the guys were on their way home, Lobster and I frantically opened all the windows, praying that no one noticed the hazy home. To help distract them from the fog, we hurriedly found bubbles and silly string. Good plan.

While we were searching for rapid ventilation, I checked the chicken and burger patties. They certainly looked well done. I hurriedly removed them from the charcoal mess and plated them in a very pretty fashion. When the males returned, we bombarded them with the string and bubbles to keep their eyes from focusing well on the "atmosphere," but they did in fact notice the smog cloud that had settled over our interiors, but they were nice enough to consider it a minor detail. Until they tried the food. At that point, I hadn't honed my culinary skills to the level they now are. Rule of thumb: burnt exterior does not equal a finished interior. 'Nough said.

While neither of our relationships have lasted, that Spring Break adventure cemented our friendship and our legacy of what we consider Maroline moments. Please file all of this away in the backs of your pretty minds. I can assure you that I will be sharing many, many more Maroline sagas in the future.

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