I was never a huge fan of lobster growing up (probably had a lot to do with living in North Dakota), but I liked it well enough. Then, once I started living on the coasts, I realized why most people considered it such a delicacy. I tried to eat it as much as possible, and it quickly became one of my favorite meals. Then, June 15th, 2006 happened.
I was coincidentally in Rhode Island for school at that time just like now. While I was up here, my wife gave birth to our daughter in Virginia. Trust me when I say that the Navy did everything in its power to make sure I was home for it, but for reasons beyond our control (mostly my daughter’s refusal to be born), we couldn’t make it happen. She was born on Monday the 12th while I was living in a building that shares a parking lot with the one I’m currently in. I was actually driving a ship in a simulator when Princess took her first breaths.
A few days went by until a couple friends and I decided to head to the Officer’s Club on base. It was the same one that I had dinner at last night and possibly will tonight. Back then, Thursday was “All You Can Eat Lobster” night. I decided that becoming a father for the first time was a reason to celebrate, so it also turned it into “All You Can Drink Stella Artois” night. It’s probably worth noting that I wasn’t a huge drinker, and I had just returned from deployment, so my tolerance wasn’t very high.
I only have a few fleeting memories from that night. There was a lot of lobster. Every time I turned around the pitcher was full. My friends abandoned me. I was playing pool with some midshipmen. An officer far senior to me helped support me back to my quarters.
Things came into focus once I reached my room, and there was only one thought going through my mind: I had better start hydrating or tomorrow is going to be painful. When I opened my fridge, I saw a bottle of Fruit Punch Gatorade and figured that all of my problems would soon be over…I was not exactly correct.
What followed was an extremely interesting night that involved a massive amount of lobster dyed a very interesting shade of pink being forcefully thrown from my body.
Two things are true since that day. First, I’ve never had Stella again. Since I’m not much a party animal that’s not a huge loss. Second, I tried to eat lobster again, and it ended…poorly. As a result, I just avoid it, and that’s the part that really hurts.
Of course, none of that mattered when I was able to hold my daughter for the first time two days later, but there were definitely some lessons learned that night.