Ain’t No Garlic in Dessert

Spent this past weekend in Dallas at the Texas Two Step Writers’ Conference. Well, let me take that back and start over. The conference was in IRVING, TX, and one may or may not pass through Dallas to get there. In my case, it appeared that the OnStar folks played some April Fools jokes a few days early.


In the middle of rush hour traffic on Friday, OnStar sent me on 3 different roads with interchanges scarier than most roller coasters I have ridden.  They must have assumed I wanted the 6 Flags experience– long, crowded waits followed by shorts bursts of adreneline fueled by pure fear.

By the time I got to the church, I had 17 new sins to confess plus several more gray hairs. The good news is that I had my brand new shoes with Nike Air cushion soles on (half price at the outlet mall in Allen, Tx) and didn’t get a footache while waiting patiently with dozens of others for my turn at the confessional.

I got back too late to eat dinner at the conference, but wasn’t very hungry after that harrowing experience, anyway. By the time lunch was served the next day, my stomach had been growling for hours. Baked chicken, new potatoes, green beans and strawberry cheesecake graced the buffet. I ate it all, garlic allergies be danged, and it was so very, very good.

How sad and pathetic that rubber, hotel chicken tastes marvelous? That’s what happens when you eliminate garlic seasoning from your everyday menu. When you do eat something with a l’il flavor, your taste buds go crazy. (This is why people who normally cook with just salt and pepper think Emeril is a genius–Bam!)

Since discovering my own personal kryptonite, I have become much more aware of what I eat. In explaining my plight, I meet other people who are also battling a food issue, be it another allergy such as seafood or nuts, or an intolerance to things like lactose or gluten.

These situations remind me that no matter how healthy and together someone may appear, they are just as human as I am. It’s makes facing a room full of strangers less of a challenge to be conquered and more like an adventure where I get to meet new friends. Which is a good thing for 40 somethings who decide to become licensed Zumba instructors.


I spent all day Sunday in McKinney, TX at the nicest exercise facility I have ever seen: Cooper Fitness at Craig Ranch– it had a rock climbing wall inside the main room. Ok, so I’m shaking it for hours with dance fitness buffs in their 20s. One girl could salsa with the stars and during our miniscule lunch break, where the instructor proclaimed small meals best, I found out that she had a masters degree in dance. I felt much, much better about my two, slow feet.

At the end of the day, this gal had her license to instruct, as well as a couple of blisters. My business card rocks: MBA, Notary Public, PrePublished Author, and Zumba Fitness Instructor.

I hope that everyone has a safe and Happy Easter!


About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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