I know I’m all about change and growth and blahty blah blah, but there are a few set-in-stone truths around here. The sun rises in the east. Chocolate melts in the car.

And Carrabba’s is the devil.

For those of you unfamiliar with Carrabba’s it’s an Italian restaurant chock full of yumminess, ranking a step above American Italian chains like Macaroni Grill. Basically it’s deliciousness.  “Gee, Laura, who doesn’t love delicious food?” My Benedict Arnold of a body, that’s who.

This really shouldn’t matter much considering we don’t have a Carrabba’s in our town. We used to drive thirty minutes for the treat, but post cleanse it’s been a big no-no. Which is probably why Bear was jonesing for a fix.

We had to stop for dinner anyway, and she raised an almighty fuss at the idea of eating at Bonefish Grill because heaven forbid we eat somewhere that also serves yummy fish…hell, the truth is I don’t know how I agreed to eat at Carrabba’s. Maybe I was brain dead. Maybe I honestly thought I could behave in the face of massive temptation.

I was wrong.

I had good intentions, that’s for sure. I skipped the bread basket. I skipped the peach sangria. We even ordered a clean(ish) appetizer, but then the kids’ fried mozzarella arrived and my good intentions faltered long enough for me to eat two bites. (Mmm…gooey mozzarella…)

Listen, I know some of you are all “whoa, Laura, TWO WHOLE BITES, take it easy.” The irony is that two bites is enough to make me feel crappy. And just writing that sentence also made me feel crappy.

I buckled back down with my meal – delectable salmon with steamed broccoli, a healthy choice as long as you ignore the fact that the broccoli had a whole stick of butter melted in it. (Mmm…butter…) The problem came when I became Garbage Disposal Mom.

Note: This is really weird behavior for me. I’ve managed to get my kids to middle school without scarfing down their leftovers, but seeing such heavenly food left on those plates? I folded like a cheap suit.

It started when Bear couldn’t finish her chicken parmesan. Shoot, I can eat chicken and that stuff is good, I wasn’t letting it go to waste. But breaded? Covered in cheese? Drenched in marinara sauce? Whoops. Then T-man couldn’t finish his garlic mashed potatoes, dang it. Delightful, buttery goodness, looking all forlorn on his plate. Surely I couldn’t send those potatoes off to the trash. All this to explain how I ended up with three dinners in front of me as our server exercised herculean restraint over her expression.

So that’s the end of it, right? Three dinners? You’d think so. But then my kids got dessert. Separate orders, because tiramisu girl and dream brownie boy had their hearts set. Jesus, take the wheel.

Sadly, Jesus didn’t take the wheel and by that point I was in a full on, no holds barred, consequences be damned free fall from which there was no return. So guess who finished their desserts?


I learned a lot about myself that evening. I may be a rock star in many areas of life, but superhuman self-discipline in the face of Carrabba’s luscious food is not one of them. Bygones.