Telling my boyfriend that the salsa and dip contest was in gay bar was the least of my concerns as walked in the bar on competition day.
He raised his eyebrows a little, asked a few more questions about the bar and joked that he would be glued by my side but for the most part he just shrugged it off.
I assured him that he reeks of straightness. Despite the everyday man appearance of most Bears, I doubt any would be caught dead in a superhero T-shirt with plaid shorts.
"Trust me on this one," I said. "Everyone knows you're straight."
Stepping inside the door it became apparent that perhaps this wasn't just a friendly little salsa competition. I was greeted by the sight of a man in full lederhosen.
Let me repeat myself---Fully executing the theme of his cheddar cheese beer dip, one of the contestants dressed up in a traditional German lederhosen costume.
Holy mother of God. I just picked some vegetables out of the garden and chopped them up. I didn't have a costume.
I hadn't even thought to bring a table cloth and this guy is in full costume in 90 degree heat?
Related Post: The Salsa Contest
Luckily for me ignorance was bliss as the other participants came with their A-game.
I was the first table inside the door so I didn't really have a view of all of the competitors. If I did, the anxiety that I briefly experienced would have come roaring back.
There were to be two prizes given out---one for best salsa and/or dip and the other for best presentation. As these pictures can attest, a number of people took not only their salsas and dips but the presentation aspect very seriously.
Note: All I had was a Tupperware bowl.
Then of course I wasn't in the competition to win so I'm glad I didn't know the level of preparedness everyone executed. Let's face it, while I may not have wanted to win no one wants to be seen doing less than their best. It's a matter of pride.
The contest started. The winners were to be decided by popular vote so once again I really didn't think I had much of a chance.
Only a few of the people I had invited showed up. Most people were strangers and it seemed that everyone else had their friends come out in droves.
Then something unexpected happened---a random person came up to me and whispered in my ear that he enjoyed my salsa and that he was voting for me to win.
Then another person told me the same thing.
Then another. Then another.
When it was all said and done and the votes were counted---I won.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Seriously.
Make no mistake, I got the business from the few friends that were there for my lack of presentation. I was reminded that I have beautiful serving dishes at home but only came with my humble Tupperware bowl. One friend asked, "Would it have killed you to bring a tablecloth?"
I'm of the mindset that if you're not providing transportation from the south side and back, I'm not gonna schlep linen and chafing dishes on the CTA.
Before I walked out the door my future food contests had already been set and costume designed.
I suppose that's the price you pay now when you have creative friends. Nonetheless, the win was a nice birthday surprise.
What a lovely way for a middle aged woman to mark the anniversary of her birth.
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