I’ve been to a pool before! I like friends! I can kinda dive! So, Ervin and I made a really badass mac-n-cheese (Gluten-free/vegan/dairy-free/fat-free—FREE. It was 100% business, with BBQ Kettle chips crumbled on top), slipped on some flip flops and headed over to West Hollywood for a pool party at a friend’s apartment.
I didn’t even have a bathing suit, but I was in shorts. Which saved me from lighting aflame once I was in the sun for a few seconds. We were greeted by Ervin’s swimsuit-clad friends, a sweet, fun couple who hugged us and ushered us to the rooftop poolside BBQ area. There were tattooed, tan, beautiful bodies everywhere, a dueling grill station, Top40 tunes coming from somewhere in the walls, a bar, a few lounge areas, palm trees, and an outdoor screening room. Tis LA, afterall.
We met the party friends. Girls in teeny bikinis and sunglasses, Dodgers hats, iPhones on their person like sparkly leeches, boobs that went on for hilly miles. Looking back, I should have spontaneously spray-tanned myself and found bigger boobs to wear before I got there. BUT. Tomato, to-MAH-titty.
We cracked open a Bud Lite Lime (perfect remedy for a sober heat stroke) and plopped our homemade mac-n-cheese down amidst the offerings. Which up until that point, seemed to be: watermelon, vodka, a potato chip, ice, vodka, some lettuce, paper plates. And then? FATTY CHEESE PASTA CASSEROLE. Everyone’s eyes bugged out “What the $@#!“.
This mac-n-cheese recipe has a history of stealing the show. It’s a true guilty pleasure, but on occasion, it’s soooo good.
Usually, there will be a few reluctant groans of “Oh my god why did you do this to meeeee” as people scoop a pile onto their plate, and snarf it down. But this pool party was different. No one moved an inch toward the dish. Everyone just took a really huge swig of their cocktail and swore they wouldn’t touch the stuff.
Let’s be honest. Had that Mac-n-cheese showed up drunk on their doorstep, late at night asking to come in, they would have swung the door wide open. But poolside in LA?? No f-ing way.
Until one person did. A girl from Minnesota, who said “Oh yes. I grew up on carbs!” In my mind, I crowned her “Most Awesome” at the party. Tied with her sassy gay friend who said he needed more to drink before he tried the Mac, and then did, later.
I could feel my Pennsylvania showing around the girl who was on the phone, poolside, making what she called “bereavement plane ticket” reservations and drinking a vodka cocktail, sighing every additional minute she was on hold, on speaker. I also felt weird around the girl who pretty much wanted me to hand her a trophy for “I tried a tiny bite!” of the mac-n-cheese, asked for the recipe, then told me “Don’t worry, I know how to make a cheese sauce” and explained the intricacies of a “roux” without my asking for it. And also the girl who had done improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade (me too!) and who was super friendly toward me until she realized I too was on student level and couldn’t connect her with the Hollywood picture shows!
We had to leave the party early. And we left the mac-n-cheese. Hopefully someone ate it. Probably a lucky raccoon, once it hit the landfill.
I will definitely think twice about crowd-pleasing side dishes next time I’m invited to a pool party in LA proper. Maybe a watermelon. Oh no, wait. Fruit has carbs. Maybe like a cucumber with salt on it. Ehhhh, salt bloats. So, like — I dunno, like a bag of ice. And vodka.
Because you don’t know what you’re missing when you’re drunk off your a**.