It’s Friday September 7th and I am patiently awaiting the start of happy hour. The second week of school has come and gone. Two full weeks are done and under my belt. Just fifteen more to go. This is not just any regular ol’ school semester. Sure I get up and do the same things I did all the past semesters before, but this semester is different. What is so different about it you might ask? What makes this semester so special you might be wondering? Well it happens to be my last one. The end of five long years of college is finally arriving. I see it. There off in the distance wrapped up success, drenched in satisfaction, and reeking of ambition. It’s nearing closer and closer, reminding me that as long as I set my mind on something, anything is possible. But before I can put on the black cap and gown and walk across that stage while my mom and sisters look on thinking, “He’s finally joined us.” Before I can celebrate by eating ridiculous amounts of food and cake. Before I can open those graduation cards and think about my future in the real world, I have to finish these last four classes. Waking up each day knowing that this is the home stretch makes it harder to go to school. It makes it harder to attend class. The work load has begun to pile on and my days are beginning to mirror those of a frantic college senior. I’m spending my days cooking and shooting and developing and printing and mounting and writing and gathering and submitting. It seems like a never-ending cycle. A long week moves by so slowly, just inching and inching. There is some relief mid-week, however, when Wednesday comes letting me know the week is almost over. Yet my days do not move fast enough, and I can’t help but wonder why my week moves so slowly and my weekends so swiftly?
I set those worries aside as Friday has come at long last. School is put on the back burner and I get to enjoy the fun things in life, like cooking and shooting and eating and editing and writing and posting. With this glorious day that is Friday comes the need to forget about everything. The need to dust off that blender and cocktail shaker. The need for relaxation. And why shouldn’t I relax? Why shouldn’t we all relax? It’s been a long week. I deserve it. We all do. Between school and work, it seems only necessary to unwind and enjoy our days off. Go ahead, you relax as well. Why don’t you join me? Sure. Kick off those shoes. Make yourselves at home. It’s Friday afternoon now, and I continue to glance at the clock thinking to myself, “If I keep looking at it, time is bound to go by faster, no?” Sadly no, this isn’t the case. Of course as anyone who has experienced Christmas with the same fixation to stare at the clock knows, such a task only makes the time go by slower. The second hand moves at a snail’s pace and all I can hear is the tick tick tick sounds of the seconds passing by. Finally it seems as though my prayers have been answered. Five chimes and a bird coo, coo, cooing let me know the time has finally arrived. Cocktail time. A light shines from above and I begin to hear a few angels singing. No, a choir of angels singing. Perhaps there are no angels. Maybe I’m just delirious and tired from the week’s work. Whatever it might be, I know one thing for certain, it’s five o’clock; the hour of happy has arrived, and millions of people—all across this country and around the world—are joining me in this happy hour. The record player begins to play automatically as if knowing, on it’s own, when to fill the room with it’s glorious music as the scratching sound of the needle hitting the vinyl puts a smile on my face. I waste no time in heading over to the alcohol cabinet and grabbing a few things here and there. My beverage of choice is normally always the same. Without fail. Without hesitation. Whisky, straight up—okay with a splash of ginger ale, I’m no alcoholic—on the rocks with a cherry. But today something is different. Today I do not feel like drinking my usual. Today I feel like being adventurous.
I decide to take a Caribbean adventure. Only a trip to a tropical island can distract me from my school work. I grab a pineapple from the fridge and commence to core, peel and cut it. I toss the fresh pineapple chunks, coconut milk, ice, rum and a few other, here-and-there, ingredients into the blender. The magical passport that is going to transport me to my tropical destination starts up. My concoction blends together as I reach into the cupboard for a tall curvy glass. The adult slushy leaves the blender and enters my glass with a swooshing sound. I adorn the top with a pineapple spear, a few cherries, and a tiny umbrella. I cannot forget about that. It wouldn’t be a completed piña colada without a tiny umbrella. I leave the kitchen and sit on the balcony, Patsy Cline playing in the background. Patsy Cline is always playing in the background whenever relaxation is involved. As I sit there enjoying my colada and listening to Patsy, an idea hits me. This drink is sweet—maybe too sweet for cocktail time—of course I’m not complaining. Alcohol is alcohol. I sip, sip, sip and visions of a piña colada dessert enter my subconscious. Yes, this house needs a piña colada inspired treat.
Here’s what we need.