I'll be honest, I get service drop. It's not a failing, it's not due to anything bad that happens during service, it's just how it is. There are a few reasons why it happens, based on my experience in this BDSM life, I'll use the example of cooking for an event:
- When I say cook for a service event, it usually involves weeks of prep ahead of time. It involves researching recipes or ideas online, or thumbing through my actual hard copy recipe books. Sometimes I'm given a theme, so I have to work with the theme, and as always, I have to work with the allergies, intolerances, sensitivities of the folks attending (are they vegetarian, are they allergic to shellfish, allergic to gluten?). Finding out something last minute when I have a menu all worked out in my head can alter the entire menu, and then it's back to the drawing board. Once I have the menu set, there's sourcing the ingredients or tools needed, and sometimes this is the hardest work. I wanted to serve a cheese platter once with Marcona almonds - imported from Spain - rather easy to find back home, but hard/impossible to find in Australia - I looked for like a week to try and source them. I wanted paper Sno Cone cups to serve an items in, and have you any idea how hard it is to find them in Australia? I'll tell you how hard, so hard I had to look them up on eBay, and I had to buy a whole sleeve of them - anyone up for a Sno Cone party - I have 190 cups to spare.
- There is the shopping for ingredients - this involves several trips to the store, or possibly multiple stores. This time around, I couldn't find avocado's anywhere - not at Coles, not at Woolies - I could only find them at the Farmer's Market. I also couldn't find the type of buns I wanted, that would go with the cheeses I was serving. Usually I go after work, but sometimes I have to slip out at lunch time and keep the items chilled at the fridge at work until I can get the items home. I like to serve chilli jam with my cheese platters, but I can only find it at one store.
- There's the actual cooking, which can be alot for a very complex meal, or very little, especially if there are many cold serve items. Again, the cooking occurs after work, or the day before - hopefully never the day of. I take chances sometimes, because if something goes wrong at this stage, I usually don't have the time to start over. I once fell asleep while slow braising some lamb shanks. I woke up to find a good portion of the sauce burnt, and at least one or two of the shanks beyond salvaging. That meant a trip to the store in the morning, and starting a fresh batch of sauce.
- Finally there is the packaging and accounting for everything I will need - this includes ensuring garnish are on hand, ready to go, tools and dishes are clean and packed. I have learned the fine art now of making a list, after forgetting some key items once too often - my memory isn't what it once was.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Why in the hell would you do all this - it sounds like insanity!"
Sure, it may sound like insanity, but it is a type of insanity I happen to enjoy. I do enjoy every step of the way, even though yes, it does use my mental and physical energy. I like pushing a shopping cart around listening to RuPaul on my head phones, I love finding that little bottle of oil that I know would be perfect for my salad, I love looking at '70s recipes and giving them new life, and I love the idea of a group of Dom/mes sitting down and eating my food. It is my own personal symphony, my own personal love letter to each and every one of them. Eat my food, and you eat me.
Okay, that didn't sound right.
What I mean is, every dish is my personality, it is me making a statement, it is my interpretation, it is me attempting to do my best to honour the ingredients, the event, the people, by giving my all, balls to the wall effort on a plate.
It is very nerve-wracking.
The next day, I am usually very tired - sometimes physically, but more so, emotionally. I usually start the next day by cleaning my kitchen - if the past me hasn't been a dick and left it as a complete disaster zone, otherwise I might book a cleaner - and I usually have to go find food - because the past me is usually a dick and hasn't left me any food or filtered water. At some point, I usually feel a tinge of sadness, or like there is something missing, the world and everything in it seems a little grey - maybe the fact I just spent some intense hours in the company of members of my community I care for, and now there's just me and the cat - though sometimes that is a blessing, because I'm not really that verbal the next day, and sometimes I'm down right cranky.
While I wander through the day in this sort of post service haze, the Domme in my head is very harsh, telling me I should have been nicer to the subs helping me - because they were pretty outstanding, jumped in to help, and tried very hard to work within my vision. They inspire me and make me hopeful that perhaps others will find the joy and love in service events like I do, and hopefully they too will one day understand why I morph into this knife wielding Service Top Gordon Ramsay knock off bitch in the kitchen. She tells me what worked and what didn't, and how I can fix it next time, and don't make the same mistakes again! If I'm lucky, she is pleased with me, and is happy that I didn't have a Guy Smiley meltdown because the parsley was chopped rather than chiffonade.
I know now I need to do certain things for me - like go to the movies, or play pinball for an hour, or build Lego, or play Minecraft, or write essays while listening to some contemporary Tibetan music - which is what I am doing as we speak. Maybe I'll fall into a Fetlife hole of reading and liking - but that doesn't mean I want to engage, or jump on a thread. Today, I just couldn't give a shit about another predator being named and shamed, and I just have no fucks about another consent violation. Today, I just want to sweep my floor, lay out my clothes for work tomorrow - Monday is back, best break out the favourite underwear, pack my lunch, and fall into power watching South Park.
Tomorrow, I'll start thinking of new recipes to try and serve and wonder when might be good to schedule the next event, and the process will start all over again. For now, it's eating Macca's on the couch, drinking cheap sparkling wine, relating more and more to Eric Cartman, and not wearing pants.