The plan was to finally give Andrew exactly what he wanted. My friend has told me on more than one occasion that he wants to wake up one day and look at my blog only to find a post that says, "I didn't do anything."
But I have to eat, so I met a friend at Garnett's Cafe for dinner (that lovely Cobb salad) and to catch up after two plus weeks apart. I ate, we chatted, I dropped her off and I went home. It was 9:00. Andrew was *this* far from getting his wish.
But I had a message on my (gasp) land line from a friend saying, "I have a question for you. Give me a call," so I did. Turns out she was at Rowland's with two other of our friends and wanted me to join them. Sorry, Andrew, my friend, maybe another night.
I hadn't seen a couple of these friends in a month, so it was great fun to catch up while drinking half priced Wednesday wine. I took a fair amount of crap from one friend because I had on a brightly colored dress, a new habit of mine after years of wearing way too much black.
He was impressed, complimented me even, but still razzed me about finally wearing colorful plumage. "I'm impressed. And it's about time," was, I think, his idea of a compliment. A recent bright blue dress had elicited a similar reaction from another friend. Okay, so maybe I overdid the black.
They were just starting to eat dinner, but since I'd already eaten, all I had to do was sip and chat, not exactly hard work. Rowland's had just hung new artwork and the artist was sitting next to us at the bar eating, unfortunately unbeknownst to us until after he left. Had I known, I'd have found all kinds of things to discuss with him.
Instead, I listened to the latest in my one friend's saga about the guy she is just starting to date. She was looking for a negative spin on things and instead I offered her all kinds of cockeyed optimism. Perhaps it was the wine. And then she got a call from this guy and she was lost to us. It wasn't long before the remaining two in our group decided they'd be wise to take their intoxicated selves home.
Which was fine because it gave me a chance to chat up the new server, a Connecticut transplant, who was doing his first night of training. It didn't take long for him to identify himself as a foodie, although when I asked him where he'd eaten so far, the first place he mentioned was Tobacco Company. Yikes.
I wanted to write him off right then, but did the decent thing and persevered in the conversation. It wasn't long before he asked for restaurant recommendations, which I offered after qualifying my opinions by reminding him that I didn't know him well enough to presume what he liked and could only share my personal favorites. And then he too was gone, taking his tired legs home to recover from standing all night.
By the time my friend got off the phone, smiling and giddy,Rowland's Peruvian owner/chef Virginia had emerged from a stressful night training in the kitchen ("These young people don't have any motivation," she declared) and after a few moments tying up loose ends with the wait staff, announced, "Now it's time to drink!" You could tell how impressed they were with her statement.
Which left me, my date-crazy friend and Chef Virginia to discuss life and love, something we hadn't done together since June. Take one closed restaurant, unlimited wine and three women (one married 25 years, one just starting to date and one non-dater) and you've got the recipe for hours of conversation.
At one point, the last of the kitchen staff came out for a glass of wine and was soon sucked into the stories being told. My friend worried about sharing in front of a guy, but he assured us that he kept all secrets.
He's been five years in this country and away from his wife and seemed to be enjoying the love life banter he was hearing (he proudly shared with us that his godfather is 83 and having an affair with a 32-year old). Happily for him, he's also returning to his country and his wife in December.
Virginia shared the secrets of a successful long-term relationship and my friend shared her excitement about the possibilities with this new guy. I took notes from the former and played cheerleader to the latter.
But in doing so, I was also out until 1, so I can't give Andrew what he wanted, despite my good intentions. Not tonight anyway.
I'm working on it, Andrew, I really am.