Monday, October 10, 2011

Forever: Double or Nothing

I slept until 11:50 this morning.

To my knowledge, I have never in my life slept that late.

Even when I went to bed at 6 a.m., something I've done a couple of times in the past few months, I didn't sleep that late.

By the time I awoke, I was two hours past the time I had promised to meet a friend for brunch. Epic fail and major apology.

Needless to say, when you eat breakfast at noonish, there is no lunch, which worked out fine because I'd been invited to a dinner party tonight.

The question was, given my mood of late, was I going to be up to being an asset to the group.

Things got off to a fine start with white sangria and shrimp cocktail on the patio while everyone said hello and started catching up.

The subject of cooking shrimp came up and my Maryland roots showed because I was raised on shrimp steamed, not boiled, with (what else?) Old Bay.

A couple of guests expressed distaste for Old Bay, something I had never considered not using when steaming shrimp.

"I like shrimp to taste like shrimp," one woman said, as if it were the final word.

I like shrimp to taste like the stuff I lick off my fingers when I eat crabs, but to each her own.

At the other end of the patio, we settled in for Gruyere fondue and bubbles while we discussed forever stamps.

"But are they really good forever?" more than one person asked. Well, forever or until the Post Office goes under, whichever comes first.

One woman says she usually uses two forever stamps to ensure her mail gets where it's going.

I think there's an existential issue there because how can you possibly double forever?

As we prepared to move inside for dinner, a friend got a call from her long-distance boyfriend, settling in an outdoor chair while we all went inside for more bubbles.

I offered to help the hostess and was put to work sauteing spinach, causing one amazed friend to ask, "You can cook? I figured you always ate out because you couldn't!"

Oh, ha ha.

The music was an interesting choice, the soundtrack from a movie I'd never heard of called "No Reservations" featuring lots of operatic arias as well as Liz Phair, Philip Glass and Michael Buble.

If the movie's as scattered as the soundtrack, I probably don't need to see it.

Over a nice, light prime rib dinner, we got to talking about the hostess' upcoming one year relationship anniversary.

She was remembering how low she'd been last year at this time and contrasting it to how happy she is now, even if her beloved hasn't said the "L" word yet.

"Well, you don't think he'd put up with your shit if he weren't in love with you, do you?" said a forthright male guest and longtime friend of hers.

Naturally that led to a discussion of my non-existent love life along with opinions for and against online dating, platitudes about the difficulties of finding the right one and nonsense about being able to have any man I wanted.

Blah, blah, blah.

As if the well-intentioned advice weren't more than I could handle, the music had changed to Michael Buble doing cover songs.

When he launched into "Me and Mrs. Jones," an R & B jukebox classic, a friend looked at me and we burst out laughing at the same moment.

There are just some songs that white boys should never cover (see: anything by Marvin Gaye) and we both acknowledged it simultaneously without a word.

As the wine flowed and the repartee got faster, more personal and more pointed, a friend commented, "Boy, I've never seen you like this. You are on it tonight!"

I may not be in my happy place, but with ten hours of sleep, I can apparently do a pretty good approximation.


  1. I remember liking Marshall Crenshaw's version of "Sexual Healing" (and boys don't come any whiter than him), but I haven't heard it in over 25 years, so I could've been wrong.

  2. Well, I'm a big fan of Marshall Crenshaw's so I'll allow as how it's possible, but unlikely that it's any good.