We must have pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of pie. ~ David Mamet
It wasn't that driving over the Rappahannock River in rainy weather and high winds was stressful. Okay, yes, it was, because even crawling along at 30 mph, every gust felt like it could lift my car up and over the side of the bridge and remember, it's only been a month since that truck - an 18-wheeler, for cryin' out loud - blew off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
It wasn't that making potato soup and Irish soda bread for 75 women was stressful, although it was pretty labor-intensive and non-stop for 5 hours, including the period when Mom's bread machine stopped working and she had a mild freak-out.
On the plus side, today's gray skies, Constable-like clouds and wet weather did seem particularly Irish-like and suited to the foods we were making.
It wasn't that VCU Cinematheque's screening of the 2015 black and white Romanian western "Aferim!" was stressful, unless you find watching slurs about every race, religion and ethnicity, not to mention cutting off a captured slave's testicles, stressful.
Spoiler alert: I do.
It's just that after all of the above, my first thought walking out of the Grace Street Theater was that dessert was in order and I got no argument from the agreeable friend who'd walked over, hat on head, with me despite the cold, damp and fiercely windy weather to see such a visually stunning film.
Ipanema offered not only sweets but an open table for two, a lively Tuesday crowd, my kind of music (the wild card was the Main Ingredient's "Everybody Plays the Fool"), ten kinds of hot tea to choose from and desserts. Without even consulting each other, we both ignored the cakes available as I went straight for blueberry pie and mint tea while my companion's heart's delight was Earl Grey and cinnamon peach pie.
Only after our adorable server (clad in the high-waisted jeans I wore in the '80s) left did my friend remind me that today is Pi Day...314, of course it is.
And while I'm not especially mathematically-inclined, I'm all for any holiday that Mike Pence voted against (oh, yes, he did). I'm also all for finding any reason for celebrating, even when it's not intentional.
It's more than enough reason to linger over tea and pie, leaving stress in the rear-view mirror while admiring the idiosyncratic art hung over the booths and enjoying the cozy subterranean feel of the place on a busy winter evening.
A guy walked by in a striped sweater that so closely paralleled the colors and stripes on my sweater dress that I had no choice but to point it out to him. His sweater, though, was 15 years old and so much a favorite that he swore he'll never give it up, while mine is a far more recent find, although I'm just as attached because it's not only cute but ensures reliable warmth on nights such as this.
Walking toward Ipanema's door after pie, multiple cups of tea and a spirited discussion of why some people are afraid to use an ellipsis when writing to the opposite sex (neither of us is), we gave up our table to the next Tuesday night celebrants.
Getting as far as the end of the bar, I heard a familiar voice saying, "Karen, you are not going to walk by me and not say hello!" It wasn't that, but rather that I hadn't bothered to check out the bar's occupants as I passed by. I can't always be ogling people at a bar.
Because it had been several years since we'd last seen each other - though our friendship goes back about 8 - she immediately demanded that we get together soon now that she's living in Richmond full-time again. "Do you still not have a cell phone?" she asked with a knowing grin. Hey, my number's still the same, if that counts for anything.
"I almost didn't recognize you without your legs showing," she told me about starting there and working her way up as I walked by. Sorry, when it feels like 20 degrees outside, fleece leggings with tights over them mask familiar gams. Thank goodness she'd finally moved her gaze northward.
Hey, babe, my pie-hole is up here. Up here...