Thursday, May 31, 2018

Don't Tell Me Not to Fly, I've Simply Got To

I'm just checking in. I see you're enjoying Chicago full on. Let me know when you're back, would love to hear more about your adventures in person. Do we need to make a porch date? ~ Pru

Um, yes.

Far be it for me to turn down an invitation to spend time blathering on the porch of Pru's manse. After a day spent trying to get back in the Richmond groove - laundry, setting up interviews, doing a rewrite, mopping floors - I was more than happy to brave the rain for an evening with friends.

Ever the hostess with the mostess, Pru soon had Beau pouring us glasses of J. Mourat Rose to accompany a dinner scored at the new Church Hill location of 8 1/2: arugula salad, white pizza and red pizza with sausage and mushrooms, savored on the porch while a light rain fell all around us.

Group consensus: 8 1/2's pizza tops Dinamo's, not that any of us would turn down Dinamo's pie.

And sure, we began the evening with a discussion of what I'd seen, done and eaten in Chicago, including my fondness for the Carbide & Carbon Building because its design resembles that of a champagne bottle, complete with dark green terra cotta tower and gold leaf accents to mimic the foil around the cork, but eventually moved on.

When Pru put me in charge of music, I asked if she had any restrictions on my choice. None, she claimed, at least until I told Alexa to play the Carpenters (a favorite of both Beau and I) and she groaned loudly. Looking for something completely different, I asked Alexa for Bon Jovi and she looked at me like I'd lost my mind. That's when Queen B stepped in and suggested Barbra Streisand and everyone finally seemed okay with the music.

Don't tell me not to live
Just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter
Don't bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade

Once the music was settled, the three womenfolk united to do an intervention on Beau who has an unfortunate habit of looking at his cell phone while lively conversation is taking place around him. And lively conversation with a guest present, at that.

While he swears he can multi-task, after the second time he started asking questions that had been covered in a conversation only moments earlier, we saw no option but to insist he step away from the phone. He couldn't, of course, but settled for cradling it in his lap and periodically making longing glances in its direction. Once an addict, always an addict.

Relationships turned out to be a hot topic, little surprise given how fascinated everyone is with the turn of my love life, but for a change, the focus was on Pru and Beau. That two people could meet in college, go their separate ways in terms of marriage and children, and somehow find their way back to each other 30 years later is nothing short of extraordinary.

That when they first began dating, Pru - in her usual straight forward manner - had told Beau that he was good raw material and just needed some guidance is proof positive that you can say anything if it's to the right person.

Beau, who decided last night to name his as yet unwritten autobiography "From Under the Swoop," a tribute to his magnificent mane of hair and its come-hither swoop in the front, admitted that he'd never stopped thinking about Pru in the intervening three decades. Now that's romance.

It was going on 11 p.m. and I'd been there for over four hours when I began my exit strategy. Not so fast, Pru insisted, you were invited over to share some juice, so sit back down and start spilling.

Hadn't I raved about our meals at the Purple Pig and Marisol? Did she want me to tell her about my other favorite buildings?

"You're not gushing as much as last time," Pru worried. "What's up?"

I'm just trying to contain my over-the-top happiness and not subject everyone I see to it, I explained. You want me to gush, I'll sit back down and gush. Happily.

Speaking of, just after Beau had observed that the Rose was having far more of an effect on me than it was on him, he'd had an epiphany. "Oh, wait," he insisted. "You've got Rose on top of euphoria, don't you?"

Sure do. And I'm hoping to live out the rest of my life that way. My parade is too fabulous to be affected by rain...or anything else.

Sorry, I just can't help myself.

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