Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Am I Ever

For some time now, the first question when we meet is always the same.

After I answer in the enthusiastic affirmative, I remind her that the question is obsolete. She'll probably ask it for a while longer, she tells me. Of course you will, I respond. But it won't change the answer.

We may as well be Abbott and Costello going through the same routine for the nth time.

Since it's been far too long a good month and a half since our last rendezvous, Lady G insists on a proper bar for our debriefing. She's old school that way, wanting to make sure the stools have backs, the vibe is lively and a good rye can be easily had.

That said, we drank Prosecco at Rappahannock, surrounded by suits and suburbanites, millennials and baby boomers. It was a busy Monday night.

I'd tried to steer her into the more casual Rapp Session next door, but she had her heart set on the big three-sided bar with the impossibly heavy stools and a front row seat to cocktail making while my primary concern was Old Saltes anywhere I could get them. And soonest.

I'm a simple woman, really.

We had just begun sharing our beach stories - hers in Plymouth Bay, mine in the Atlantic - when the arrival of a dozen oysters meant we could taste the brine while reminiscing about being in the water. There were even photos of her adventures to share, while she just had to believe me about mine.

RIP, aviator sunglasses.

G is recently back from a family reunion that included her two older sisters, with whom she couldn't help but compare herself. Because, let's face it, that's what sisters do. There is one advantage of being the youngest, though: you can get an idea how you might age. As the oldest of six, I wouldn't have a clue what the future holds for my DNA.

Once we'd had our ocean shots, so to speak, we moved on to the most exquisite white gazpacho that  ever graced a table in front of me. Cucumbers, grapes, Marcona almonds and jumbo lump crabmeat (and lots of it) formed a blissful union, producing the creamiest of gazpachos with an almond flair. Just reading the ingredients was enough to seduce me, but it took Lady G taking a bite to declare, "Oh, this is sublime" and moan a little.

What was called on the menu tuna tartare registered like a swanky tuna salad with yellowtail, apples, pickled carrots and radishes for crunch and a light citrus aioli binding it all together. Meanwhile, the puffed rice underneath was a brilliant complement, flavor and texture-wise.

I listened fascinated as G, an artist, shows and tells me about the quilts she's been working on lately, showing me photos of brilliantly-colored pieces of fabric intricately sewn together. I'm just this side of incredulous when she informs me that a baby quilt took 60 hours in front of her new commercial sewing machine to create.

Holy smokes and baby quilts are small. I don't even want to think about how long a grown-up quilt must take.

I can only admire such dedication to one's artistry. But, if I'm honest, I can also imagine all the other things I could do with 60 hours. As the sage philosopher Miley Cyrus once said, "Life is all about having a good time."

A beach getaway comes to mind, as does a river visit. If there's one thing I've learned in this new phase of my life, it's how quickly time passes when the company is right. So I could feel like I was just settling in when poof! my 60 hours are up.

And while Lady G would have a quilt by then, all Miley and I would have to show for it was memories of a good time.

The advantage of being an oldest child is that's enough.

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