Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Delicate Quickness

My parents weren't especially creative when naming me or my five sisters.

Family legend has it they resorted to combing through the phone book to find monikers for all their daughters and even then, the most exotic one they could come up with was Melanie.

But on a girls' night out last evening at Lucy's with Pru and Queen B, I learned what creative naming is. Discussing the antics of family members - something about a 14-year old marrying her cousin, a feat which should be illegal, but Queen B assured me she just changed her last name so it wouldn't be so obvious - that they mentioned name after name with a romantic bent: Mathilda, Lorna, Amelia, all a far cry from standard mid-century names like Karen, Cheryl and Nancy.

When I commented on the fancifulness of their family names, Pru admitted that they'd all come from literature, namely whatever romance her great-grandmother had been reading at the time. Of course a family of readers would pluck names from books.

I should have guessed.

"There was even a Nicodemus!" she shared. "Oh, but he was a cousin," Queen B explained dismissively. Apparently there were also several Elmers, including Queen B's terribly charming artist brother whom I've heard so much about.

Given how applause-worthy my meal was - a Fall hash of roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips  and celery root over beets and walnuts with a perfect poached egg on top was followed by roasted snapper over barley in leek and celery root cream sauce with green beans - it's amazing that I was even paying attention to the conversation. For a place with a focus on family-raised beef, it was easily one of the best pieces of fish I've had lately and that's not the Chateau de Brique Rose talking.

And while neither of my companions wanted dessert, I made sure they at least sampled my chocolate mousse pie before we dipped out. What did they think the three spoons were for?

It's a good thing we had a leisurely dinner, too, because once we got to the Firehouse Theatre, things got a little crazy when Pru's car keys were inadvertently locked in the trunk by yours truly. That we were parked along bustling Broad Street didn't help matters any since no one slowed down despite open car doors and me crouched in the street.

Only problem was, she was driving Beau's car, so it took the two of us a while to figure out where the trunk release button was and save the day.

Everything was made better, though, when Queen B and I headed inside and a woman standing nearby glanced over, saying, "You have great hair! Both of you!" I don't know about me, but Queen B is currently sporting purple hair and had already gotten a compliment leaving the restaurant, so she's used to hair praise.

As long as I evoke the '80s, I'm happy.

Inside, I'd been assigned my favorite seats in the second row, but the news of the day was that five people had been given seats onstage for "Songs from Bedlam," a play consisting of a series of monologues by "patients" at the infamous mental hospital during past centuries. The stage seating was inspired by the practice of the hospital charging admission for sane people to come in and watch the lunatics on display.

The first vignette involved a guy who spent every afternoon at the zoo, staring at the animal inmates and commenting on them. "The tigers are past caring, having been too long deprived of everything that matters to them...The fish are doomed, but separate."

That line alone evoked more sadness than I was prepared to handle. And, believe me, I'm not even thinking about tigers or fish in captivity. Another involved an alcoholic explaining the difficulty of having a disease everyone thinks is a choice.

Queen B and I found the production interesting, while Pru struggled with the characters. "They're supposed to be crazy?" she wondered. "I deal with people like that in my life every single day!"

I'm not sure, she may have been talking about me closing the trunk with the keys in them, among other idiocy she has to deal with. And you know what? I'm not even offended when someone calls me crazy.

I've been told there's no better excuse to do whatever the hell you want. Well, except changing your name and marrying your cousin. Even I wouldn't go there.


  1. As a student of the "how did we get to this point" school of thought I can understand how the keys could inadvertently be locked in the trunk. My question though, is how did they come to be in the trunk in the first place?

  2. Pru put them there when she was getting Queen B's wheels out of the trunk.

    It never would've occurred to me that she'd put them there when I went to close it. Generally, she's thinking several steps ahead, but I think she'd had a hectic day and just slipped up.

    The funny part was how clueless we were to find the damn button because it wasn't our car. We were those '50s movie wives who couldn't figure out how to open the trunk so we have a series of comedic mishaps for 10 minutes. Anyone watching had to laugh (except Queen B who knows better).

    Does that help?

  3. The loop is closed I understand perfectly.

  4. Well, as much as anyone can understand putting keys in a trunk. Personally, I think it's a baaad idea anytime, but I was too polite to say it.