Sunday, October 29, 2006

friday night, in two parts

friday night, part one.

on the train home from work, all i could think of was how quickly the new thai place would be able to deliver our dinner - pad c'ew or thai barbecue? maybe sweet and sour chicken. after placing the order i saved the number on my cell phone. let's be honest with ourselves ... two jobs and two advanced degrees at hand? ordering in can't be avoided. and this place is the bomb. when you have a thai restaurant on speed-dial ... what exactly does that say?

exhausted from last weekend's short trip to detroit and trying to catch up on all that missed homework, i knew the birthday party we were going to attend on the hill would require tapping into a reserve of energy that i was unsure i had. but it's not every day a girl gets to celebrate a birthday with someone who has actually danced with ellen! (hot diggity dog!) after a totally satisfying dinner of quickly-delivered thai and a trip to the stationery store for a gift set of kate spade notecards (snail mail! oh god so clever!) we were ready to go.

we walked down pennsylvania avenue to the bar, with the rain coming down in sheets and the two of us folded together under our umbrella. my heels were clicking along, trying to keep up with b, as the lights from the dome of the library of congress reflected off the soaked pavement. a small family crossed the street in front of us, and the 3ish boy stomped into a puddle, much to the mixed amusement and annoyance of his young parents. but he wasn't our kid, and we thought it was hilarious.

when we got to the bar, the bouncer somehow deciphered that we were with the private party, shunned our IDs, and sent us upstairs. this place is a university of michigan football bar on saturdays, and we've spent a few choice fall days as part of a group jumping and screaming and daring the century-old wood floors. but tonight, it was 80s music that filled the place up to the tall, beamed ceilings. the bartender is a graduate student with b. this, at first, seemed fortuitous. turns out, not so much. turns out her version of amaretto on the rocks is a bit more amaretto and a bit less rocks than my liver is accustomed to. but she was super nice, turned off the game when the tigers lost and snapped at a cardinals fan who protested.

maybe it was ej's musings that got me thinking ... but i couldn't help but wish that the 15-year-old me could have seen into the future, to see me on that night. that young me would have been able to rest so much easier in our future ... something about dancing to madonna along with all these other women with high heels and master's degrees ... i sighed in relief, so firm in that i'm going to be ok, that the chances are slim of waking up at 40 unhappy and convinced i had wasted my intellect and potential. i was all smiles, carefree and happy even though the tigers lost. in hindsight, i wonder if it was actually all that liquor making me so misty and sentimental ...

part two.

it's hard to pinpoint when exactly i knew that the evening had slipped out of control. it may have been when i dropped my freshly lit cigarette onto the old hardwood floors in the bar and ... well ... i picked it up and took a drag. maybe it was when i first crawled into the cab and shoved all the cash from my pocket into b's hand - a silent gesture that i would not be interacting with our fine driver. or when i looked at the dome of the library of congress again but this time the lights and the rain and the dome kind of melted into one big mass of bright. but i think those were just foreshadowing moments.

as we drove back into virginia, over the potomac, my window down all the way and the rain pouring in and pelting my red-from-liquor cheeks, the pentagon and that god awful new air force memorial piercing the sky - that's when it hit me. that's when i knew it was bad. (wasn't just me. i read this paragraph to b ... the windows were down in the cab?) that's when i knew that the night the tigers lost the world series had risen to the same historical status as the tequila incident of 2003. and the time i thought i'd be fun to mix my own long island ice teas. not quite as bad as those two landmarks, but up there.

when we finally stumbled into the building, i prayed the doorman wasn't there to see me in such a state. but the thing is ... i forgot to check. or if i did, i just don't remember.


i didn't forget a sunday picture - blogger won't let me post one. i don't know why.

so click here. it's prince street in old town alexandria. sorry to make you click. stupid blogger.

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