Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the infamous restaurant week

Restaurant Week and I have a sordid past. The first year I participated was a drunken disaster, as my back-up husband proposed to his girlfriend (whom I thought was toast) that very same day. I decided that I had a fever and the only cure was more vodka.

I drank two martinis at home while I got ready for the evening, then made it to the (extremely nice and expensive) restaurant 20 minutes before my friends. I entertained myself by drinking two more martinis served up by a very cute waiter, then made my way to the table with my friends. A couple of glasses of wine later, my best friend's sister was having to reprimand me and tell me to "use my inside voice". I wrapped up the dinner by offering to put the entire tab (over $600) on my credit card and "you guyss can jus pay me back later." I was 22 and therefore my drunken behavior could be pardoned. However, lesser versions of this same experience continued to occur year after year. I suppose that I rationalize as thus: I'm not paying full price for this gourmet meal, therefore I should spend the amount saved on alcohol.

Last night kicked off my 4th year of Restaurant Week. We all politely ate our beef tenderloin medallions and laughed about my past drunken behavior. I had two glasses of wine, perfectly timing the consumption with that of my meal. I had my last sip of pinot noir right as I took my last bite of my chocolate torte and colored myself impressed. I was polite. I was cultured. I was a goddess. I was sober. I had kicked Restaurant Week's ass.

So, what else was there to do but celebrate and revel in my triumph? I got my car out of valet and called Boyfriend.

"Want to go have a glass of wine with me?"

It was tough to tear him away from his wrestling program ("it's not just sports... it's sports entertainment!!") but he obliged. We went to a quiet little wine bar over by my house and went to the bartender to order by the glass.

"Wouldn't it be more economical if we just bought a whole bottle?"

The rationalization began.

We bought a great bottle of Seghesio zinfandel, found a seat in the back of the bar, and talked our way through the whole thing. Boyfriend confessed that he wasn't quite ready to quit drinking just yet, and I was happy to go along with this. We had another couple of glasses of wine.

We then realized that, although we were still not ready to quit drinking, we were ready to quit paying for it. We went back to my apartment and cracked open a bottle of South African white.

The last thing I remember is the two of us getting into an argument about whether I should (Boyfriend's opinion) or should not (my opinion) take down every last picture of myself and my ex-boyfriend. We bet Tuesday night's dinner that there were less than 5 pictures on my fridge alone and that if that was the case, then they could remain in place because my ex and I are still friends. We counted and there were, in fact, more than 5 pictures on the fridge. I somehow refused to believe that I had lost the bet, though. The wine was louder than I was and apparently also a better arithmetician.

Today I am unshowered, have my hair in a ponytail, and am wearing flip flops and jeans with an untucked button-down. I'm going to have to change this shit before dinner at Craft tonight. Damn you, Restaurant Week!

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