Friday night I stayed out till 2am.
It’s been 19 years since I was in a bar for last call.
I went to listen to a friend’s band.
Cool. I was cool for the night. As I was leaving a meeting earlier in the day, my friend and co-worker asked where my hat was. I hate hats, I said.
It’s freezing outside but you do look cool, she said with a motherly eye roll.
Friday night? I was cool. Hip. Drinking beer.
I hate beer but what else do you drink at a bar that boasts of twenty kinds in bottles, another 15 on tap?
Okay, I tried a martini first but it was awful. The bartender, about twelve years old, started to pour vermouth in it.
NO! I shouted.
He looked stunned.
I wasn’t sure what Belvedere, straight up, no vermouth with a twist meant to him but it certainly didn’t equate to what he was making.
That’s not how you make a martini. Do you know where using vermouth came from?
He was annoyed and didn’t answer. He started shaking the now sullied vodka, ignoring my request for a new mix.
Bathtub gin, I said, ignoring his lack of desire to know. During prohibition gin was so awful, they added vermouth to make it drinkable. You don’t need vermouth anymore.
He poured the drink. And plunked a wedge of lime in it.
I guess he was really annoyed.
I smiled, left no tip and went back to the table.
My friend’s recent description of me crossed my mind- outrageously elitist. Yup. Fits.
Jeanine was laughing at me. What did you expect?
I scowled, feeling very old in a very hip place. I put the drink down and Jeanine slightly moved her leg, causing the wobbly table to spill half the martini.
She laughed. It sucked anyway.
You have to read the place, she said. Get a beer.
Jeanine, because of her job at Berklee College of Music, goes out to see students play in bars. She is cool. She sits with her glass of Guinness stout (with a side of diet coke, but that’s another blog), crosses her arms across her chest and leans back. She listens, thoughtfully. She takes notice of the musicians. She fits in.
I don’t like beer, I whined. A friend recently brought a bottle of beer over to the house for me. She knows I don’t like beer but said she bought it for the label.
The Wailing Wench.
Thanks, I said.
She pointed out the buxom woman on the front, saying looks just like ya.
Uh huh, I get it, I said.
Outrageously elitist. Yup. Fits.
So, I finally got hip and had a beer. The friend who we were going to see bought me one. She flashed her special MUSICAN tag and got them cheap. I ducked when the bartender came over. I was afraid I’d get a stout instead of the wheat beer I ordered.
With a lime in it.
Her band was great. As the clock ticked near two, though, I had to leave. They were still playing but the reality of my forty some odd year old body slammed the door. Time to go. Period. They will play again. I will be able to hear them another time. Everything does not have to be experienced in a single night.
I was cool for as long as I could be. But then, like superman faced with kryptonite, I crumbled. I’m a mom. I was up at 6:30am, ran around all day- fed the dog, made lunches, shooed the kids off to school, went to a meeting, gasped for air as I put Zachary’s laundry into the machine, drove the kids to Walter and Allan’s for their sleepover where I discussed Jake’s reading issues with Allan for a while, admired the new playroom Walter has created, fed the dog again, and stopped at the grocery store to pick up some fruit. Fruit seems to disappear around here like socks in the dryer.
As I walked out into the below zero degree night, I put on my gloves and turned up my coat collar, desperately wishing I had a hat.
Cool. But very cold.