I started my first tab tonight—ever. As a woman, you don’t have many opportunities to “start a tab” at a bar. Usually you’re with a boy, or a crowd where someone takes care of it. I’m the kind of woman who will go to a bar alone and not think twice about it. I’ll eat alone, see movies alone (even on a Saturday night), and even drink alone; all the things that make many women squeamish. Okay, I’m not at all shy, and I’ve never been one to care all that much what people think… and that makes me beautiful. But this post isn’t really about me.
Okay, this part is: after work, I returned an evening dress to SAKS because $600+ is too much to spend for a dress no one will even notice. I’ll be attending the so-called “Party of the Year”—the METs Costume Institute Benefit on April 26 (next Monday night). Imagine Renee Zellweger to Jude Law, society folk who actually have family crests, with a sprinkling of bling bling, and smattering of Cristal. Then enter me. Me who? Zactly. Return the dress. And so I did.
One bag lighter, I was on my way home, walking and struggling in heels. Enter Morrell Wine Bar, 1 Rockefeller Center, and me, corner spot of the bar, Middleseex in hand. I paid for my first Friuli-Venezia Giulia region white, then well, “Hell with it, Barkeep, go ahead, start me a tab.” Did I just say that? Then I ordered another; yes but this time I stuck with a favorite grape—Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand—okay, give me the cheese plate. I’m going to hell with myself tonight. Now back to my book… I’m drunk, and it’s still light out, 7:32 pm.
It feels like blackout 2003—everyone is smiling; I overhear strangers introducing themselves as I dehydrate in a corner—listening. And then I ate blue cheese! Talk about firsts… And get this, along with the cheese, the usual wedges of granny smith, bunches of red grapes, chunks of walnut, slivers of bread, were red raisins still connected on their grapevine. How bizarre. Worth a google certainly.
A man with a fashionably thin phone makes eyes at me as I eye the bartender for water (nowadays you’ve got to ask). Thin Phone Man wears fashionable glasses, the perfect checked shirt, orange Charvet tie and very thoughtful cufflinks. He must be gay… or waiting on a fabulous woman. Enter the latter, dressed casually in loose white clothing and flats. She has a perfect jaw line, great highlights, and sun kissed skin. She looks manicured and freshly bathed, and if I were close enough to smell her, I’d bet on lemon soap. How do these women do it? Ms. Casual Chic might have just spent the past 2 hours getting her hair blown out to look like she just awoke. Ya know, we do shite like that.
I bet Ms. Casual Chic is smart too because I’ve learned not to short sight beautiful women. See, my friends are gorgeous—seriously centerfold material. So it’s easy for a smart girl like me to assume they’re deplete of soul, passion, or wit cause would God really do this to me? I mean would he really make women this perfect just to spite me? The thing is, women like this best me, and they’re my friends. I’ve gotten over it. See when you live in Manhattan, you learn to accept exorbitant rents for closet apartments, that people won’t move into subway cars despite all the pushing through the open doors, and that anywhere you turn you’re likely to find someone wealthier, smarter, and much more beautiful than you will ever be. And then you get over it and embrace, as my friend Kim would say, “the fabeaux which surrounds you.”
My phenomenal friends clutch attaché cases, fancy diplomas, and are in a word, fabulous. And I’m extraordinarily lucky to have them to rely on, share stories with, and to call friends, not acquaintances. That’s right bona fide, “I don’t care what time it is” friends, and this epiphany was unveiled to me while sitting at the corner spot of a bar, on my own.