The husband has been out of town all week. I miss him, as I always do when I know I won’t see him at least once a day. Usually I go into a subdued hypnotic state when he’s out of town, doing lots of writing or introspection or otherwise immersing myself in solitary work.
But for some reason, this has been a very social active week. Like as in, I went out for dinner with a friend. Like I went out TWICE in one week with a friend (okay, same friend, but that counts, right?), all by chance. I had fully expected a week at home staring at the wall, laptop in front of me, dogs snuggled alongside of me. (I sound like an awful hermit–but that’s the reality despite my extroverted demeanor).
What is about 2 chicks on the town?
My friend and I went to the Edward P. Jones reading in Berkeley tonight and then went out to eat afterwards (“Are you hungry? I am fucking STARVING–let’s go EAT!”) at Gregoire’s. It is a big treat if the chef and owner of Gregoire’s (and of his other venture Socca), Gregoire Jacquet happens to be on the premises of any of his eateries. His personality is HUGE, the kind of personality you want your characters to have in your novels, the kind of personality that would light up a television screen, the kind of personality that goes well with a big plate of food and lots of liquor. He is also a wonderful flirt (French accent and all). I love talking to him because of his energy and his stories and passion for his work and food. (“What eez your favorite dish on my menuuuuu? Ah, I see you like zee potato puffs!) And he always treats a girl well–the last time I went there, he chided my husband for not paying for the meal (“What eez wrong weeth yoooo!? Would a gentleman make zeee lady pay?!”).
We were in luck. Gregoire popped up behind the cashier loudly greeting us, “Salud!” He had his smile, an intense stare, and his trademark little beanie/knit-skull-cap-that-reminds-me-of-The-Life-Aquatic on. (“That,” I whispered to her, “is THE Gregoire.”)
We ordered, we joked with Gregoire. We waited for our food at the table outside, and Gregoire popped (really, he does seem to POP around a lot) his head out the front window and chatted with us. My friend and I spent half our meal chatting with Gregoire, despite his periodic announcement, “I have to get back to work!” We were like a tractor beam for attention, and we didn’t mind–I loved finding out that he knows Jacques and Claudine Pepin, and that he’s brainstorming up a new fall menu! And to hear about his passion for socca, and its wheat free benefits. (“I have to get back to work!” he announced again, and then launched into a long romantic and enthusiastic reverie about how he and his wife got married in a private ceremony on an island in the Caribbean, with a cat as the sole guest). We were a tractor beam for attention, because we were two chicks.
What is about two chicks on the town?
After dinner, we went across the street to Andronico’s to pick up a few groceries. I needed to buy dog food, my friend needed to buy water. (Yah, we’re THAT exciting). We were gabbing throughout the store and at the checkout stand. I was talking about the contents of my fridge, a very mundane topic at best. “My fridge is the emptiest I’ve seen it in years,” I said, staring at the conveyor belt with a bag of dog food and a chocolate bar atop it. (Yah, I’m THAT exciting).
We were a tractor beam for attention. The cashier popped into our conversation and talked about how HIS fridge always seemed empty, too, and how his wife doesn’t buy him the stuff he wants to eat. Uh. So like, we talked about refrigerator contents while both of us paid for our groceries.
What is about two chicks? I am usually never out with anyone but my husband, so this kind of contrast is striking to me. When I am one of “two chicks,” the whole world is a stage of men performing for us. I could talk about the most boring shit, and if I’m with another chick, we become a tractor beam for attention. We become The Most Fascinating People Ever Who Must Be Impressed.