I’m not gonna lie. Friday was a shitty day.
(I never talk about work, but as a brief background, I work 11 months a year on an event that takes place over 5 weekends, starting tomorrow. Yesterday was stress.)
And as I emerged from my office, confident that I’d done everything within reason to make my big opening Sunday run as smoothly as possible, I couldn’t wait to get in my car, in my house, into my wine and into whatever restaurant would take a late reservation. You can imagine my disgust at pushing open the back door to find that Rhonda the Honda had the flattest tire in the history of rubber.
It was ridiculous.
I could poke my finger through to the engine.
(Another brief background, I’ve known my tires were shot for months. I procrastinate. It didn’t occur to me my ass would get bit on the Friday before opening. Lesson learned.)
Back to Friday at 5, there was no way I was sticking around Mill Valley waiting for Triple A. I had crappy Rose chilling in the fridge. I needed a shower. And I hated my outfit. It was time to go home. My co-worker Carrie was going to the city. She could give me a ride into civilization.
I abandoned my car in suburbia as Carrie graciously chauffered us to the ghetto. I distinctly remember that as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and I gazed out at the sunset over the Pacific, I thought to myself, “If I was rich, I’d just buy a new car. I’m THAT lazy.”
I insisted Carrie come in for wine (or as she preferred, tea. Don’t say it. I know) and we proceeded to sit around and gossip until Mikey arrived. What with him with his beer and me with my booze, both of us peppering Carrie with rude questions, there was no way she could turn down our offer for dinner. Even when Lo showed up with 57 bottles of Savignon Blanc.
We decided on Hyde Street Bistro, near Carrie’s Nob Hill pied a terre and out of our ghetto.
Carrie’s been hearing about my dining adventures for over a year, no doubt hardly believing a word. I eat and drink as if I have never-ending money and metabolism, although both my sad bank account and Oprah arms speak otherwise. It was fabulous to have Carrie join us on another culinary excursion, and by the time tea-drinker found a parking space, we were on our second bottle.
(A tip from me to you: announce to your waiter that you’re poor and you drink. They have no choice but to recommend the secret staff favorite once you assure them your table for 4 will order enough for 50.)
Drunk on wine, full on coq au vin and thrilled to get out-of-the-office time with Carrie, I collapsed by midnight.
Forgetting about my fucking tire.
I was up by 7, awakened by Lo, our frequent early-rising guest. ‘Oh shit.’ I remembered as I lay in bed. ‘My car.’
Michael, conveniently, was heading back to Chico. He could drive me to suburbia on his way provided we stopped for brunch.
We got up. We showered. We packed our respective bags. We had brunch.
And he dropped me off at the long forgotten flat tire.
“I’m waiting with you.”
“No, go. Go. Triple A will be here in minutes.”
An hour later, I was sitting in the middle of Mountain View Lane reading the March 2005 Glamour I found in my trunk.
An hour, folks.
I’d examined rocks around me. I’d found my senior thesis. I’d texted everyone I knew.
Again, an hour.
Finally, “Cliff” arrived, changing my appallingly flat tire into the ghetto “donut” Rhonda comes with. The donut, incidentally, announced “Temporary Use Only” all over it. No problem, donut. I’m heading to my folks place 5 minutes away. After all, they’re in New York (in the Letterman audience Monday night. I hate them.) and I can crash there, with 2 fancy and insured cars to choose from.
Personality-less Cliff hooked me up, said “Good luck buying tires on a weekend” and left.
Dejected, I drove up the hill to the Spotswood estate and grounds, expecting there to be fancy cheese, top shelf vodka and a convertible I could have access to for the next week.
I have no idea where the vodka/cars are, but they’re not here.
Rhonda and her donut will have to do.
I walked inside, threw my crap by the door and discovered the premium cable was out.
But the best thing about my childhood home, beyond the abundant parking, homemade stock and complex dairy products, is great literature.
I threw off my sneakers, grabbed a glass of cheap white and settled into a chaise on the blazing hot deck with Anthony Bourdain’s “Les Halles Cookbook.”
(Again, little known fact: Gavin is my second choice. Tony is my first.)
Rhonda’s still got a donut, I’ve still got to work all day Sunday and I’m still hungover as all get-out. But truth be told, all it really takes to cheer me up is a little Chardonnay and a verbose, foul-mouthed chef…