Saturday, August 16, 2008

i am not a human compass...

You know that cheezy phrase, when one door closes, another one opens? 
Yeah, I hate that phrase too.
But the truth is, the exact moment I was heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge to take a big, flying leap, I met Melissa
So, lemme tell you about this weekend. 
MOI, now back from his service in the Middle East was having a party and invited my brother and me. I asked if I could bring Mel, and MOI, loyal blog reader since Day One couldn't wait to meet her. Mel, in turn, invited Tara. We've been hanging out with Tara a lot lately, but more about her later. 
So Mel and I meet Tara at the Stonestown Chevy's, the establishment selected due to it's proximity to the party. After sufficient girl talk, my brother Alex showed. Girl talk, for those of you with a penis, consists of bitching about men, rubbing each other's back and avoiding creepy guys in burgundy polyester SHORTS who wants to buy us drinks then magically have a foursome in the bathroom. 
Not today, sir. We're attending a BBQ!
At which point, Melissa decided to order a sundae. 
Melissa is big on the whole, stopping a server and without notice, announcing, "Creme brulee! Five spoons." 
Um, okay, 
It's finally time to show at the BBQ and truth be told, I am unable to arrive anywhere empty-handed. It's one of my rare qualities. Alex in one car, Tara in her Mini, me and Mel screaming at each other, incredibly lost and looking for a liquor store. 
After hearing me yell, "I am not a human compass!" Mel picked up a bottle of white, a bottle of red, and a bottle of Veuve (MOI's engaged!) our convoy made it's way to the party.
"So who are these people?"
I explained my three-tiered relationship with MOI. "Trust me. You'll like him. A lot. He's right up your alley. Seriously. And ... he loved Da."
Da, of course, was my grandfather who wrote MOI letters throughout his 12 years in the service. Well, until he died. Then I picked up where Da left off. 
We had a lovely time, MOI coming over and telling my girls Da stories, including how my grandfather instructed MOI's grandmother to pay sticker for a Ford Ecort. But my girls were ready to go, so we hugged everyone goodbye, Joey whispering in my ear, "Spotswood, your friends are fucking hot!" and we headed to Le Club. 
I spend an appalling amount of time with Melissa and thus, usually spend decades or dollars looking for a parking place in her Nob Hill neighborhood. But Saturday night, folks, man alive. I don't know if I can even get the words out. 
Parking place. Mel's front door. No street restrictions. One block from Le Club. 
"Um, is this really a parking place?"
"Lemme check."
"Oh my god."
"Yes. This is an actual parking place."
"I think I just had an orgasm."
Mel, Tara and I joined Gina for a glass of champagne and I realized, if I die and come back as someone, I really hope it's Gina Milano. You know how there was always that one girl in school who was ten times cooler than anyone else you'd ever seen in your life? That's Gina. Dude, even her voice is cool. I may have a lesbian crush on her. I can't be sure. 
And then Gina informed us that X was on his way in! Fabulous. Wonderful. Of course.
So X arrived and we hug and chat until it becomes obvious he's got to go mingle with important people. By this time, Mel'd found a boy to flirt with so Tara and I dove into a deep, fun, brutally honest conversation over too many glasses of wine. 
Tara's a gorgeous lawyer who's so freakishly intelligent, the way she words "I'm hittin' the ladies" makes it sound like she's reciting Voltaire. And I just think she's awesome.
So in the middle of this conversation, Mel's seductive giggles in the background, Tara all of a sudden said, "Wait. I just want to say, I really like you."
I don't do subtlety.
It's such a fun, rare moment when you officially say, "Oh my, we're becoming good friends. Yay!" I was so pleased with my celibate Saturday, congratulating MOI, drinking champagne with Gina, discussing my love life with X and bonding with my new, terrific friend Tara. 
Who came up with a fabulous idea, by the way. Keeping in mind that Mel and I excel at making grandiose plans we never actually complete (our website, calendar, South African time-share, etc.), this one we're doing. 
Mel and I are getting married! 
Mel's in a tux, I'm in a gown. Tara's the Best Man. Devine's the Maid of Honor. Gina and Leno officiate, X walks me down the aisle. And after we say our vows, Gina will say, "You may now text the bride." Reception at Le Club. 
Anyway, we went home and crashed. 
In the morning, Mel was uncharacteristically up early. "Um, what are you doing?"
"Let's go get breakfast. Then I've got to work."
Ugh, husbands. So I got up, got dressed and we headed across the park to the Fairmont. It's tourist season in San Francisco, folks. And Melissa doesn't wait in line. Baseball hat and flip flops, she marched right up to the maitre'd, whom she knew of course, and decided the 20 minute wait was unacceptable. 
"Fuck it. We're going to the Ritz."
Awwww yeah.
I've never had brunch at the Ritz, but word on the street, not that street people are allowed in, is that this shit is off the hook. Again, Mel knew the dude behind the bar and we realized we'd have to wait 45 minutes for the brunch buffet to begin. But Melissa is all confidence, and announced to our server that we'd be having Bloody Marys until brunch began as she pulled apart the New York Times and got comfortable. 
Okay, so the brunch. Um, the brunch. Sweet Jesus up in heaven. The brunch. 
First of all, it cost Sugar Mama $300 for us to basically have breakfast so before I assure you that you have to go, know what you're getting yourself in for and/or have a sugar mama. Mine is awesome and knowing the state of my piggy bank, assured me right away, she was covering our 4 hour meal. 
Phew. That joint is steep. 
Every time I'm in a Ritz, because you know, it's so annoyingly often, I want to sing "Puttin' on the Ritz." I really can't help myself. Which is what I did as I sipped my drink and read the society pages. "Come let's mix where Rockerfeller's walk with sticks or um-ba-rellers in their mits .... Puttin' on the Ritz." I'm sure I solicited stares. Or maybe people just thought Mel was famous, sitting in the dining room of the Ritz Carlton for Sunday Brunch in a baseball hat and sunglasses. 
The food was, well ... FUCKING AMAZING. There was a rack of lamb station. The only thing in my mind that could rival a goddamn rack of lamb station was my parking place. I'm a whore for perfectly cooked lamb. Bowls of caviar, chilled soup shots, crab claws shoved in ice, amongst oysters and, oh yeah, lobster. Melissa doesn't eat meat, so much of the splendor was lost on her, but I was pretty much running from station to station. "Melissa, they have little pulled pork sandwiches! OMG, did you see the charcuterie? Cornichons and pate, bitch! Um, this is the greatest crostini on Earth. Try it! Mary, Mother of God, this mixed grill of sausages from around the world! Why, I ... I've never seen such a buffet in all of my travels! More champagne, Luis!!!"
Oh, and there was a jazz trio and a preposterous ice sculpture. 
I was standing by the caviar station, thinking of where I was and who I was with and sadly, chose to say aloud "Ha! Ha! My ex-boyfriends can suck it."
A tourist in appliqued capri pants next to me innocently asked, "Pardon me?"
Oh shit. 
"Um, sorry. I was just thinking that I'm here with my best friend and I'd rather be here with her than anyone else and I'm having so much fun."
"Yes." She nervously smiled. "It's a very high quality buffet."
I returned to the table, when Melissa announced she was hitting the dessert veranda. "You coming?"
"I've got a plan. I'm working my way over there. There's like, 53 other things I haven't tried yet. I must sample everything."
But when Mel returned with eclairs and strawberry shortcake and puddin' shots, well shit. I had to forgo the egg/waffle/benedict station and head to the dessert table. 
Whenever I do something nice at work, which is rare, my boss Sara will say, "You'll get a place in heaven next to the dessert table for that."
I suddenly found myself next to the dessert table and peeps, it's on Earth!
Tim the Trainer's going to kill me, I thought to myself. But they have red velvet cupcakes! 
Then I neared a huge casserole dish of tiramisu, untouched with perfect biscotti and chocolate shavings placed delicately in the center. It was so beautiful, so perfect, someone had obviously labored over this dessert and I truly wanted to congratulate them. Until I saw that big, shiny, Ritz sterling spoon and figured, fuck it.
I returned to the table with the classy, "If you're wondering who ruined the tiramisu, look no further." We called Tara and Hastings and invited them to join us at the movies. 
Hastings was unavailable, but god bless her, Tara's up for anything.
Before the silver screen tho, Mel needed to stop by Sephora. As she shopped, I though it'd be hilarious to cover myself in make-up, piling on eye shadow and blush and bright red lipstick. I put Tammy Faye to shame, chuckling at my hideous mug in the mirror. I congratulated myself with my mantra, "God, I'm hilarious."
I went and found Mel. "Excuse me, ma'am. I just got a makeover! Whaddaya whink?"
Melissa looked at me, confused. "Oh. Oh no. You look like a cheap whore. Bethy, wipe that shit off your face right now."
Yeah, I'm not good at farcical comedy. But of course, I was stuck in that face paint for the rest of Sunday. 
Oh and also, Sugar Mama continued her foray into philanthropy at Sephora. I now have make-up so complicated, it comes with an instructional DVD. 
We met Tara at the fancy Kabuki Sundance theater for a 2:30 screening of Bottle Shock, enjoying some drinks in the "Balcony Bar" before settling into our reserved seats. Kabuki makes you select your actual seat in advance, putting me, Mel and Tara in G3,G4 and G5. Therefore, Melissa had a lot of questions for our relatively cute, tattooed movie ticket guy. 
"Who's in H4? Do you take information about the people sitting around us? Are they nice? We're kinda chatty. Where's the bar? Do you have Goobers?"
The movie was wonderful. The three of us even started the applause at the end. My only gripe with this film was the man in what I believe to be the back row. Every 10 minutes, he'd let out this groan. 
Like literally, every 10 minutes. I leaned over and 'whispered' at my girls, "Is he getting a blow job or dying? I can't tell."
This film, which you really must see, just makes one want some wine. Back to the Balcony Bar it was. 
I hugged my girls, patted myself on the back and drove myself home for a quiet Sunday in alone. I wasn't even going to call Big Chris for our standard Sunday night burrito date. I simply bought myself the greatest deli sandwich on Earth (Safeway turkey with cranberry and onions) and plopped on my couch. 
Golly, I thought. 
I really convinced myself that my world was over this past February. I mean, friends, I woke up on a winter weekday morning on my kitchen floor with an empty bottle of Smirnoff and the same Radiohead song playing on repeat. 
Don't judge. I invented wallowing. What of it?
And here we are in August and, um, I have a whole amazing, overwhelming, dramatically different new world.
Which is better, by the way. 
Completely content and smiling to myself last night, I then noticed Last Holiday was on in 15 minutes. 
And I threw myself and my sandwich on my 1999 Pottery Barn rug and died of sheer joy...
Really, any excuse to shove deli sandwiches in my mouth and mumble, "Oh Chef Didier, you crazy!"
The above video is so odd, I had no choice to include it. But this is a sweet movie and you guys, it's free on Comcast on Demand right now. Dude, I'll even come over, bring booze, some short ribs and snuggle under a blanket, I want you to watch this so bad. 


vansmack said...

They don't sell Veuve at George's Zoo so I'm guessing you found that great big Lucky's on Sloat....

Sweet Melissa said...

Vansmack's directions, which included the word "west" are what prompted Beth to yell that she is not a human compass. We stumbled upon Lucky while looking for George's.

Best. Days. Ever. I love Bethy and Tara!

-Mrs. Griffwood

Anonymous said...

You are adorable. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Gina looks and speaks so much like Jackie Warner from Workout...

vansmack said...

In my defense, I believe my exact instructions were:

(Together) We will go our way
(Together) We will leave someday
(Together) Your hand in my hands
(Together) We will make our plans

(Together) We will fly so high
(Together) Tell all our friends goodbye
(Together) We will start life new
(Together) This is what we'll do

(Go West) Life is peaceful there
(Go West) In the open air
(Go West) Where the skies are blue
(Go West) This is what we're gonna do

And at least half your readership would have found what they were looking for with those instructions...

Venerable Bede said...

I have found that saying "west" as a direction is as helpful as saying "towards the ocean."