For 4 years now, Hastings has taken me to a birthday dinner at bacar. It's important to note that Hastings was one of the first people I told about my plans to head on into rehab. I was pretty terrified to tell anyone, but this guy has never judged a soul and as Tar Baby pointed out, he was a "champ" through the whole process. From the second I spilled the beans as we split a bottle of wine in my office this past October, Hastings has been a huge part of getting me this far.
Having spent too much tine drinking my way through the fancy restaurants of the city, I'm friends with a few fabulous servers, my favorite of whom is aptly named Mikey and works at bacar. I met Mikey when he was working at the regretfully defunct Scott Howard and found him again at bacar. It occurred to me to call my favorite server and fill him in on my giving up the sauce, but I never quite got around to it. I kind of felt like it would be like calling ahead to alert a restaurant that I don't eat seafood. "Alright, lady. Then don't order it."
So Thursday night, Hastings and I got all dolled up and headed over to bacar. As we were seated, Mikey came over with a huge smile on his face and two glasses of champagne.
I noticed two things about this situation right away:
1. I instinctually went for the glass, not because I was desperate for booze but because me with a wine glass in front of me is like Picasso face to face with a paintbrush.
2. The look on Hastings face was priceless. It was pretty much the look of all of America when Ryan Seacrest tried to high five the blind guy on American Idol. "Oh dear God, what do we do in this situation?!?!?!"
Mikey left us with menus as Hastings whispered my options.
"You want me to have them take it away?"
"God, no! Just drink it."
"We're taking it away."
"Will you relax. It's probably great champagne. drink it."
This back and forth went on for some time, until I finally offered the sad and perhaps manipulative, "If you drink it, it'll be gone."
With that, Hastings chugged both glasses and that was that. Mikey soon appeared again and knowing me all to well, asked, "Vodka?"
I thought Hastings was going to die of a heart attack.
Golly, I've got to tell him. "Um, you know what? I actually don't drink anymore."
After a pause indicating a lack of clarity as to whether or not I was joking, Mikey responded, "That's awesome."
We then ordered and Mikey departed.
"Oy, that's hard." I sighed. "I love that special treatment shit so bad!"
But it turns out, the world of perks is not run on liquor alone. Instead of the two courses we'd ordered, we were given an amazing culinary adventure of six.
You know, I'd take that gratis charcuterie board over a gratis glass of champagne any day.
Okay, that's a lie. But it's a least a decent consolation prize...