I like to go to all the cool restaurants because I am an insecure person who validates herself by saying things like, "Oh, I've totally been there. Did you try the duck?"
I have been waiting for TWO YEARS to go to Frances, a casual yet very impossible restaurant to get into in the Castro, and finally decided I'd just go on Open Table, find the next reservation, and take it. Lo and behold, there was a 5pm dinner open last night. I had to hold it with a credit card, and texted Melissa, "We are going to an early dinner tomorrow at Frances. Please pretend you know this is a big deal."
Let me tell you about Frances! First of all, I am two years behind the times and it is embarrassing that I'm just going to Frances. Who cares, you've all already been there. Second of all, they have chips and dip. I repeat, they have fancy, organic, local chips and dip.
The chips were long, seeded crackers and the dip was basically really onion-y sour cream. There was way more chip than dip and the two of us devoured the whole thing. Our server, Jake Gyllenhaal, offered to bring us more chips. "Oh, no thank you. We're just eating the dip with a spoon. You have chips and dip!"
We also got chick pea "Frech fries" which Jake called "frites", spinach soup, maple bacon begniets (Mel is a vegetarian, so...), gnocchi with walnuts, and leek gratin with blue cheese. We did not order any entrees because the sides looked so good, and one of the things that happens when you turn 30 is that you don't care anymore. They had leek gratin. I'll have 8 of those, thank you. Please bring it to me and then look away.
We timed it, and it took 34 minutes before Melissa and I started in with the, "So, I sent this really embarrassing email. I need you to look at this thing on my back. You have to go along with the following lie." And I realized I wasted my fancy reservation at Frances, because when I'm with Melissa, I could be at a Shoney's and die of giggles. We did not talk about food. We talked about my most recent guy and our parents and big work plans and our trip to Atlanta and the fact that I cut off all my hair. (I cut off all my hair.)
I can say anything to my best friend. I've tested this. I could say, "So, I killed a guy and he's in an oil drum in the back yard" and Melissa would lean forward, "I wanna see. Do you need my credit cards? I actually know a guy who sells lye." She's automatically on my side, without judgement, ever.
Melissa does not care that there is $7 chips and dip. And I have learned, there is no point in my keeping anything from her, ever. We walked to my car and Melissa grabbed me. "Don't think I didn't see Jake Gyllenhaal wink at you. He WINKED, Bethy."
"I KNOW." I said. "I thought it was our own little moment."
"Uh, no. I saw the whole thing." And Melissa, who ran the Bay to Breakers at 7am, saw a wink, filed it away, ate some chips and dip, and pretended to care about a gratin, let go of my arm. She got in my car and knew when to go in a liquor store to buy me cigarettes. We've become fake characters in a novel at this point, we are so ridiculously in sync. Readers are like, "This is bullshit."
Anyway, I went to fucking Frances finally. Melissa came with me. We had chips and dip...