Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday Night Happy

I would like to take this blogging opportunity to ignite jealousy in the hearts and minds of all you lovely people. How will I do this, you ask? I will do this by describing my Friday night date with the spousal unit.

I took the train into the city, walked out the station doors, and spotted said spousal unit patiently awaiting my arrival in his car which was, per usual, parked in a spot that willfully ignores all rules and regulations. I was able to wing my way across the 6-lane wide street before the police arrived, however, and we proceeded safely on our way to what I thought was going to be The Slanted Door, but which turned out to be A 16, which is located in the Marina, which is an oddly—how to put it nicely?—bland part of the city, which I habitually avoid due to the...blandness. But A 16 was a revelation.

Parking was, of course, a challenge, so I hopped out of the car to finagle a table (that rhymes!). Normally, I don't do well with this. I am always being smirked at and told that the wait will be 145 hours, but by some miracle of the Date Night Gods, I was promised two seats at the chef's counter. Ten minutes later, a frazzled and pissed off woman walked in and said with much drama, "I am here to cancel my 6:30 reservation, IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT. Instead of sitting down and enjoying a delicious dinner, I have to go home because the babysitter didn't show up." She then left in a haze of misery and dejection.

The spousal unit walked in as she walked out, so I turned to the hostess. "Can we have her table?" I asked, referring to Drama Lady.

Of course we could.

We then ordered the mozarella burrata which looked, frankly, like curdled milk surrounded by a glistening pool of olive oil. But then I put a little on my crostini and my eyes nearly rolled back in my head. Hard to describe. It was like eating fresh air and sunshine. Because I am Filipino and cannot pass up braised meat to save my life, I then had the beef short ribs alla genovese and a side of roasted polenta. I can't remember what the spousal unit had (seafood of a kind, I think) because I was far too engrossed in my own culinary choices.

Happiness, happiness.

And then! And then we went to see the majestic Toni Morrison in conversation with the less majestic Michael Krasny. Maybe it's because she is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Nobel Prize for Literature winner and has, therefore, no reason to be anything but herself, but still.

She was remarkably real and had a way of talking about literature in a way that makes it not so precious. When Krasny noted that she has two sons and asked her, then, to "locate" (gag) her interest in the mother/daughter relationship, she paused for a moment and said, "Well. I am a daughter." It was kind of an "Oh, snap!" moment, and I felt bad for Krasny and for anyone who has ever asked a stupid question, ever. Then she practically giggled when someone wanted to know if Beloved was in some sense a conversation with Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. And then someone asked if another of her novels was a response to Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!. She threw up her hands and said, "Sound good! I'll take it!" After the laughing died down, she gave her real answer to both of those questions, which was, "Um, no."

Happiness, happiness.

And then! And then we came home and watched more of the first season of Mad Men. Oh, Don Draper. You're such a bad, bad boy.

You're so jealous right now.


Gladys said...

sounds like that toni morrison is my kind of writer. and i loved your reaction to those questions. (this is coming from someone who has been accused of having a "precious" approach to literature. i don't, btw, which is probably a liability in my phd program.)

Marianne said...

I have to tell you, your post made me sooo hungry.

I met Toni Morrison, 1984, she led a writing workshop at Stanford! My story was up for discussion, class rips into me as usual, but she liked it. The story was "Opportunity."

ver said...

Wait a minute, wait a minute! I'm the one who's supposed to be making readers jealous here. Next you'll tell me that Don Draper called you last night. Hahahahahaha! That's an awesome story, Marianne, and I now insist that you blog about it...

(Hello Precious Gladys!)