Monday, December 10, 2007

pa-rum-pum-pum-pum...mmm, rum.

so i took the boybarians to the nutcracker on friday. we did a little bit of studying of tchaikovsky and his music, but i kept the whole ballet thing under my hat.

the duke was familiar with the nutcracker being a ballet from t.v. and the paper, but it was news to wingman.

sure enough about 10 confused minutes it he was like "so, how much longer?"

there were a few parts he really dug. there's a battle and cannons and the chinese dragon was a big hit.

but all the dancing, not so much.

i love ballet. i used to take ballet when i was in college and in my 20s. i totally sucked but i loved it. it's very soothing and comforting to watch.

so we're there and there's a buncha kids and of course the girls are all dressed up, and some of the boys are even wearing suits. great. just what i need to start up the "suit conversation" with the duke.

okay, so some months ago the duke decided he needed a suit.

"for what?"

"just to have."

so then i explain that since he's growing so fast we should probably have an occasion for which to make such a big purchase. and since we're not a suit occasion kind of family i can't see it happening. i mentioned going to a thrift store for a used suit, but he wasn't so into it.

on friday he sees all these kids in suits and he said

"see mama, if i had a suit i could have worn it today."

"i agree. if you really want a suit, let's try the thrift stores after christmas. kids usually get a suit and wear it once before outgrowing it. i bet you could find something"

"no. i'd rather go to the men's warehouse. i bet they've got a lot of great suits."

seriously, where is the rum-pum-pum-pum.

then we continued our urban holiday adventure with a stop at the restaurant where their uncle is executive chef. it's all floor to ceiling windows and wrought iron and singles. and apparently the busiest, most happening restaurant in the city.

we asked the hostess for a table and she said

"wow. okay, you can have a table but we are booked solid so i'll have to have it back by six."

it was 4pm so i knew we were good. but i said

"what if we aren't out by six?"

she did not think that was funny. no sir.

so this is a wine bar and they specialize in small plates for tasting with the wines and all that.

the kid's menu does not have all the fried crap that is de rigueur on most kid's menus and instead offers all kinds of good stuff, healthy stuff. salmon and veggies, things like that.

of course this makes no impression on wingman whatsoever, who promptly ordered macaroni and cheese because that's just how he rolls and he makes no apologies.

the duke abandoned kid's menus years ago and while i was perusing the wine list, or binder i should say!, the duke is looking at the small plates. he says

"the queso azul served with fig jam and crackers, and the drunken figs with shaved proscuitto look good."

indeed. add in a glass of aptly named "writer's block" syrah and we'll call it good.

they also had a milk flight. which is four tasters of flavored milk served in wine glasses. very cool.

then we actually got to sit with their uncle and chat a bit, which is a rarity because we never see him. i have known this man well over a decade and can i say when my sister first met him he didn't know how to go grocery shopping and when i first met him i swear he ate delivery pizza and ben and jerry's every night. he started out washing dishes when they moved here, and now, bon appetit is requesting his recipes and he's in a cookbook and the restaurant is very very successful. it's nice to see someone you love do well.

it was a nice afternoon and lo and behold we were gone by six. because i'm all about making the people happy.

and then just to spice things up we added in a mad dash to the ferry in three inch high heeled boots. i didn't fall, thank god, but i almost did and i am ashamed to admit i reached out for wingman to steady myself. i'm not proud of this, using my own small child with the very real possibility of taking him down with me.

BUT, i didn't fall in front of a crowd and i think there's a LOT of value in that.

so i make it to the ticket counter and i'm all worried about making the ferry because they called last boarding and i'm sweaty and discombobulated and the ferry guy asks

"are these your two kids?"


"so they're the men in your life, huh?"


"are there any more men in your life?"

oh. really. okay.

"yeah, there's another one at home."

"is it another son?"

seriously? okay so here i am in a huge hurry and this man is flirting with me? can i say nobody ever flirts with me! and here it is at the worst possible time and he's whippin' out the lines and the sly smile. glad to see he's got all the time in the world.

"oh, no, it's a husband."

"ah. i see."

i give him my sweaty smile and dash to the boat and make it on just as they're stretching the little chain across.

and just when i'm smugly thinking that this old girl still has it enough to inspire flirtation there isn't one. seat. to. be. had. on. the. ferry. and then when we do find three together, we find that the third seat is being occupied by the newspaper of the man in the fourth seat.

"oh, do you mind?"i ask indicating the paper and giving him the newly minted obviously flirtation inspiring smile to which he replies

"i'm saving this seat."

"oh. of course."

and then for the entirety of the 35 minute sailing no one else ever shows up and i ride with wingman all the way on my lap.


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