Monday, October 30, 2006

l'ecluse- no, the OTHER one

I found out last week that a friend of mine from uni was going to be in town for a week or so for work so we were playing phone tag trying to sort out a RdV. Finally, he sent me an email and invited me to a birthday party for his brother on Saturday night. I had met his brother before so it wasn't totally weird, so I said yes, and he sent me the details for the meet up.

Now B has a theory that I am a complete disaster when it comes to making dates with people- particulary when it is a complicated meeting, eg people are coming from a foreign country and don't know their way around. I tend to make a kind of vague plan for meeting up and then don't bother to get/give important info like cell phone numbers, addresses, door codes, etc. Like the time my poor cousin flew from Spain where she was an exchange student and I said that I would fly from Scotland and meet her at the airport. Of course, I gave her the wrong gate info and couldn't find her even though I spent an hour wandering all over the airport. Finally, she had to spend the night in a hostel and I had to call my mom, who called her mom, to give her my phone number and by that time she practically had to get back on her plane. Not a hugely successful weekend. But despite stuff like that, it never occurs to me that something might go wrong and we will need a back up plan. I just don't get that stressed out about meeting up for drinks. When I think back, B's a little bit right and maybe I should have learned my lesson by now. But I haven't and Saturday night was nearly a complete disaster due to my disaterous planning.

My friend Nick said that we should meet him at 8:30 at L'ecluse in the 8th. No problem. I get a babysitter and google the restaurant for the address. I was very proud of myself because I noted the address and phone number on a post-it and put it near the door so we wouldn't forget it and get lost on our way there. The gods were laughing at me...

We get to the restaurant on time, go in, and realize that not only is my friend not there but there is no way that this place could host a surprise party for 30 people. I ask the waiter and sure enough, there is no party scheduled. We check that the address is right. No problem there. I ask B to call Nick and see what is going on. Oops; he forgot his phone at home- I don't have Nick's number in my phone, I figured I didn't need it since B had it. So we think about trying to call the babysitter to have her search through his phone but figure it would be too complicated. I immediately decide that we should make the best of things and go find a resto with a free table, since it is still early enough that we might get in on the first seating somewhere. B is frantically trying to figure out how we can find out where they are and shouting at me about why I don't plan things better and there must be another resto by the same name in the 8th but how could we find it? How could I not have double checked in the yellowpages? Etc etc etc. But I figure that Nick feels twice as bad as we do about this so I can't see the point in freaking out. Either he'll call us or we'll just sort it out later.

In the meantime, I am starving so I drag B over to La Suite, which I wouldn't say is known for its fine cuisine but I like the music. I have to say that I think the crowd was mainly tourists and it seemed just a little bit embarrassing to be eating there, considering that we actually live in Paris. Like we should know about somewhere better to go, somewhere cooler. Maybe because of that, we got a great table straight away and actually have a great dinner. I ordered Satay Tuna and I LOVED it. After about 3 bites I knew it was my destiny to miss some crowded, mediocre bistro dinner because it was the best tuna that I had eaten in ages. I had called home to check with the babysitter to see if B's phone had been ringing and gave instructions for her to answer the phone and call us with a message if necessary but when my phone rang, it was Nick (who was apparently better prepared for disaster and had somehow got my phone number).

Turns out that there are TWO restaurants with the same name in the 8th and they were actually having the party at the second one near the Madeleine. Ooops. Should have checked the yellowpages. I said that we were already eating so we would just stop by after dinner to say hello. B didn't say anything, but he didn't have to. We've been married for 7 years so I know by the way that he was chewing that he was thinking "I told you so".

We went and met up with the party people and I ended up going out dancing with them at Doobies afterwards. It was so much fun because half the group had come up to Paris from somewhere in the South and were committed to making it a very big night out. I have been moaning about not having a big night out in ages and this was perfect- other than the fact that I came home so sweaty from the club- we had a table in the back room where the air had stopped working and it was like a sauna- that I had to take a shower before going to bed.

That reminds me, I have a mountain of clothes to take to the drycleaners. Since the fantasticly cheap place on rue St Paul closed in May I haven't found anywhere new and I am a bit nervous about experimenting with other cleaners. My last attempt ended with a 367 euro bill- note to the anglophones, "nettoyage de qualité" translates as "fucking expensive drycleaners"- and I kind of feel like I spent my entire dry-cleaning budget for the year. But seriously, the dress I wore on Saturday night is so filthy it is practically standing up on its own in my dressing. "Find a drycleaner" is definitely at the top of my to-do list today.

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