Last night, I was sitting at the dining room table, busily pasting photos into Ella's album to take advantage of the time I had while sitter played with the girls, when the phone rang. B had just gotten a call from one of his Italian cousins who was with some friends and in town for work. Could we meet them for dinner? I quick checked with the sitter to see if she could stay late and got on the phone to find a nice French restaurant in the neighborhood where we could get a table for 6 at the last minute. Luckily, L'Atelier Maitre Albert said no problem. I ran into the bathroom and realized that I was lucky that I had two hours to get ready. I looked like I was ready to climb into bed (mainly due to a late afternoon change of clothes a result of Georgia's predeliction for 'sharing' her food). Ahhh, I remember back when I could walk out of the house at a moments notice to meet people. When I was young, unlined, and almost always had clean clothes on...
No, two hours was plenty of time to pull myself together and grab a bit of caffeine so that I could make it up past my 9:30 bedtime. B even talked me into wearing the Manolo's that had been sitting unworn in my closet since I bought them way back in November. Talk about a big night out. I had to laugh though- I am so unused to wearing very high heels that I was tottering around like a twelve-year-old who raided her mommy's closet. That drives home the fact that I have not been getting out enough. I used to be able to sprint down a cobbled street, chasing down taxis in heels higher than the ones I wore last night. Well, note to self- start wearing heeled boots when pushing Georgia in the stroller to get my calf muscles back into shape.
Dinner was really nice- I love that restaurant in the winter because the room is so cosy with the black walls and a massive old fireplace that is always lit. And I like that the menu is really simple but everything is done exceptionally well. I had artichoke soup with winter mushrooms for an entree and it was amazingly good. They put the sauteed mushrooms in the bowl and then once the plate is on the table, the waitress brings the giant bowl of soup, to spoon in the quantity that you want. The first bite, I could taste artichoke, but it seemed a bit flat, not very interesting. As we were talking, I was absent-mindedly stirring my soup, and when I took my next bite, all the flavors had melded together to make the soup something else entirely. Honestly, I would go back to the restaurant again tonight just to enjoy another bowl of that soup. It was just perfect.
The only problem with dinner was that the two Italian girls did not drink wine and the water bottle was nearly always empty (they were also closer to the fire so I think that the were a bit warm as well as thirsty). I have practically a tick and I can't sit at the table and not drink. Normally, when B and I go to dinner, I can polish off 1.5 liters of water all by myself. But since I couldn't keep my water glass filled last night, I ended up drinking wine. Too much wine. And then after dinner, B invited everyone back to our place for a digestif. Now, I know that I didn't have to have a digestif with everyone else. But I was too drunk from all the wine and didn't have the sense to say no. So, last night, I was actually happy when Georgia shouted at 4am for her tetine and drink of water because I woke up and realized that I needed a big drink of water myself and an aspirin (or three) if I wanted to feel human in the morning.
So there are two things that I have forgotten about while hibernating over the last few months with the baby- how to walk in heels and how to handle my liquor. Gosh, next thing you know, I'll be burping out loud and telling stories about medical interventions. I had thought about skipping the vernissage we were invited to on Thursday but I think in the interest of maintaining my social graces- or what few that remain- we better book the babysitter.