country dinin' with hollywood folk
2004-06-05, 8:00 p.m.
A group of my friends were left waiting for me last night at what they might term "the coolest bar in town" or what I might call "the Los-Angeles-est bar in town." But was I there? No. Why? (1) I tried to go but didn't want to valet and couldn't find a space; (2) there was a small car wreck at that intersection near the bar and there were cops everywhere and I didn't want to circle and circle and look suspicious; (3) I was underdressed; (4) no matter how much make-up I slapped on and hairspray I squirted at myself I couldn't make myself look like I wasn't exhausted; (5) I was just dreading walking through the crowd and (6) was overtired and (7) realized that I could go home and call their cells and say I wasn't coming and I did.
I went to dinner earlier last night with a semi-famous actor and a semi-famous writer and their Big Entourage Who Came In From Los Angeles and Other Places For Pride Week. We went to a restaurant where they serve "family style" - in other words, there are a lot of people at one table and everyone passes big bowls of starchy fatty foods around in a circle. "To The Left," we were specifically (pedantically) instructed by our server. My joke about "Like Our Politics So Goes Our Food" didn't go over well. With anyone but me, that is. Perhaps I seemed like I was trying too hard. Anyhow, speaking of trying too hard, I sat next to the cutest boy in the group who happened to be dating the semi-famous writer and the boy was from Mississippi. Well, if you'll scroll back one, you'll see I love the Mississippi, but this boy had just escaped it in the last year or two and was very down on it. On the one hand, I can understand. I know driving through and looking at the pretty pretty cotton fields is one thing, and surviving a whole childhood there is quite another, but I couldn't help but bristle when he said something about Hating The South. I know a lot of it is his being Still Young and Especially Politically Aware. It worried me that I wanted to shove him into a stereotype. Young Recently Left Small Town In The South Know It All Type, specifically. But then he even added to it when he said (when the chicken was being passed around - one basket of dark meat, one of white meat), says he, get this (can you believe it?): "The only breasts I like are chicken breasts." I just wanted to roll my eyes and say "Puh-leease, we all know that you are a very ultra-cool self-defining Proud Gay Person but Stop!" But that being said, I did really like him and he was pretty smart and very well-spoken (and did I mention cute?) and I am probably taking a short day trip with him, his writer boyfriend and a couple other people tomorrow. Well, maybe.
Also, at this family style dining place, they put you at their big tables with strangers, and we had one too few in our group to keep that from happening. But actually, the three African American women (I think they were aunt, mother and daughter) who were seated with us were a great addition. (Our group was almost entirely white males). The mother was celebrating her birthday and we all sang her Happy Birthday and the server made her wear a funny hat (and she was a good sport about that) and she got her picture taken with our semi-famous actor. So that was sweet, too.
So later, when I was with my friend B. and we were waiting for a group of our peeps (I swear I don't talk like that I just always wanted to say "my peeps") at a small bar adjacent to a big ol' gay bar, my friend B. was saying he didn't want to go into the main bar to look for the other "straight" girls that were supposed to meet us there since he was straight and didn't like it when the guys groped his ass: "I'm not homophobic, I just don't like it when they grope my ass" were his exact words. I offered to go "do reconnaissance" and see if they were there, but he said no, stay with him. Okay, twist my arm, I stayed and ordered a drink. Then I said, "why don't you just come into the main room for one minute and we'll just look really quickly." And he said "Noo! I'll be like a worm in a big pond." Hee! I called him "The Worm" all night.
I saw someone I knew there who was with her sister and her best friend from college. Her sister's name was Irish -- which I think is sweet but my English friends (London Gregory and Oxford David, I am looking at you) will laugh and say that Irish is a derogatory adjective in their snooty country. I know, but I still like the name Irish. And the friend's name was Erin. Erin means Ireland. My eyes got all big and I pointed this out to the two/three of them. Although they said that I was the first one to ever point that out, they seemed non-plussed by it but I couldn't get over it. I still think it's quite a coincidence. Don't you?
Special note to the bartender in that side bar: Chambord is *not* the secret ingredient to make everything taste good. Not in B.'s Long Island Tea. And not my and girl-peeps' shooters, either. Also, the Eightees are over, can we move on to some other liqueur please? Maybe a key-lime-ish one? Thank you.