only a straight man
Thursday, January 19 2006
Today was Gretchen's 35th birthday, and a lovely day it was, no thanks to the Kyoto Accords. This January is shaping up to be not all that different from a typical April.
There was to be a big birthday party on Saturday, but tonight of course it was my responsibility to take Gretchen out. Since J & B, a couple of our friends from High Falls, wouldn't be able to come to Saturday's party due to J's terrible cat allergy, we decided to include them in tonight's dinner on the town. The town in question would be New Paltz, and we'd be eating at a fancy restaurant called the Locust Tree in a secluded, semi-rural neighborhood down along the Wallkill River (a tributary of Rondout Creek; and yes, I'm a little puzzled by a river being a tributary of a creek). Gretch and I drove to High Falls and carpooled from there, with B driving us in his boxy old Volvo on the scenic route up over the obdurate Shawangunk ridge.
The Locust Tree had been my choice from a discount coupon book entitled something like "Eton Drinkwell's Purple Guide." It's an elegant restaurant and very much an environment perfected for birthday meals. Though it has a small, intimate dining room, two other tables had candley cakes tunefully delivered while we ate.
J & B are hilarious, and there was plenty of fun banter throughout the meal. At one point J was decrying the advent of Blackberry culture, and he started throwing around various made-up terms having either an "i-" prefix or a "-berry" suffix. "Dingleberry!" I chimed-in merrily. Though he's a fairly earthy guy, J was nevertheless apalled, observing, "Only a straight man would ever use the word 'dingleberry'!"
J and I had split an expensive Dutch beer called "Delerium Tremens" and Gretchen had had some sort of creamy girlie drink. A bottle of wine later and an after-dinner dessert brew and we were on our way. I could tell Gretchen was sort of drunk so I volunteered to drive us back from High Falls. I'd had more alcohol, but my liver is a well-oiled machine.
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