On the Monday I started my new/old job, a couple of weeks ago now, S. and I awoke to a virtual blizzard out our window. Now, in trading my old/new job for my new/old job, I have a much more hectic commute in front of me, with a significant increase in traffic. Of course there’s a blizzard on my first day back to work. Of course there is. The commute took me nearly two hours and I was late for my first meeting by fifteen minutes. Now, since I’d flip-flopped back and forth and generally given the impression that I’m an unstable flibberty-gibbet, I decided no matter what I would NOT COMPLAIN about my job, my commute, Detroit or anything on the periphery because I had made a conscious choice and I had to go with it. So, fine. A blizzard.
When I got into the building though I had to use the restroom quite badly and I rushed into a stall only to find the button on my pants had somehow mysteriously popped off and I had no way to keep my pants up. And I was in a stall with no toilet paper. So I spent my first day of work damp, with a binder clip holding my pants together and feeling a sort of come what may kind of attitude about the whole thing. Needless to say, it wasn’t my favorite day ever.
But, because the universe is kind, sometimes it gives you days like Saturday. S. and I went to Pittsburgh for the weekend to see a concert and visit my brother. We needed a weekend away and our favorite musician, Sonny Landreth, gave us the perfect excuse to slip out of town for the weekend. Friday night we arrived a little tired, and so we had a nice dinner at my brother’s restaurant – pasta carbanara for S.and veal parmesan for me, and went to the hotel for an early night. Saturday morning, though – Saturday morning we woke up with no idea what time it was. Since I am nearly blind I asked S. the time.
“7:30.” He said.
“Wow. I am totally awake.”
“Me too, it’s weird.” So we got out of bed, showered, and went down to have breakfast in the hotel, and every single breakfast food I adore was laid out as though specifically for me. Fresh cherries for the waffles, dried cranberries for the oatmeal, fresh squeezed orange juice and steaming hot pots of coffee. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then walked down to our old neighborhood, where we strolled among the shops. After buying a new outfit for S., I continued my hunt for a pair of close-toed navy heels (and, if I may, suggest to our cruel fashion industry that insists every woman show at least two of her toes at all times, the fact that I can’t find a basic navy pump not made out of canvas or decorated with dots is exceedingly annoying). While I didn’t find the elusive pumps, I did find in one of the stores a beautiful pair of chocolate-brown, tall, high-heeled boots. I looked at the boots. I looked at S. He rolled his eyes. I casually picked up the boot. My size.
“My size.” I said to S.
He sighed. I took off my absolutely inferior short black boots and pulled the brown one on. Made for me, it was. As though the designer thought just of me when creating the boot. I looked at S. again. He looked at the price tag. “Those are the last pair we have,” the saleswoman said. S. looked stern. “I will get them for you, but they are your birthday present, okay? Your birthday present.” Of course I said yes, and when we took them up to the counter, well, guess what? 75 % off! Yes, that’s right. 75% off. S. looked at me. “Shit,” he said, smiling.
Then we walked to my brother’s neighborhood and met D. and his girlfriend for a leisurely lunch (well, they ate – S. and I chatted with them) and it was all very light-hearted and fun. After splitting from D. and his girlfriend S. and I headed to the gelato shop on the corner. As I entered, the owner came rushing over – “No, no, no – we are closed. Closed for the day, I’m sorry.”
“Oh, okay. Is there anywhere else I can get a gelato?”
“Gelato? Is that all you want? Is chocolate okay?”
Is chocolate okay? What kind of question is that, really. I said yes.
“Okay, wait outside.” S. and I stood outside in the perfect air. We’d been walking around quite a bit but the temperature was such that we never got chilled, nor did we ever break the slightest sweat. The owner brought out a bowl teaming with chocolate gelato. “My treat.” He said. “Just come back for brunch.”
S. and I walked back to the hotel, splitting the gelato, which was a sweet, mellow chocolate that stays with you for a long time.
And then we napped.
Following our naps, we went to the bar we spent a good part of my graduate school career in, and ate the big greasy cheeseburgers we indulged in so often when living in Pittsburgh. And they were perfect. From there, D. picked us up and kindly drove us to the concert, where we got front row seats and proceeded to dance the night away with Sonny Landreth and his dance making music. The only disappointing thing about the concert was the audience…most of the people in the audience just sat in their seats, never moving a muscle. But I think that’s because in Pittsburgh you eat so much saturated fat you can’t move to well, most of the time. S. and I didn’t care. We danced. And after the concert we met members from the opening band and we met Sonny (for the second time, not that he remembers) and we waited outside on the mild, mild night and D. picked us up and we all (including D.’s girlfriend) went to our favorite bar and at one point D. picked up his phone and showed me the time (2:25) and he said “Bet you haven’t seen this side of midnight in six months.” And he was completely right – I hadn’t.
Every once in a while, well, you receive a day you have no right to, and Saturday was mine. From the moment I woke up until the moment I
passed out fell asleep, I felt blessed – blessed with the ability to enjoy good food, blessed with a perfect mate, a charming brother, whose girlfriend I find wonderful. I felt blessed with the very fortune of being born into an age of zydeco blues music and little sidewalk cafes and free gelato from handsome Italians and I can say without a doubt it is a day I will never, ever forget. The next time I have to binder clip my pants or remain in bumper to bumper traffic I will remember that I have had the perfect day, and a little congestion is nothing in the scheme of things.