Here Comes the Sun
It was wonderful to actually see the sun this weekend after what seemed to be an eternity of dreary Saturdays and Sundays. One can take only so many rainy-day naps before nighttime insomnia sets in.
In addition to not having many juicy vignettes, my absence from Whirlygig has been the result of my sleepy, cookie-baking, Target-shopping, absent-minded ass forgetting to write my column by Monday at noon. So the sun arrived just in time. It's good to be back.
John celebrated his birthday Friday. His brother was in town visiting from Wisconsin, so Bill and I went out to dinner with them. Unlike me, John doesn't make a big deal out of his birthday. Every year I gather my guy friends together with as many exes as I can still locate (and treat civilly), throw in cake, liquor and my current boyfriend and pray that I don't end up embarrassing myself. (Mark your calendars for the week of July 13!)
But John is a bit more casual about such things. This year he went simple and decided on Camp Washington Chili. Bill and I were in favor because of price, friendly atmosphere and status as a Cincinnati staple. Plus John's brother, being an out-of-towner, is trying to eventually garner a gastric victory over Cincinnati chili with each successive visit. But he can do it. Even Bill, with his delicate, 1,000-thread count silk stomach lining, has developed a taste for our fair chili.
After dinner we wanted a sugar fix, so we decided on Kaldi's. Though it had been a while, Kaldi's was as cozy as ever. Our server Amanda was a blast, and the cheesecake was absolutely superb. Even the lactose-intolerant should try it ... believe me, it's worth it.
To my surprise, I saw a few familiar faces from Carol's and even an old neighbor from Senator Place. After being here almost four years, I'm used to seeing familiar faces around the city and I know my favorite places to go. But this winter was so indoor-oriented it was almost weird to experience that again. I guess it made me feel ... like a Cincinnatian again. Which is still fundamentally a good thing. Isn't it?
What to Wear
Dragging myself out of bed on a gray, rainy morning is tough and only made tougher when I stayed up until dawn watching the Academy Awards. Actually, I was more focused on the clothes that make the star instead of the lil' golden nudie guy, but that's part of the fun of it.
My friends agree that if we had designers, stylist mothers, artists for hair, magicians for make-up and plastic surgeons to boot, we would get it right Oscar night. Maybe it isn't easy in LA, but we manage here in Cincinnati to find the right outfit most nights and even some days.
I don't know how many of you remember the perfect little clothing boutique called Rags to Riches that used to sit up on the hill in Clifton, but it was a haunt. You could always find the number that was current with a hint of "look at me" thrown in. It wasn't inexpensive, but it didn't usually break the bank either, hence the name Rags to Riches. My favorite leather jacket came from there. The infamous purple suede and leather dress that made a man stand at attention was first discovered in that dressing room. How could I say no to butter on my skin?
Dressing for my life might be easier than it is for Halle and Nicole since I don't have Joan and Melissa's catty comments as I walk by, but try walking in Beluga on a Friday night and it's close.
Black is always a safe choice and goes anywhere. Of course, the entire right side of my closet looks alike, and I begin to have flashbacks of the Gothic look that scared me in high school. Still I wore a black, body-hugging knit when I snagged my last unsuspecting victim. Well, he wasn't that naive and victim was part of the game, but you get my point.
Angela says that lavender and brown are the hot, new combination for spring. I think I can do better with buttery yellow and again a buttery leather skirt that hugs the backend like the tailgater who followed me Wednesday. He was shaking his fist at me by the time I exited downtown. If he'd only known I left the thong at home, he would have been in a better mood.
Sometimes a girl just has to have secrets when she dresses to go out, even if it was a business dinner at Boca. All around me the tables clinked silverware and I feigned interest in the market discussion while I rode bareback. It's not just guys and jeans anymore, though I would gladly choose that over dessert tonight.
Thursday I had a ride scheduled for 5 and dinner at 6:30 at Akira for sushi. Clothes weren't the only problem there, as a mere canter wouldn't wear out my horse nor would a gallop get me there on time. Luckily my date likes sake and the sushi chefs are exceedingly fun and friendly, so when I breezed through the door in jodphurs and a gray cashmere turtleneck my date only smiled. I was a tad embarrassed that my boots were dirty and I smelled barn fresh, but take it or leave it. I wanted a stable relationship, so I bought a horse.
Every guy in the place either loves the way a girl looks fresh off the farm or they were noticing the hole in my sweater. Hey, you can't wear the good stuff to the barn, fellows.
Sometimes you have to have a new article of clothing for a date you feel a slight nervousness about or one that you have a heady sense of anticipation over. When that was the case for the marathon on Friday, I headed to Envy and To Die For in Hyde Park. Both places make me forget suburbia for a moment and feel like I did when I used to go to New York monthly as a buyer right out of college. Retail is a lot more fun when you're the customer, believe me, and shopping can be entertaining in both these shops. I settled for a new white blouse that added the spring touch to the pale yellow and dark green I had at home.
Friday started with breakfast at a friend's new place in Montgomery, which was divine. She makes the best coffee and homemade bread a girl could ask for, and we caught up on current lives and times.
Then I headed downtown for a need-to, want-to appearance with a could-be-interesting's performance at lunchtime. With an hour or two to kill, I snuck up to Clifton to see Italian for Beginners, which is delightful and refreshing. Needing a jolt of java, I read CityBeat at Sitwell's and received the phone call that makes a girl smile and glad she went shopping.
I headed out to meet friends and associates for drinks, followed by dinner and then music at the Promontory. I paced myself with club soda between vodka tonics and survived this marathon, but even I was fantasizing about lingerie by midnight. Politely excusing myself, I headed to my place listening to Sade sing "It feels like brand new shoes..." and climbed into the scrubs from one of the many hospitals I deal with daily. I wouldn't trade places with anyone on the red carpet.
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