image by Tracy Benjamin via flickr
After seeing Beyonce in this winter (yes, THAT Beyonce, and OMGYOUGUYZ), my best friend and I were stuck in a garage for about an hour, part of a parking lot traffic jam. I swear, the concert planners were in cahoots with WMATA to make it hell to get out of there, specifically to make sure the next time I see Mrs. Carter at the Verizon Center, I will take the Metro. Maybe it was the fumes, but as soon as Sarah said, “I’d really love a late dinner,” soon began The Bit that Wouldn’t Die.
A “late dinner” is thrown-together, but not half-assed. It’s finishing off that leftover cheeseball from your dinner party a couple of days before, after you and a friend got back from a movie that was started at about 6 pm - and you only shared a small bag of popcorn and could REALLY use something else. You already have a bottle of white wine open and chilled in the fridge, the first half of which you enjoyed earlier that week watching DVR-ed episodes of Parenthood and Modern Family.
It’s pulling out the last of the water crackers and polishing off the olives. Ina Garten has late dinners during the week when Weekend Husband Jeffrey is out of town and she spent all day in the garden and all evening helping the Weekday Friends rearrange their furniture after two of them just moved in together.
Weekday Friend A: “Does…does anyone want a bite to eat?”
Weekday Friend B: I AM a little nibbly… just a little something?”
Ina Garten: “Let’s have a little late dinner, go back to my place and - “
Weekday friend B: “Oh, Ina (<- INA ALWAYS HOSTS THE LATE DINNERS) we’d hate to put you out like that.”
Ina: “No, no! I already have half a bottle of white open and some leftover appetizer fixings from my dinner party with The Senator earlier this week. It’s no trouble. Come on, we’ll just eat at the kitchen island and listen to some John Coltrane. No trouble at all!”
We eventually got out of the garage - thank you, North Carolina license plate lady! - but never got that late dinner. Now, whenever I see a block of $9 cheese or spinach and artichoke dip, I think of Beyonce and Sarah, and I can almost still smell the mix of gasoline and desperate hunger that made up our that last half of our night together.
I was terrified to take my first dance class in New York City.