So, it was a good weekend at the restaurant. On a night when I expected to be sent home the moment I walked through the door, I ended up selling almost $1,000 worth of food and drinks. Somehow, the off-season isn’t nearly as mind-numbing and boring as I remember.
The extra padding in my wallet has left me feeling spendy. I bought a bottle of wine Monday night. I like Penguin cabernet because it tastes good and costs $6.99 at the liquor store next to my favorite grocery.
But I’ve always got an eye out for a deal. I bought something different Monday in celebration of my roommate’s homecoming. She’s been gone for a month. It’s just been me and the mice, who I serenaded once or twice in hopes they would feel compelled to help me clean the condo and maybe make a gown for the ball.
I splurged Monday and spent and extra $2 on a pinot noir that normally costs $10.99.
The wine was great. My roommate drank her share and we had a nice night of cooking and listening to “This American Life” together.
The next day, I went back to the liquor store. I took another bottle of the pinot noir off the shelf and walked toward the counter. Then I remembered that the people who work at this liquor store seemed to be recognizing me lately. The Russian girl behind the counter asked me, “what was your birthday, again?” the last two times I bought bottles here instead of, “can I see your ID?”
I contend this is because she recognizes me and not because I’ve suddenly started looking old.
There are some places where you like to be known – the cafe where you get eggs Benedict, the post office, the bakery, even the deli counter at the grocery – nice wholesome places where you long for a friendly face and where it feels warm and comforting for everyone to know your name.
And then there’s the liquor store.
So, I went back and picked up a bottle of the old standby Penguin. Two bottles. That should hold me over for a while, I thought, at least long enough for the Russian girl to forget my birthday again.
I got home and poured myself a glass, took a shower and started watching a movie on the Internet. I worship the Internet and it’s magic powers to bring absolutely anything I want to see to my little 8” by 10” screen, even if the words don’t always match the lip movements of the characters. No one is perfect, not even the Internet.
After watching a 30-minute TV show, with pauses for buffering, and a feature-length film, with pauses for buffering, and surfing the Argentine classifieds on Craigslist.org, I looked over and noticed my wine glass was empty. I went back downstairs to get some more. I tipped the bottle and a finger-nail’s worth of my $8 pinot noir poured into the glass.
A few minutes later, my friend Cara texted me.
“How is it so easy to drink a bottle of wine alone?”
I was just wondering that.
Oh well, at least I had the Penguin for tonight.