Measured Extravagance

2001-06-07 - 10:38 a.m.

Well, I didn't get to bed until midnight last night, but it was more than worth it: I ate another basil-mayonnaise sandwich, played with the puppy, and fiddled with a poem until the BYM arrived home. I didn't feel up to cooking, so we eventually strolled down to Cafe Margot, a new restaurant in our neighborhood. It's an interesting space (a narrow balcony above the bar; copper pans ranging from baby to ten-egg omelette sizes on the brick walls; a deliberately "unfinished" paint job), and the food was good: I had a glass of Spanish sparkling wine, a salad (baby greens, pine nuts, cantaloupe and balsamic dressing) and veal roulade stuffed with spinach and bleu cheese with a sweet eggplant salsa. Through all of this, the BYM and I caught each other up on four days' worth of news (who's in hospital, who's moved where, who broke up, etc. - strictly speaking, the four days' worth really encompassed several months, since it included the updates Saz, Erac and others had passed on to me during my visit) and thoughts (the composition of UU congregations, the relics of Pope whatshisname, the Mayor's incinerator plans) and heckling:

The BYM: See those stamps on the bulletin board? Don't touch those stamps!
Mechaieh: Of course I won't touch those stamps. They're boring stamps.
The BYM: Well, I wouldn't have had to go out to get boring stamps if I could have found the interesting stamps in the house.
Mechaieh, reaching under a stack on her drafting board: See? Interesting stamps.
The BYM snorts derisively and ruffles through the envelope: That one [the Library of Congress stamp] is kinda nice. . . I don't see any interesting postcard stamps in here. . .

Ah, it's good to be home -- even if I was a little startled by Phelps's characterization of Nashville as "a nifty place with all sorts of interesting nightlife." Not that I mind the compliment, of course - but I must confess that I don't tend to think of myself as a nightlife sort of gal. Sure, I'm usually up at all sorts of ungodly hours, but more often than not, I'm brewing my mischief at home, not on Second Avenue or at Six Degrees or any of the hot spots that comprise the realm of "The New New Nashville." All of my black dresses are more than two years old, and only one of them stops above the knee. I can't identify a single song in today's Top 40 (on my tape player today? John Hiatt yellin' out "This Thing Called Love").

But still, I do think I know what Phelps meant - I grew up in a county with no public library, and where none of the downtown buildings exceeded three stories high, and that's why I feel thrilled every time I gaze at the Nashville skyline: I may not be out playing as hard as the darlings of page 3, but there's still such pleasure in the looking, and there's certainly pleasure in tasting (if restaurants and coffeeshops count as "nightlife," I concede that sizeable portions of my paycheck end up in their tills).

(And speaking of that paycheck, it's time I microwaved another mug of water for tea and returned to the mounds of paperwork. The glamorous life, indeed. . .)

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