Episode 30: Rain in my Brunch

The historic U.

The historic U.

Sunday, March 15th at 7:48am:


Location: Diane’s apartment on Capitol Hill
Scene: Diane under the covers

“Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick!” my eye lids were barely peeling apart as I was forced awake from a wonderful slumber.  Was I really just at Tiffany’s with my tiara and black sheath staring longingly at George Peppard as he threw gems my way? Not quite the same scene as the movie but lovely all the same and a warm contrast to this cold, dreary, rainy morning. I yawned and hugged the covers even closer.

“Ring! Ring! Ring!” the cacophony that was my land line sounding off propelled me awake in an instant. No more Tiffany’s. No more George.

“Darling good morning and why so early”, I uttered with a deliberate slur speaking with a fully awake Jaz on the other end of the line.

“Let’s do brunch at BB&P in about an hour. Today is my last day on the show so I can finally relax. We have at least until noon to talk and catch up!” she continued.

“I will be there!” This was the best news I’d heard in weeks and a perfect time to bring out my new cowl neck cardigan from Forever 21 believe it or not.

Sunday, March 15th at 8:52am:
Location: Busboys and Poets on  14th and V St., NW
Scene: Girls sitting on one of the couches

“I have a taste for some eggs and sausage this morning.”  Jaz stated while perusing the menu. Her usual was the granola, coffee and the french toast.

“Darling, aren’t you a strict vegetarian?” I asked while Cindi looked on curiously scrutinizing Jaz with her piercing eyes through her cat framed glasses.

“Oh please, as of last week, I am a flexitarian.” She said calmly afterwards pointing out that Cindi’s new bangs looked amazing. I looked at her baffled. That had to be a made up word.

Deciding to move beyond the topic of her food choices, I asked “now that the play is over, what do you plan to do? I hope you are no longer thinking about moving out-of-town like you were a few months ago.”

 “I’m not sure as of yet. With all the Shakespearean theaters in the area I could try to hone my skills as a classical actress and see where it leads from there. My only issues are whether I will be able to make enough money and two are there enough opportunities in this area and beyond. We shall see. Hopefully I won’t have to wait until I’m old and grey to get my Tony.”

“Or you Oscar! Don’t be silly. You will be fine.” Cindi finally piped in. Her ponytail seemed to bounce with more spirit than she herself has been able to muster all morning.

“What’s going on Cindi?” I asked out of concern. I hope it had nothing to do with Aidan.

“Aidan was laid off yesterday with about 20 other associates. Everybody at the firm is upset about this. I am worried too about my job but my new case is doing well and the client is bringing the firm lots of business.”

“I am sure you will be okay.” I tried to reassure her but I also knew that many other attorneys in the city had been laid off by their firms. Trying to make light of the situation, I said, “If anything, you can always crash on my couch and or try consulting. We can be work buddies.”

She rolled her eyes, “sure, thanks. Hopefully, we will both be safe from either of those options.”

Episode 26: The Inauguration

Peace

Peace

Thursday, January 15th at 12:31pm:

 

 

 

Location: Café Asia, 1720 I Street, NW

Scene:  Diane and Cindi eating sushi at restaurant and talking.

“Ok, so I think I found us tickets to the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball!” Cindi blurted as soon as she sat down barely removing her grey wool coat.

“How did you do that? I thought it was one of the invitation only events. This better be good because some people are willing to stand outside in the cold for days to get these tickets and kiss any willing behind.  So, whose butt are you kissing?” I said staring at her with a smirk.

I knew she would start off by telling me something to the effect that she was only looking out for us, that we couldn’t miss any opportunity to meet the beautiful and professional (hopefully) men who would be descending on the city all dressed up in their tux and dapper fineries. Hmm mmm…we should probably add a hopefully to the beautiful part of this scenario as well, come to think of it. Overall, new faces to flirt with are always a single girl’s dream.

Cindi started, “getting the tickets was a little tricky but it will be worth it in the end.  You, me and Jaz are going to have so much fun!” she exclaimed.

 “Suuuure, so who did you get them from?” I stopped chewing on my Tuna Maki to give her the sideways stare. Truth be told, I did not care who the tickets were from, I was just happy we were all able to attend. And I was not surprised that Cindi was able to pull off the tickets, since she was pretty resourceful when she really wanted something.

She responded at probably two or three hertz’s below an auctioneer, “well I was going to ask my boss if he knew of a way to get the tickets.  Aidan walked into my office to drop off some papers and while he was there we started talking about the Inauguration. He mentioned that he was going to two of the Balls. I asked him, how was that possible because he mentioned the ones with the hardest tickets to come by. Then he mentioned that his dad was a lobbyist who had donated lots of money to the campaign as an individual.  And so, because of the amount he had donated he was given five tickets to two events and would only attend one. So he gave Aidan all the tickets to the Mid-Atlantic and Aidan offered three to me.  So, that’s how we get to go.  Fun, huh?” She finished and I realized that all I heard was Aidan and fun and huh.

“Oh boy, I guess the excitement that day will not only surround Obama! This will be interesting. I’ve got my dress so I am game!” I uttered a spasmodic laugh and I toasted to the ball with her smiling and shaking my head, while catching a swift glimpse of apprehension on her countenance.  In a nanosecond it had disappeared. I wonder if her knowing what Aidan’s dad did for a living made his overtures less repulsive.

Tuesday, January 20th at 4:02pm:

Location: Cindi’s Apartment, Logan Circle

Scene:  Diane, Cindi and Jaz preparing for the ball.

“Darling, did you see the ambulance outside your building?” I asked Cindi as I entered her apartment simultaneously laying down my bags and Inauguration Day collectibles.

“I think my neighbor fell down the stairs. It was weird since I did not realize he was sick. Hopefully those crazy kids in the neighborhood were not bothering him.” She noted and the asked, “Jaz, where is your Ball gown?” as we both looked at Jaz who was holding up a black hippie style skirt and wrap style silk shirt.

My only response was to laugh out loud at the scene because I knew Cindi was just upset–because Jaz was recycling a few items from her closet and did not buy anything new to wear.

“Whatever! Don’t knock my outfit.  It’s fab and you’re jealous.” Jaz stuck her tongue out kindergarten style and walked towards the bathroom.

“Okay, let’s hide the skirt and find her something from my closet! We are not going to have these pictures taken for posterity with her next to us looking like a hippie. Did standing in the cold all day get to her brain?” Cindi sounded frustrated.  She was probably just trying hard to now make a good impression on Aidan and his friends. “Do you think she will fit into this fabulous black Byron Lars dress I purchased from Everard’s Clothing in Georgetown but never wore?” She continued, pulling the satin dress out of her closet.

“It’s up to you,” I shrugged. “I think there is nothing wrong with the outfit she chose. After a spiritually uplifting day as today I will not be judging anyone. Didn’t Obama say something about ‘unity of purpose over conflict’?”

At that moment, Jaz walked out of the restroom wrapped in her robe.

“Jaz babes, here are some goodies I laid out for you while you were taking your shower. What do you think?” Cindi was so determined that she just might get her feelings hurt.

“What! Hey, if you are offering, then I am taking. Hand the dress over and by the way, are you expecting it back?”  Jaz was excited while Cindi rolled her eyes and headed to the restroom to start her preparation ritual.

Jaz turned to me, “if I knew that wearing one of my gypsy skirts was all it took for Cindi to hand over one of her nicer dresses, I would’ve worn it a long time ago.”

We both started laughing. I could tell already that the evening would be equally amusing as the preparation process was becoming.

Tuesday, January 20th at 7:10pm:

Location: Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball, Washington Convention Center – Hall A

Scene:  Diane, Cindi and Jaz at the ball.

When we left Cindi’s apartment out of the corner of my eyes I noticed the boys she was referring to earlier. Thankfully we were able to grab a cab on 14th. They gave me the chills but that was neither here nor there. I put all thoughts of them aside when we entered the ball room.

“Hey Aidan, these are my friends Jaz and Diane.” Cindi introduced us to the tall, lanky Krispy Kreme donut tanned guy who was cute in a “golly Beave” kind of way.

We both said, hi but I guess she was taken aback when he introduced us all to his friend Nicholas who was preppy-cute with rimless glasses and a complexion of hot chocolate with an equal amount of milk and chocolate. Jaz walked away because she was still not in the dating or flirting mood, Cindi on the other hand was stuck with Aidan who proceeded to grab her hand and guide her to the dance floor while low and behold I was left with Nicholas who gladly agreed to walk with me to grab some food. I waved good bye to Cindi all the while smirking to myself because I knew she was just now beginning to feel stuck as she bopped away with Aidan who could not get his hands and legs to coordinate and move to the beat of the same song.

Episode 25: No More Drama…For Now

christian-louboutin-black-leather-pumps2

Wednesday, January 7th at 4:41pm:

Location: James Consulting, 20th and K Street

Scene:  Diane sitting at her desk.

I decided after work on Tuesday that I was going to de-drama-fy my work life.  You can say I should have decided this before the first day.  But when thoughts of grabbing Margaret’s aka “Maggie’s” golden ponytail and dragging her out the building with the sole purpose of wrinkling and ruining her always in place skirt and shirt ensemble (but not her Louboutin Platform pumps, of course), I knew the time for reform was now. 

So, I became determined to ignore the way she cuts off everyone at the Tuesday meeting.  I turned a blind eye to her always thinking she knows everyone else’s job better than them.  And I did not pay attention to her uninvited opinions and suggestions at the staff meetings.  Most importantly, I pretended not to see or hear the snide remarks she makes that leave her victims confused, when they see her for what she is whether to be hurt or pleased for the acknowledgement.  

But for others, she could do no wrong. For example, to Triste in PR (one of the “I am just here to work” types), this morning Maggie told her, “cute skirt”.  I knew she was disingenuous because everyone could tell that somewhere between walking out of her house and getting to work she had spilled some ketchup down the side seam of her skirt.  She also managed to have twisted the skirt so that the front was now the back and vice-versa.  Why not just tell Triste to check herself in the restroom. It was obvious her comment was probably a dig.  But,Triste did not think so because she was smiling like Brad Pitt had asked her out on a date. 

I was not surprised at Triste’s reaction, because on Monday she had confided to me in the restroom that she had lost 60 pounds recently via gastric bypass. Because of this, I knew she would be excited to receive any compliment or fashion acknowledgement especially from the most well dressed girl in the office.  I looked on and rolled my eyes yet after observing the “compliment” scene I knew Maggie was a true expert at the game.  I realized commenting to the naïve would not be beneficial.

Wednesday, January 7th at 6:20pm:

Location: Zola, F Street NW Capitol Hill

Scene: Diane sitting in lounge area near the bar waiting for Jaz and Cindi.

I planned on meeting Jaz and Cindi for happy hour. We chose Wednesday because it was a slow night and we needed to talk.

“Yes, I am waiting on friends, but I would like to order a French martini and hamburger and fries.”  I was starving and both Cindi and Jaz were running late.  I figured that they would have to find parking when they got here so it would probably be another forty minutes or so before I saw them.  And I just could not resist the Zola french-fries. They are the best.

Surprisingly, Jaz showed up twenty minutes after I placed my order.

“Hey lady, look at all this food! If I did not know how much you love these fries I would think you are doing the food consoling thing.”

Not sure that I wanted to complain on an empty stomach, I noted, “you got here pretty quickly, Did you take a cab?”

She shifted and started searching for some random, phantom object in her bag so I knew this would be good. After a while she responded, “George gave me a ride.”

George! Are you kidding me?!” I sat looking at her, my mouth opened, as I held a half eaten piece of French fry next to my cheeks. 

“We are just friends and maybe not.  He wanted to talk and I needed a ride so he obliged.  Don’t worry I will not be dating anyone anytime soon”, she said while poking her fingers into my fries, pulling out a few. The waitress appeared and she ordered her own batch as well as a French martini.  “So how is work?” she continued.

“It’s ok.  I am just trying to figure out how to get without getting involved in any drama.  Trying to make 2009 drama-free.”

Then my phone buzzed. It was a text from Cindi saying she was running late.

“That’s good. Because you have had enough work drama to last awhile.” She continued, “here are two complimentary tickets to the opening of my show in March, something to look forward to. Hugs hon.”

Episode 23: Strange Bed Options

A Study of a Caribbean Beach in December

A Study of a Caribbean Beach in December

Friday, January 2nd at 7:23am:

 

 

 

Location: Diane’s Father’s home in Boston

Scene:  Standing in the living room with her bags.

 

“Dad, are you ready to head out?”

I had been calling him for the last 15 minutes. My flight leaves in 3 hours but I was just afraid of the walking into another web of chaos at the airport.  I remained impatient although Carmela had accepted the mission to pull him away from his study and the telephone. He was unofficially working from home today.  I would have asked my step brothers to take me to the airport but they had already taken off with the speed of running bulls when their college buddies suggested spending New Year’s Eve in New York. It had been kind of nice just the three of us in the house over the last few days.  A rarity though they’ve been married for six years now. Carmela gave great advice on my Chris situation and I was going to open myself more to a romantic relationship with him. 

“One moment,” he called from the top of the stairs, “I just need to put on my shoes and we should be on our way.” 

Thank goodness!

Sunday, January 4th at 10:44am:

Location: Busboys and Poets, 5th and K St., NW Washington, DC

Scene:  Ladies on top floor couch sipping on hot chocolate and reading the paper.

 

“Did you all hear about the dress registry website?” Jaz lazily flopped one of her booted feet on the couch. I could tell by looking at her knees that she had a great tan from her vacation home in Miami.

“No. I’ve been a hermit the last few days. What about it?” Cindi responded.

“It’s the best idea ever! Events are listed on a website and women who plan to attend can add the dress they plan to wear with dress details and a picture to the site.  For one of the Inaugural Balls someone listed that they are wearing an H&M dress.  Now, I am all for making sure some other diva does not show up with the same dress at the same event, but what diva would want someone else to know how much they actually paid for a super fabulous outfit.”  She explained with eye rolls using her hands to express how appalled she felt. 

“Hilarious indeed!  I will have to check it out. So, Cindi how was your vacation? Your tan looks great by the way darling.” She was seating in front of me more relaxed than I’ve seen her in a long time, red turtle neck, gold hoop earrings, hair in a ponytail and a slight brush on her lips of her favorite MAC lip gloss.  I wonder who the guy is.

“My vacation was great.  The family was together with my grandparents for the first time in four years. Grandma looked healthy after a scary stay in the hospital at the beginning of the month. Yvonne got to show off her engagement ring to the cousins. We partied till the sun came up just about every night for a week. Good times.” She nonchalantly stirred her hot chocolate.

I gave her a sideways glance, scrunching up my nose Samantha the witch style. I did not believe her. “Really and what else has been going on since you’ve returned?” I continued. Jaz’s head finally popped up in my direction periscope style.

“Nothing.” She squinted at me, “just vacation afterglow. I did see Jamie Foxx on the flight back. He is so cute.”

“Are you kidding me? Please don’t let me regurgitate my breakfast. Every time I see him on the blogs pouring drinks down a girl’s throat I think classy <air quotes>. He seems like the kind of guy who would purposely ride on the packed train car just to cop a secret feel.” Jaz spat her criticism and finished with another elaborate eye roll.

“Well, I still think he’s cute and would not hesitate to get secretly copped if the opportunity knocked.” She continued with a sly smile. Jaz turned the page of the Post style section obviously trying to ignore her response.

“How is Aidan?” I was still suspicious that something was brewing with that relationship and did want to get thrown off the scent.

“My goodness, you are like my second mother! Ok, so I have been sleeping with Aidan. I’ve just been too embarrassed to tell you ladies. I should have never taken things to home base with him.  But anyways I ended it this morning and so I am wearing a happy color.” She ended puffing out her chest and smoothing out her cashmere turtle neck. “Peruvian Connection by the way.” And so was the end to the revelation.

“Hmmm…the big reveal finally. We knew there were holes in the story you told us a few weeks ago.” Jaz nodded in my direction.

I shook my head, “maybe for 2009 we will have to work on getting you a serious man.”

“I know. You are probably right but we shall see.” I knew deep down she was in it for the chase and there was no chance of her staying in a relationship for more than the three month mark.

 

Episode 21: Show Me Who You Are…

A Study of 24th and M Street
A Study of 24th and M Street

 

 

Sunday, December 7th at 12:23pm:

Location: Blue Duck Tavern, 24th and M Street, NW

Scene: Diane and Chris have arrived at the restaurant early for their brunch date with Jaz and Cindi. They are sipping on Mimosas.

 

“Darling, I pass this hotel on the way to my physician all the time and I’ve never noticed this restaurant before.” I noted looking around at the modern yet traditionally decorated restaurant spotting the artisan bread laid out in the kitchen below the lounge where we sat.

 “I think you will like the brunch offerings here. It might not be your usual fare but it will nonetheless be a delightful treat for your taste buds.  Next summer, we should come here together. One night a week they roast an entire pig, believe it or not and it’s absolutely delicious.” Chris noted while drinking the last of his mimosa. I took a moment to admire the delicate connection of a small fuzz of hair from his wrist peaking through his blue stripped shirt sleeve while touching his hands adding to the nerve ridged and sinew bulged masculinity, a contrast to his delicate grasp of the glass while he drank. My eyes wondered to his well groomed finger nails.  He was always well polished.  I’d never dated a guy so well groomed.  It made me nervous that he would be appalled if he noticed any of my out of place eyebrow hairs or week overdue bikini wax. He says he does not care but that is left to be believed as we have not moved beyond being just occasional daters.

 I thought to myself, did he just say next summer, as in he is planning ahead. Breathe in…wait a minute this is Chris, I almost forgot he talks a lot and gets excited about things like restaurants and food and he may say things that end with no follow through. Umm, think I will go into my Missouri state, and wait till he shows me he is really planning ahead with me and as a result wants to have a serious relationship.

“Hey you two how are you doing?” Jaz proclaimed as she walked into the restaurant with Cindi. They were being led to where we were lounging by the hostess.

Chris stood up almost instantly and I began to make the introductions. Since we started dating he had never met Jaz.  Cindi and I met him together but that was late one night at his restaurant so it was like she was seeing him for the first time. After the introductions, we were then led to our table.

“So, mister food know-it-all what is good on the menu?” I asked noticing unlikely brunch items like whiskey cured Coho Gravlax.  The choice of where to eat was Chris’s as usual, he would have it no other way.

“You’d be surprised to hear me say this but the grits here are really nice and creamy with a thick consistency due to the cheddar cheese folded into the sauce. They are actually better than the ones at the Georgia Browns brunch buffet.” He also noted for good measure highlighting his broad knowledge of Washington restaurants. He continued “actually everything here tastes good and is fresh so feel free to try something new. I am going to get the Irish breakfast and the grits.” He said continuing to examine the menu.

Sunday, December 7th at 2:48pm:

Location: M Street Georgetown

Scene: Diane, Jaz and Cindi walking from store to store.

We expected to be assaulted by absentminded cab drivers while driving down M Street but instead we had to contend with throngs of tourists either just visiting or commencing their early holiday shopping. We finally found parking outside of the MAC store on M Street. 

“Ladies thanks for coming with me to take care of these quick wedding related errands. Glad you are both here because I wanted to talk about Aidan and work without Chris overhearing.” Cindi noted. As her sister’s maid of honor, she was slowly descending into full wedding planner mode.

“I understand. It was good hanging out with Chris but sometimes I think all he wants is someone to show off his restaurant knowledge to.  To be honest, he is great but I am going to start looking for another guy.” I thought out loud. 

“Whatever Diane, I see the way you look at him and how he looks intently at you when you are just saying ‘pass the butter please’. There is more between the two of you so just give it time. I think sometimes we just need to be patient at the start of a relationship.” Cindi noted sounding like she has been seeking advice from her soon to be married sister. Without fail expertise comes with the engagement ring. “At least you don’t have to worry about fooling around with your co-worker only to realize that he does not respect you and that he went ahead and told someone your same year at the firm that you are sleeping with him.” She revealed.

“You’re sleeping with him? Are you out of your mind!” Jaz stated while pausing and changing her mind about entering the MAC store for a quick look around. “A few weeks ago you were annoyed that he was too forward but you are still moving on with a relationship with him. I am so confused Cindi.  This could ruin your professional reputation.”

“We’re not sleeping together he is lying and/or delusional! All we’ve done is kiss at the office and I’ve been avoiding him for the past week or so. My friend at work told me what he said and I pretended to not know what she was talking about.” Cindi exclaimed as Jaz became quiet and we started walking to the Restoration Hardware store. I did not think we would get much bridal registry work done at all.

“You have to sit him down and make it clear that there is nothing between the two of you and avoid him like the plague. Pretend you did not even kiss him when you are both in public and find some other guy to go to the firm Christmas party with to send the message to everyone especially him.” I responded after quickly reflecting on what was going on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 19: Straightened Hair and Sticky Fingers

Capitol Hill - A Study of 2nd and D St., NE

Capitol Hill - A Study of 2nd and D St., NE

Saturday, November 22nd at 3:14pm:

Location: Bubbles Hair Salon, Capitol Hill

Scene: Jaz and Diane are getting their hair washed and blown out.

 

Cindi and I decided that she would take over the logistics of Jaz’s surprise birthday party and I would handle keeping Jaz distracted throughout the day. We had decided to hold the event tonight at Station 9 on 15th and U St., NW.

 

“So, birthday girl do you want curls or do you want your hair blown out straight?” Rogers the hairstylist asked Jaz while leaning over her from behind playing with her freshly washed hair, red lollipop as usual firmly stuck in his mouth.

 

“Hmmm…actually I haven’t worn it straight in awhile. Let’s try that.” Jaz hesitated for awhile before making up her mind.

 

Looking over from the nearby chair of my stylist, I noted “hey lady, I think that’s a good choice.”  I walked over to watch Rogers in action grabbing a Tootsie Roll from his permanently stocked candy bowl. For months Jaz had been talking about wearing her hair straight for a change of pace, however, although she thought her curly do was a bit boring, she usually kept the same look because it was more wash and go and did not entail having to take time out of her schedule to go to the hair salon.

 

“I was thinking a straight look would go well with the v-neck Nina mini dress I just bought from the Unsung Designers online boutique. I can’t wait to go to the concert tonight. It’s the perfect birthday gift. I just hope Cindi having to go to work today will not mean that she might have to cancel tonight.  I haven’t been able to reach her all day.” she explained as Rogers started applying the styling lotion.

 Bubbles in the rain.

“Honey, how old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?” Rogers asked grabbing another candy from the jar.

 

“Hmmm…well. I will be thirty years old on Monday.” Jaz said in what seemed like a self affirmation evident in the deep breath she took half-way through her response.

 

“Only thirty…you don’t look a day over twenty-five and I mean it,” Rogers complimented her right before he started blow drying her hair.

 

“Thanks Rogers! You keep talking to me like that and I just might become a regular client.” Jaz proclaimed while unexpectedly leaning over to grab a red lollipop.

 

In a whirlwind, Rogers swiftly smacked her on the wrist, admonishing “the red ones are mine love, but you are welcome to any of the other colors, thank you!” And with that he continued working and she looked at me in shock while I laughed uncontrollably. I could so see Rogers do the same to his two children. I think Jaz will see this as a reason to never stray from her healthy diet again!

 

Saturday, November 22nd at 6:14pm:

Location: Diane’s apartment, Capitol Hill

Scene: Jaz and Diane getting ready for a night out. Jaz still does not know what is happening.

 

“Cindi just sent me a text saying she is running late. Do you want to meet her at Station 9 before the concert to grab a drink and some appetizers before heading to the show?” I was still trying to play it cool. Jaz was still in the dark about the birthday events…and come to think of it, so was I.  Hmmm… Cindi is known to go overboard while party planning so it will be interesting to see how things turn out. Hopefully, there won’t be any piñatas! Jaz’s mom, dad and brother were also in town for the party and had been helping Cindi all day long.

 I saw the sign.

“Sounds like a plan. I love their appetizers. What time is the concert again?” she asked admiring her hair in the full length mirror in my bedroom.

 

“It should start at 10pm. You should wear your hair straight more often! It looks absolutely divine on you and brings out your bone structure,” I said noticing how she looked amazingly polished. “Crap! I can’t believe this!” I spilled the strawberry jam on my new shirt!

 

Giggling, Jaz noted, “it never ceases to amaze me how without fail you are either causing an accident or stepping into one.”

 

“Hmmm!” was all I could muster in response as I tried to remove the sticky and quickly settling stain.

 

Saturday, November 22nd at 8:15pm:

Location: Station 9, 15th and U St.

Scene: Party goers already assembled and waiting for Jaz’s appearance at her surprise party.

 

“Diane, I can’t believe you were intent on stopping at the gas station for gum. You know how Cindi is a stickler for time!” Jaz was annoyed at how long it took me to get the gum from the store, but unbeknownst to her I had to stall for a minute. Cindi needed some extra time because unfortunately Jaz’s mom had taken too long getting ready. Oh the irony.

 

“Sorry Darling…well we are here now and it’s your birthday so you’ve got to cheer up!” I said trying to sound chipper. “Oh, since we are just here for appetizers and drinks Cindi mentioned that she would just wait for us upstairs where it’s more lounge-like.”  I inhaled.

 

“Ok.” She followed me up the stairs.

 

“Surprise!!!” The entire room of about 50 friends and family erupted as we walked in the room.

 

Jaz’s hands went up to her mouth in genuine shock and delight as she ran over and hugged her mom and dad and then Cindi and me. Mission accomplished and more importantly lots of streamers, balloons, party favors, a yummy looking chocolate cake from the Sticky Fingers vegan bakery and thankfully no piñatas!

Episode 18: Fishy Pedis and Crazy Cabbies

Mall at dusk.

Mall at dusk.

Sunday, November 9th at 10:14am:

Location: National Mall

Scene: Ladies are wearing sweat suits and stretching before getting ready for their run

“How was your mom’s visit?” I asked working at stretching past my sneakered legs.

“It was good. She is happy Guillermo won the election and she just wanted to make sure I was ok.  I miss my mommy already!” Jaz said as she settled into the grass lying on her back.

“We both had Dr. Fish pedicure in Alexandria . It was actually really nice.“ She continued still lying on her back stretching her legs ultra limber from years of dancing.

“Hey chica glad you had a nice visit, but come on and get up we’ve got to get this work out session on the way.” Cindi reached for Jaz’s hand to pull her up and with that we were off.

 I hated working out outside. As my lungs began to burn I could tell that this was definitely nowhere near the comfort of the heated gym with six television screens. For some reason I liked doing most outdoors activities except running. The five miles had just started but already they seemed like an eternity. Le sigh.

 Jaz continued, “we also went birthday gift shopping while she was here and she bought me a fabulous pink and white dress in African fabric from L~ Shandi at the Caramel boutique.  The only problem is that I have nowhere to wear it but I was hoping that if we were invited to an Inauguration party it would be perfect. Cindi start working that networking magic of yours!” Jaz said finishing with a smile while giving Cindi a quick pat on her shoulders.  

Cindi always had the knack of getting into fabulous events by just flashing her smile. I guess the easiest door opener is pulling up in the beamer, wearing high-end clothes and looking likeyou own  the place  gets the door open.  

“Don’t worry girl I am on this mission already. I think my boss at the firm who is sure to get a ticket might have to head out of town for a client meeting. Which sucks for him because even MLK day is not celebrated at this company. I’ve already joked with him that the tickets are mine as replacements for all of my paper cuts.” Cindi seemed determined and I had no doubt she would score the tickets.

Sunday, November 9th at 11:43am:

Location: Cindi’s Mercedes, Driving North on Connecticut Ave., NW

Scene: Cindi and Diane are heading to Cindi’s apartment where she promised to make them both some breakfast.

 “Ok. So what are we going to do for Jaz’s 30th birthday? The 24th of November is right around the corner.” Cindi asked as she tried to maneuver around some aggressive pedestrians trying to catch a cab curbside.“Get in your lane you jerk!” she yelled as a cabbie tried to cut in front of her abruptly and without signaling.  “These cab drivers get on my nerves on a daily basis!” Cindi yelled some more.

 I sat in the car speechless but laughing internally. I was becoming more and more used to the Mr. Hyde that was Cindi the driver.

 “We could throw her a party at Local 16 or some other similar place. I don’t think she would like another sit down dinner. Or we could do a day trip to West Virginia.” I was running out of great ideas.

 “A trip to West Virginia for her birthday?! Are you kidding me? Camping and white water rafting in freezing cold water does not make a fun birthday bash. For you, yes.  But for her, no.” Cindi went on and I was starting to get annoyed.

 “Ok. I get it. So what do you suggest?”  I said rolling my eyes as I climbed out of the car. We arrived at her apartment building in Logan’s Circle.

 “Hi George,” she said acknowledging the desk clerk as we walked to the elevator. She continued, “Jaz needs something more fantabulous than that.  I say we stick with the party idea and work with that. Maybe we can invite some of her acting and dance friends and probably see if we can have it upstairs at Mahogany with a DJ and an 80’s theme.” Cindi was on a role and focused. 

 I knew from experience that the planning for the party was bond to go overboard. But I instantly knew that Jaz deserves it since the last couple of months have not treated her well.

 

Sunday, November 9th at 12:15pm:

Location: Cindi’s kitchen/dining room, Logan’s Circle

Scene: Gray painted spacious room enough to fit three comfortably with chocolate lacquered hardwood floors, marble counters and stainless steel appliances cushions and callas lilies in a corner near the refrigerator.

 Cindi started making our egg white omelets.  We had vowed to spend the rest of the day on the healthy track.  There was not much for me to do besides make the toast and cut some fruit.  After that was finished, I headed to the bathroom. While tinkering around for some face wash, I spotted a tube of men’s shaving gel.

 “So how are things with Aidan?” I asked.

 “Hmmm…he is ok.” Cindi said keeping her back towards me. “Ok. He’s been staying over.” She pouted and then went back to the eggs. “I think I really like him,” she continued. And we are trying to keep things platonic at work.” She resolved.

 “I hope so.” Was what I said out loud but I wondered if she really had things under control since she’d said before that he was a bit touchy-feely at work.