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.”

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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 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.

Episode 14: Back Together Again

u-street-washington-dc

Saturday, October 11th at 12:34pm:

As I was pulling into the only available parking spot on K St. that I could locate after about ten minutes of driving around the block, I got a call from Jaz who I expected was already at the restaurant since she had left her home in Columbia Heights thirty-minutes ago. We had made plans to have a girls-day-out with Cindi and decided to start off with brunch at the new Busboys and Poets restaurant on 5th and K St. followed with shopping on U. St.

“Diane where are you?” Jaz sang happily into the phone.

“I just found parking a block away from the restaurant! I should be there in less than five minutes. Cindi will be about fifteen minutes late since her morning of pampering at the Four Seasons in Georgetown is taking longer than expected.” I said excitedly since I too was in a great mood and just happy to have my two best girls back and available to hang out. It had been over a month or so since we all hung out together. Cindi had been working major hours at her firm getting ready for a trial that was now thankfully going to settle and Jaz found out George, her boyfriend of eight years had been cheating on her using Match.com so she had just taken a break and gone home to visit her family.  Drama!

“Darling, did you get us a table? I heard from my friend Janice that the restaurant was packed when she stopped by yesterday. I was afraid that we might have to wait a while for a table today.” I said while locking my Jeep and walking towards the restaurant. Noticing how much gentrification was already evident in the surrounding neighborhood.

“No worries. I have that department covered. I am at our table now. I figured I would just sit and wait for you both knowing full well how crowded BB&P can be.” Jaz reassured noting our nickname for the popular local restaurant, bookstore and poetry hotspot.

It was great to hear that Jaz was in a better state now that she had been able to visit with her family. Even though she was quick to note that they were driving her nuts and she had to make her quick escape when they tried to recruit her to help manage her brother’s campaign for republican Representative to Congress knowing full well that she was a democrat.

Saturday, October 11th at 12:40pm:

“So, how are you doing darling?” I asked Jaz, “at least you look rested and tanned,” I continued also noting her cute, brightly colored outfit. She was fond of oranges, browns, yellows and other bright colors that went well with her honey complexion.

“I am well and glad to be back. I have some good news but I will wait until Cindi gets here.” She explained while looking around at the artwork around the restaurant. This location is surely now our new favorite hangout!

“Now, I am curious, but I can wait. I need to take a beach trip soon to reinforce my summer tan before my paleness wears in.” We both giggled over my last comment. Being part Jewish and part African-American and leaning more in skin tone towards my Jewish father did not obviously bode well for keeping a natural tan in the winter.

“Hey Divas!” We looked up to see Cindi looking happy and glowing probably due in part to an hour long massage and freshly moisturized face.

Saturday, October 11th at 12:59pm:

“Ok Jaz, we’ve just placed our order so you must tell us your big news.” I asked impatient from waiting.

“I got the lead part in a spring 2009 production at the Studio Theater!” she exclaimed.

“Awesome! I am so glad for you. You definitely deserve some wonderful news in your life.” I noted as we all high-fived!

“Now I am definitely in a dessert mood!” Cindi exclaimed.

“I will second that.” Jaz piped in.

“Can I tell you both a random story?” I said anticipating their full attention. “So, why did I go to Champs with Janice a few days ago and was hit on by a guy named Joseph. I’ve never before been hit on by a guy with the same name as my dad. He was cute, fine and tall with a great smile and a great conversationalist. Just the way I like them, but I could not stop thinking that if we were to ever get intimate and he said ‘who’s your daddy?’ I could never answer him and would have to die a thousand deaths!”

“Whoa! Never thought of that before. Did he have a middle name? You could always answer that, if you ever got to the point where he would ask you this question.” Cindi said while chuckling.

“I have no idea! I just did not want to go there. The thought was nauseating!” I said also not being able to stop laughing.

“Guys in this city suck anyway!” Jaz noted. Thankfully, our chai lattes arrived as a welcomed distraction before she became too sullen.

Saturday, October 11th at 2:38pm:

“Let’s all take my car to U. St.” Cindi noted. It sounded like a plan because after my buckwheat pancakes I was too full to drive.

Our first stop was Dekka, a co-op boutique featuring independent designers and artists.  It is a great place to go if you are a Diva looking for a one-of-a-kind wardrobe addition. And since our goal was hanging out later that night at the Layla Lounge in NE, we definitely needed diva divine stand out in the crowd outfits. So, I purchased a cute, short, navy blue dress from the Yo Soy fashion line with chain links in the back which allowed me to show off my legs. All that yoga had to be good for something!  The color went well with my left over summer tan. Jaz was still obviously hesitant about getting back on the proverbial dating horse but she still could not resist buying a silver, chiseled textured cuff from Golden Plum Designs Cindi being who she was opted for the sophisticated ruffled open front Fiona dress from Moojoo Ken.

We ended the shopping trip people watching for a few hours outside of Mocha Hut. I could not wait for our evening of fun. With the three of us together there are bound to be great laughs but hopefully not too many gaffes.