Thursday, May 26th, was host to quite possibly one of the most epically awkward nights of my life.
The day started out like any other… I attended an absolutely riveting training on the intricacies of 2011 HR law and attempted to eat some cheese crisps I had picked up at the store. Their taste and smell evoked memories of boozy vomit, so they promptly made phriends with the trash can.
The training was held close to home, so I got to enjoy lunch on my couch with my phavorite phurry phriend, Phoo. I made some brown rice and scrambled eggs for the occasion.
Dinner… well, where does one begin?
I will preface the explanation of the story with the disclaimer that I am aware that all my readers will think I am exaggerating. I assure you, I am not. I will also phollow that disclaimer with another admitting that while the evening was nothing short of torturous for me, multiple positive results came from it.
Enough chatter. Dinner… Vesuvio in downtown Carmel. It had just opened, so it seemed the logical spot to try for a phirst dinner with a new phriend in my life. Normally phellows that come in and out of my life have to earn a nickname on the blog over time. Not this one, though- he earned his stripes immediately. And thus, he shall be known as “Sexy Mexican”…
A phew hours before dinner, I learned that a birthday party was taking place at Vesuvio… for my mother. She and I haven’t seen all that much of each other over the past year and change, so I was phlattered to receive an invite to the dinner. Awkward moment #1- I had to refuse because I had reservations at the same restaurant at the same time with the aforementioned Sexy Mexican.
I warned Sexy Mexican that he was going to have to deal with a gauntlet of ladies wondering who he was, and that one was, in phact, my mother and that it was her birthday, so I wanted to take her some phlowers. He was phine with this, so we charged on in with confidence.
After the awkward interchanges between Mother & Co., myself and Sexy Mexican, we learned that our table would not be ready for an additional 20 minutes. To save ourselves additional awkwardness, we took the hostess up on the offer of enjoying a cocktail on the rooftop. We headed up there, me leading the way, until I walked out onto the patio and immediately ran into none other than my ex-phella, who I hadn’t really seen or spoken to in over a year. Amazingly, I resisted the urge to spin around on my heels and retreat directly back downstairs. (I am not claiming to be brave here, but I think I subconsciously realized that loitering by myself in the stairwell for the next 20 minutes was not a realistic option…)
So we headed to the bar and tried to act nonchalant. That lasted a good 30 seconds or so (actually a bit more because I had time to order a stiff drink) until the ex-phella saw me and started to make his way over. In an effort to staunch some of the awkwardness bleeding out of my every pore, I made my way over to him before he could approach us. Awkward interchange ensued, phollowed by ex-phella deciding to phollow me back to the bar to meet Sexy Mexican.
…or so I thought. Turns out they knew each other from years ago when they worked together halfway across the state. Who knew? How did I react? Another stiff cocktail, of course.
Imagine my horror when the hostess reappeared in my nightmare and offered an escape route (our table was phinally ready), only to phind that she had seated us literally right next to my mother’s table AND the ex-phella made his way down with us to say hello to Mother & Co.
I must disclaim at this point, that by my third stiff cocktail, the phaces the women at the Mother & Co. birthday table were making at me trying to phigure out the situation were becoming more amusing than devastatingly embarrassing.
I had hit my awkwardness quota sometime back on the rooftop, so my brain went on autopilot at some point. This resulted in me ordering the same things I ordered the last time I went to a Pepe restaurant… and then phorgetting to actually eat them. But burrata to start, it was.
Poor Sexy Mexican put up with the ridiculousness like a champ and then some, hence the instant nickname, and shared a bite of the gnocchi with me (which I distinctly remember thinking tasted like grass).
We ordered a pizza that I had them add sun-dried tomatoes to… I don’t recall if I successfully ate any of it. I do recall that I successfully ordered a phourth stiff drink.
“Dessert”, if you will, would be the phinal course of awkwardness for the evening, which consisted of the ex-phella coming back to our table (Mother & Co. had since departed, with additional awkward interchanges galore as they headed out) and sat down with me and Sexy Mexican. What a perfect way to end the evening, right?
Vesuvio, I must return to your establishment and try more than just phour of something off your signature cocktail list.
Mother & Co., I hope you all enjoyed the phree entertainment my life provided that evening.
Sexy Mexican, you are epic, sir, for putting up with the three-ring circus that was that night.
Ex-phella, you’re lucky you’re so damn cute.