Sunday, November 25, 2007

You can't invite him for dinner?

Thanksgiving week was great. Work was absolutely quiet which made for no guilt playing hooky on Wednesday. I don't think anyone in my department bothered to come to work.

On Monday night, I had a brief chat with my mother. I had been thinking this would be my opportunity to warm her up to the idea that I'm dating someone.

Mom: "What is GradCousin doing for Thanksgiving?"

Me: "I don't know. He mentioned that his friend invited him over last year for a family dinner and is hoping that he'll be invited again."

Mom: "So what are your plans for Thanksgiving?"

Me: "Well, do you remember my friend, Tim, who gave you the keys to my place when you came up to visit that time?"

Mom: [one second pause] "Yeah."

Me: "Well, we're dating. We decided since none of our friends will be around that we're going to drive up to [xxx] for a couple of days to go hiking and explore a museum."

Mom:[two second pause] "So does that mean you can't invite GradCousin and his friend over for Thanksgiving?"

Me: "Sorry, I thought about that but it didn't make sense to have a whole turkey for three of us. I figure I'll just catch up with him later during the weekend."

Mom: "Are you sure you can't plan Thanksgiving dinner and invite him over?"

Obviously, Mom was more concerned about taking care of family. As much as I like getting to know my cousin, I hate that my mother now expects me to keep an eye on him. She's even tried getting me to help her set him up with some friend's daughter. I've refused, and she just gets mad at me. Ugh.

The big question here is, did she hear me say "dating?" I'm pretty sure the pause was more to remember coming up to visit me. It's really unclear whether she caught the dating part since she was so preoccupied with making she GradCousin is not spending his holiday alone.

Tim and I had a great weekend. We left on Wednesday morning and enjoyed a tour that showed us some nature and wildlife in the countryside. It was beautiful to see the last of the fall leaves changing colors.

For dinner, we had reservations at a better known establishment. I sat on the booth side looking towards the center of the restaurant. Tim sat in a chair facing me. He could see the decor on the wall behind me which included the daily specials. He also happened to notice an attractive young woman sitting two tables away from us. She had bobbed brown hair and was well-groomed, probably in her late 20s at most. Normally, Tim doesn't really comment on women, so I was a bit surprised. But clearly, she stood out from most of the people in the restaurant.

It seemed odd that she was sitting alone. I could not tell whether she was just arriving or finishing up her meal. As we waited for our server to take our order, I watched as a server came to her corner booth with a cheese plate. Suddenly, a man appeared and slid himself into the seat adjacent to her. He was an older man, 50s or early 60s. Immediately, I suspected that I recognized him. I turned to Tim and said, "I think that's Billy Joel."

Tim shook his head and said, "no, that's not Billy Joel."

It made sense and explained why no one was seated at the table between us and the alleged celebrity couple. After a few of exchanges of "yes, it is" and "no, that's not," I asked Tim when was the last time he'd seen a picture of Billy Joel. Tim shrugged his shoulders and guessed that it had been ten years. I asserted my opinion and noted, "I've seen pictures of him in the past year and I'm pretty sure that's him."

As we waited for our main courses, a couple was seated at the table next to us. They talked for a few minutes, browsed the menu, and then the gentleman glanced to his right. I could not help but watch because I wanted to see if he would notice the possible celebrity. Sure enough, his eyes popped a bit and then he turned to his companion and remarked, "I think that's Billy Joel over there."

I immediately turned back to Tim and said with a laugh, "see, even that guy think it's Billy Joel."

I can only wonder whether my whispers were overheard by Mr. Joel and his companion. I certainly wasn't going to approach them as I believe it's disrespectful to intrude upon a stranger's dinner for such a silly reason. It was have been nice to meet him and tell him how much a enjoy his music, but this wasn't the time or place. Instead, I had to settle for the satisfaction of sitting 10 feet away.

Later, after they had left, I asked our server, "was that Billy Joel sitting in the corner?"

"Yes, that was, and right behind you on the other side of the room is Mario Andretti," she whispered.

I'm not a big star gazer, but we made sure to walk the long way around the exit when it was time to leave. We weren't quite sure what Mario looks like, but it was fun to take a peak. Two celebrities in one night, what a kick!

Thanksgiving day was simple and quiet. We slept in, watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and went on a 5-mile hike to enjoy some great views of the surrounding hills. It was my first hike since my vacation and my muscles were having a memory lapse. Dinner was mellow. We went to a local place where we shared a heaping plate of Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings and a plate of sea bass for contrast. Nothing special but peaceful and relaxing just being together.

Our couple of days away from home were great. We were still in a normal town yet we felt worlds away. On a whim, I called friends to see if they might be around as we passed through their neighborhood. It was serendipitous they were about to have dinner with more friends. We all caught up on our holiday adventures over a tapas dinner.

On Saturday, I met up with GradCousin for dinner and showed him how to make bittersweet chocolate ice cream. Man, was he a happy man as he headed home. It's nice to know that it'll last him through semester finals.


Anna May Won't said...

moms are so funny about what they choose to focus on.

teahouse said...

If you watched the first season of Top Chef, you would have recognized Billy Joel's 26 year old trophy wife, Katie Lee. She's dumb as a post.

Pandax said...

I wish I could watch Top Chef, but I don't have cable (and my local provider requires you to get the premium package for Bravo - ripoff!).

I suppose it's probably her, but I could have sworn the woman we saw had short hair. All the pictures of Katie show her with long hair.