Sunday, March 25, 2012
Sumo Citrus: What I like
"You aren't 5'3'', " He said to one.
"This is expired," He said to another.
He motioned for a third girl in the group to step forward.
"I have really bad handwriting," She stammered as though the legibility of the signature on her fake ID was the biggest obstacle keeping her from entry.
As I stood on the periphery of their circle, observing their earnest, youthful faces, for a moment I was worried the bouncer would think I was with them. That he would take a look at my *real* ID and note that the weight was clearly a good 15 pounds heavier than I actually am, and that the 16-year-old, overall-wearing girl with limp, dirty blonde hair couldn't possibly be me.
Instead, he waved me over, took a cursory glance at my ID before opening the door for me.
"Have fun," He said, his voice crushing my unvocalized hope that he would mistake me for a 19-year-old. That he would look past my striped cardigan sweater and bulky scarf and declare me far too youthful to gain entry into the tequila bar.
As I took one last glance at the semi-clothed girls clustered on the sidewalk outside, my thoughts flashed back to the conversation I'd had with my male sounding board earlier in the week about why he likes to date girls in their early 20's.
"They're up for anything," He'd said. "Women in their 30's already know what they like - they're more set in their ways."
"Do I seem old?" I'd asked, my voice flavored with a tone that made it clear what his answer had to be if he wanted our friendship to continue past the main course.
He'd answered how I'd wanted him to - that of course I didn't. That I was still fun and not so serious about it - life, dating, the pursuit of making babies.
Yet as I stood in the bar, surveying the crowd, the couples and groups of friends who were already letting themselves have far more fun than I would even dream of allowing myself to have that night, I did feel it.
Old. Serious. Not spontaneous.
Earlier in the night, I'd been tempted to stay home completely. Not because I'd had anything better to do, but because going out required making an effort - putting on makeup, socializing with humans instead of Anderson Cooper on CNN, saving my DVRed episode of "The Office" for another night. Plus, I'd made chana masala for dinner and was convinced my hair smelled like Indian food. I couldn't possibly go to a bar smelling like garam masala and garlic. It was bad enough that I was planning to wear a sweater.
Perched upon the sole remaining bar stool, I sniffed at my hair again, scrutinizing the strands for residual perfume from my dinner, whilst I attempted not to make eye contact with the squirrely man to my left. I reviewed the menu, sub-consciously wondering how many people had put their grubby fingers on it before me. I made a mental note to wash my hands with extra hot water when I got home.
"Home - where my sweat pants are," I thought with longing.
I bypassed the pages boasting various kinds of margaritas, knowing with certainty that even though it was a tequila bar, I wouldn't be ordering any because, A.) I'd already had a glass of white wine with my chana masala, and B.) I don't drink tequila.
I'd order one beer, drink maybe half of it and be home by midnight. Because I'm old. Serious. Not spontaneous.
At least not when it comes to tequila bars.
In the grocery store, the farmer's market, the restaurant down the street with the really good lamb burger, however, spontaneity wins out more frequently. I'll think nothing of ordering the grilled octopus and the burrata to start at my favorite Italian haunt. I won't hesitate to scrap my original plan for dinner because the Brussels sprouts look really good at the market that day.
And I'll gladly drop $8 on Sumo Citrus.
Because I'm old enough to know what I like.
Wine with friends.
Saturday nights at home.
And eating segments of Sumo Citrus barely dusted with flecks of Maldon sea salt while I stand barefoot (and not pregnant) over the kitchen sink.