On Day 13 of my new and shiny sober life Meera, Jane and I are meeting for dinner. Without planning it, Meera and I arrive at the same time and find a table. Close an hour later Jane blows in like a tornado --- loud and unpredictable --- sharing she was buying discounted plates in a New Jersey Marshalls. This makes me cringe. Meera, like me, is punctual for being desi, so tardiness won’t highlight Jane’s best qualities. It takes a few minutes, but Jane and Meera hit it off splendidly. Phew!
“Tell us about Reindeer!” Jane says and sips a beer. Watching my friends drink without me is not as hard as I thought. “He asked me out for Friday…” I begin. “NOOOO!” Jane yelps. “My birthday is my Friday…” “If you would let me finish,” I insert. “I told him I had plans. So Date Number 3 is Thursday.” “Ooo! What are the plans?” Meera asks.
Since we are girls, I recount every GIRLY detail. “We’re taking the Staten Island Ferry and having an Italian dinner.” “WOW!” Meera says. “The New York Magazine JUST had an article about that!” “That is a cool date,” Jane exclaims. “What is really cute is that he told me dinner was on him and the tickets were on me.” “But is a free ferry,” Jane says, confused. “I know, that was his joke,” I reply. “He’s a funny fob! Very nice!” Meera says. “I am in charge of short listing restaurants and he will make the final selection,” I reply.
Unbeknownst to me, because my phone was tucked away in my purse, I don’t realize Reindeer called until Jane and I are en route to Fairway for birthday party groceries. Evidently the proper way to celebrate Jane’s 33rd birthday involves a fiesta with nachos, tacos, beans for the vegetarians, guacamole, margaritas, and some beer based Mexican drink. On the short ride to the grocery store I repeated play Reindeer’s message for Jane, “Hi, it’s Reindeer. I’m just calling to say hi.” “Men only call to say hi when they are interested!” Jane announces. I agree.
My inaugural trip to Fairway as a sign. It is as though my conversations with Reindeer are coming to life. Meera took me to yoga last week. Now Jane and I stand outside of the Cold Room pulling on jackets that say “FAIRWAY” on the back. No stealing!
I grew up in Minnesota, which sometimes felt like life on an iceberg. While I have never been frostbitten, I have been cold to the bone. I know cold. I understand cold. But nothing prepares you for the Cold Room. Sure the denim skirt, tee-shirt, and open toed sandals aren’t helping. This is the Manhattan tundra!
I CANNOT wait to tell Reindeer about this outing!