Full disclosure, I am DELIGHTED to dine on the West Side. Advocating for my convenience over Reindeer’s was an excellent decision. However, not all Desi Girl habits die hard. And I,of course, arrive early (don’t tell Meera). He, of course, is not here. So I sit down at the bar and ask for a glass water.
On the telly the Seattle Seahawks get ready to battle Brett Favre and the Pack in front of what looks 72,000 cheese heads. Oof, the air temperature in Green Bay is -3 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The Vikings don’t have the cold weather stamina to beat the Pack at home. So I don’t think the Seahawks have a prayer.
At 7:10 I look around. No sign of Reindeer. All my courage and nerves of steel that were enhanced by my super awesome hot hair and haute couture are rattled. At 7:11 I worry I’ve been stood up. At 7:12 I create an imaginary Reindeer voodoo doll in my head.
At some point the (hot) bartender and I are sucked into the football vortex. The bartender leans against the bar and over his shoulder says, “Damn that’s cold.” “You have no idea,” I reply. “How do you think they stay warm?” the bartender flirts and raises his brows at me. WOW. Before I can reply I feel someone poke my side.
Because this is New York, I jump and turn to find Reindeer smiling at me. Has his hairline always receded that far back? The bartender (have I mentioned he’s HOT) also turns and gives Reindeer a dirty look. Reindeer immediately says, “I’ve been calling you.” The bartender lingers. But my eyes are drawn to the small J. Jill carrier bag, from which my Tupperware spilleth over. J. Jill is a woman’s clothing store for relaxed and breezy women. Either Reindeer's a cross dresser or he has a new woman who likes comfort clothing. Where else would he get this bag? If traded me in for my opposite, I hope she's fat, ugly and stupid. Judge me if you must, but I feel scorned, so please let me have my moment.
To quell my pain, I reach for my phone and see the missed calls. “I was running late and parking was a problem,” Reindeer says and gives the bartender a dismissive once over. This must be man speak because the bartender moves way and watches the game from the other end of the bar. “Then I couldn’t find the restaurant,” Reindeer shares. How can a traveling consultant with an MBA NOT FIND a restaurant RIGHT ON 8th Avenue? I gave him the address and the cross street. But like the bald spot I never pointed out, I don’t ask.
The hostess comes over to seat us. I collect my things and look up. The bartender locks eyes with me for a loooooong interested minute. “To the Seahawks,” he says and raises his glass of club soda. “They don’t have a chance,” I reply. “That.. is too bad,” the bartender replies.
To be cont.