Monday, November 9, 2009

sooner than later

last night i arrived early to a cote on college in rockridge to have a drink while waiting for a loved one and one of her friends visiting from nyc. the folks at a cote were very charming as they made a space for me at the bar so that i could sip on a cocktail while waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. i always find it fascinating to see how restaurants treat me when i am alone and i noticed that the members of the a cote staff from the bartender, to the server that sat me (a server! the hostess was seating another party), etc...were all very kind. while i have been to a cote at least a dozen or so times over the years, i've never sat at the bar before. i usually sit in the enclosed and lovely outdoor patio. i was in a pretty contemplative mood while i was at the bar and i had my head in a book trying to block out the conversations happening around me. i wasn't very successful. the bar stools were in very close proximity.

there was pair of forty-something female friends sitting next to me at the bar talking about a fairly complicated non-relationship with a man that one of them was guardedly into. i say "non-relationship" because i don't know what else to call it. they had been physically intimate but now, she doesn't have his new phone number. (yeah, i know, from an objective perspective, that doesn't sound too good). she said that the last time she saw him they hugged each other good bye and he said to her that they should see each other "sooner than later".

when i heard that i cringed and then thought to myself "sooner than, really? people say things like that? even when they are in their 40s+? really? oh jez." from what little snippet of conversation i heard, i think "sooner than later" is a pussy statement, especially when said person has no intention for there to be a "sooner" or "later". i looked over at the various bartenders while this conversation was happening and was amazed at their ability to pretend that this conversation wasn't happening and that they couldn't hear every word. i suppose this impassivity is part of the job.

since i've become single, i've heard many stories like this one. it is amazing what you don't hear or what people won't tell you when you are married or in various relationships. it is enough to make you...or "me" in this case....want to bang my head against the wall as that sounds more pleasant than dealing with this sort of thing. also since i've become single, i've had to field my fair share of well-meaning conversations about why i am single. usually, these well-meaning folks say something along the lines of "are you seriously seeing someone? why not? why are you still single? i can't believe you aren't with someone." usually, with loved ones, i am doing my internal eye roll and am thinking something along the lines of "thanks mom/dad/surrogate parent/etc." and with non-loved ones, i'm fairly surprised that they even have an opinion on this. well, i should say that i used to be surprised that they had an opinion.

once the loved one and her friend from nyc arrived at a cote, we settled into our table, ordered, and chatted over lovely wine and nibbles for a while. as the conversation progressed throughout the evening, i found myself thinking "i'm surprised that [insert name of nyc friend] is single. i bet he gets more than his fair share of attention in nyc. i mean, nyc stats are geared in favor of straight men anyway, but here is this guy who is smart, articulate, funny, interesting, carries himself with confidence, and very attractive. i would be very surprised if they aren't camped out on his door step." then i stopped short....and said to myself "oh hell no. you just did the very thing that other people have done to you are....a stranger.....having the same sort of opinions. for gawd's sake, is this an epidemic or something?"

it was rather disconcerting and will require further pondering at a later point. you know, maybe sooner than later.

À Côté, 5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618-1552, +1 (510) 655-6469,


Chelsea said...


foodie hunter said...


looking forward to seeing you this weekend at the piggy event btw!!!

Chelsea said...


Victoria said...

I would bet money that's not how he experiences NYC. Serious money.

foodie hunter said...

than there are some serious fools in nyc. i think he's pretty great and there should be folks camped out on his doorstep.