My boyfriend and I are the type of couple, which up until our daughter was born 7 months ago, would be out at least 4 nights a week. (Not necessarily partying, but always out soaking up the greatest city in the world.) However, since her birth in June, we have been out alone on only 3 separate occasions. Once when we went to see the Roger Waters: The Wall concert; another time in December for my man’s birthday dinner at Tribeca Grill – and finally last Saturday, the night we celebrated the Male Birthday Trifecta.
The three men, while at different stages of their lives, all had the same birthday goal – to get drunk. But all three decided to do it in different ways – and locations. The first man, turning 39, was going to the Robert Plant concert at the Beacon on the Upper West Side. We’d be meeting him for an intimate sushi dinner first. Man # 2 was turning 30 and celebrating with dozens of his closest friends at a bar in Chelsea. Finally, Man # 3 was in the next decade, shyly turning 42 at a wine bar in the East Village.
Date Night would be a 6-hour escapade; we started at 6pm and had to be home by midnight. We would party with all the men (and respective ladies) in three Manhattan neighborhoods – behaving like properly socializing grown ups.
We started on Wall Street and jumped on the train uptown. Within 20 minutes we emerged from the underground onto 72nd Street where the snow was dazzling around us like sprinkles from the sky. We looked up and almost simultaneously stuck our tongues out to catch the snowflakes – these were delicate morsels of fluffy deliciousness.
We were in a snow globe living out a fantasy date night created just for us. Because we see things that way, him and I – like the world is providing the perfect cinematic background for our dream life.
Somewhere in my snow euphoria on the way to dine on raw fish, I suggested we write a screenplay about this glorious night. (This is not unusual since one of us usually has a screenplay-of-the-day idea.) The night promised to be replete with adventure, witty banter, miraculous character revelations – I could just feel it in the air. Just a few short minutes into the night, I remember saying something extremely witty and I immediately thought it be a great addition to the screenplay. After the sake, though, I no longer remembered anything with any degree of validity or wisdom in it.
Dinner was great; we don’t have a good sushi restaurant downtown so this familiar uptown place was so refreshing. Man # 1 enjoyed his sake, his wife, and reflecting on his last year in the decade of 30. We toasted 39 and sent him to rock out with Robert Plant.
After dinner we trained it downtown to Chelsea where we were early for Man # 2’s celebration. We walked around the neighborhood, reflecting on how long it had been since we were grown-ups lingering around the city together. It’s much easier to hold hands and canoodle on the street when one of us isn’t pushing a stroller.
We had a beer at the Chelsea bar, helping Man # 2 drink himself some memories. This was his 30th birthday party – and here we were the experienced 3-decaders. Welcome to the 30’s, we saluted. Before I realized they had Heineken in a bottle, I had ordered one of their draught beers. I was trying to be experimental and daring and what I got in my mason jar tasted like the water that overstays its welcome in a dying bouquet of flowers.
After about an hour it was time to head further downtown for Man # 3’s stop by. The [free] babysitter had given us a curfew.
Our original plan was to jump in a cab. Instead the weather and outside energy sucked us in and we decided to walk there, slowly meandering through the familiar East Village. At this point we realized we were kind of hungry and in perfect cinematic timing, the boyfriend leads me into Pomme Frites, home of the authentic Belgian fry – or home to exactly what you want after a few drinks on a Saturday night. They serve thick-cut, perfectly-crispened potatoes in red and white checkered paper cones. There was a ridiculously extensive menu of sauces and mayos to go with the fries, but truly they needed no embellishment. We ate the fries while standing at the dark wooden counter that was so cleverly designed for this restaurant. It had holes along the counter’s length designed to perfectly hold the paper cones of French fries.
Finally we made it to the wine bar to have a toast with Man # 3! When I asked how old he was turning, he whispered that it ended in a “2.” We mingled for a few minutes with acquaintances that we only encounter at this particular friend’s party each year. Then a random, screenplay incident happened. Someone came up to us convinced she knew both of us from somewhere. At first I thought she was a bit psycho but in the end of the how do I know you game, we had a laugh. The clown boyfriend had entertained the kids at her company.
At the bar I realized it was almost midnight, and Cinderella-style we bounced and hailed a cab downtown. We made it home only a few minutes late but remained pumpkin-free. By the time I got home, I was way too tired to think about a screenplay – so I blogged about it instead.
Date Night Version 3 Post Baby: Great Success.