Wednesday, October 25, 2006

bananas

Aaahhhh! Feel like I’m running too fast this morning. Dragged Stella to Banana Republic, parked miles away so I could have a brisk morning rush through Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights and spill orange juice all over the stroller.

You see, Bryan called yesterday and asked if I’d like to go to Hillary Clinton’s birthday party tomorrow night at Tavern on the Green. Would I? Can you say ‘Babysitter’? This is what is so great about living in New York City. His boss can’t go, so here we are more than happy to fill two $1,000 seats.

So the shopping. I get there just as the store’s opening and rush upstairs to see what I can figure out in under an hour, I’m looking for business attire, and there’s this woman there who looked even more frazzled than I usually do, and I overhear her say to the sales woman, “My daughter is graduating from law school. She’s 23. It’s in California,” maybe three times. She almost runs the stroller over getting to the sale rack. Then she sees Stella and says, “Oh a baby. My baby’s twenty-three. She’s graduating from law school. It’s in California.”

And later, when I’m in full panic mode because I look like a schmuck in everything I try on, and Stella’s awake and in my arms, she comes up to me and says, “Do these pants look okay? My daughter’s graduating from law school.” I told her the pants looked too big, too baggy in the belly. “Really? What about the color? Do you think this color is okay? Because it’s in California.”

I told her to wear what feels comfortable. “But the weight! The weather might be warmer. It’s in California. I don’t want to wear black!” I wanted to ask her if she had Tourette’s. Shake her. Hit her. Give her the baby to hold so I could get some shopping done. I had to turn away. I didn’t have time to give a poop about her graduation outfit. My parking meter was running out and I still hadn’t found my business attire for Hills.

I thought, if I ever wind up like that, come and get me and take me away. But still, I knew she’d be the subject of this blog. So thank you crazy lady! and mazel tov on your daughter’s graduation from law school. In California. She’s twenty-three.

Friday, October 27, 2006

hillary

I don’t even know where to begin. The food? The people? The celebrities? (Are celebrities people? Must research.) The underwhelmingness of it all?

Oh I was as excited as a school girl on the subway ride to Bryan’s office near Radio City. Then we took a Town Car with one of the lawyers he works for, this sweet young kid, up to Tavern on the Green and when I saw the tent and the photographers, it was like my Nicole Richie moment, without the Balenciaga bag. My heart swelled. And it was down hill from there.


We were at table 98 all the way in the back. I think there were 100 tables. About 1,100 people showed up. They packed us in that tent like Japanese commuters on the subway at rush hour. As for celebrities, Ernie Anastos and Rosanna Scotto from Fox News were the only ones I saw. And that was right at the beginning, near the coat check. They waltzed by me, coated in orange make-up, trailing clouds of hairspray. And I learned about Ruth Gruber. She was there. Born in 1911, dedicated her life to rescuing Jews from oppression. Go ahead and google her. She wore a hand loomed floor-length poncho in buttercream and pink plaid. She had a handler. She was important, but I didn’t recognize her the way I yearned to recognize someone.

Hillary said that she was happy to have her daughter and her mother there, but I never got to see Chelsea. So I sat there scanning the vast tented space in vain for stars. What I saw instead were a lot of guys in suits, turbans and pacemakers, and a lot of very accomplished looking women in suits and head-wraps and wheelchairs, with a smattering of middle-agers in too-tight black dresses who looked like they wanted to be the next Monica Lewinsky.


Bill and Hillary know how to give a speech. Bill is even more charismatic in person, go figure. He said something about coming from an alchoholic home and being glad as hell to have gotten away from there. I raised my glass to that. And Hillary’s passion was truly contagious. She said that if our country’s worth dying for, it’s certainly worth voting for, and I thought she made a salient point there. It made me want to get out there and rock the vote.

But here’s the thing. I appreciate the spontaneous gift of last night, but it’s important for you to know that on the whole, the evening was surprisingly underwhelming. Watching the former president of the United States up there on the stage in front of that mammoth American flag, I couldn’t help but zone out, mostly thinking that despite his best efforts to throw this fundraiser/birthday party for his wife, he’s a sex maniac who got caught, and how sad it is for his and Hillary’s partnership, both professionally and personally, and also, would he have found me attractive if only I could have gotten close enough to shake his hand?


So, the food. It was not Tavern on the Green’s, or else they’d have closed down years ago. So about that I was less naive than I thought. Go me! I don’t think it was from KFC, but if someone told me Applebee’s, I’d nod and agree. For starters they served three little dishes on one big plate. Skewered shrimp on a bed of black beans and corn, a tiny bowl of chili and a teeny dish of fried ravioli. The little dishes were cleverly “glued” to the big plate with a spoonful of goat cheese. The main course was a brick of meat lasagne with a slab of grilled peasant bread artfully placed in a triangular-shaped dish.

Oh and the wine? Chardonnay or Merlot. They had hard stuff too. And tiered vanilla cupcakes with mini M&Ms for dessert. When it was time to go, we were relieved but happy to have had the experience. And getting back to the kids was like coming home in that Christmas movie kind of way. My sleeping angels. Until six this morning…Oh, and I really need a new camera. Mine sucks.