But my Valentine’s Day was! I think sometimes the most spontaneous acts turn out better than perfectly planned ones.
Jamie and I had dinner reservations at 9:30 at an Italian restaurant downtown called Ambrosia. Parking was tough, so once we found a spot we kept it. But we were a little early, and there were no seats at the bar, so to kill time, we headed across the street to the Downtown Lounge.
What a pleasant surprise!! It’s not my fave spot, but this evening I was delighted to enter an ambient atmosphere, complete with red blinking hearts, soft lights and live music. The musician, Jesse Meade, sang romantic folk/blues songs – his raspy, yet velvety voice whispering sweet little nothings in our ears. As we sat at the bar, sipping our drinks, I couldn’t help but compare the scene to that of a quirky, Zooey Deschanel-starring indie flick. Gazing characters, buzzed narratives, blurry focus. Little did I know, though, that the movie script had something else on the next page.
Soon, our mellow evening turned into one of those insanely bizarre David Lynch sequences when brain-thirsty zombies entered the bar. This is Eugene, after all.
Two drinks, half a brain, and 18 dollars later we trotted over to the restaurant. I had a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio, and Jamie, being the beer-lover he is, ordered the local favorite – a Ninkasi IPA. For starters, we shared a big plate of calamari. We forgot about being civil for a while, and just dug in, tentacles, lemon juice and aioli all over the place. Funny how a few drinks can make you believe you are starving.
At one point I excused myself to go to the bathroom. Imagine that we’re still in a movie. The female character, all made up for the evening – a new dress, high heels and that extra coat of lipstick, daintily puts her napkin on the table and walks slowly across the floor. Did I say slowly? She gazed about her, a little blurry-eyed from the wine…and a little clumsy, because, that’s just her nature. All of a sudden.. boom. She falls, and the music stops. CUT!
She gets up, and tries to hide, but to no avail. A dining female at the table nearby asks her, “Oh my God, are you OK?” Yes she’s fine, she just wants to disappear.
The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. I broke my vegetarian rut, and had (gasp) New Zealand Lamb with rosemary bread and creamy mashed potatoes. It was heavenly.