Standing in a stall of a public restroom, stripped to the waist, fumbling with a bra -- this is NOT how I expected this night to go. It had all started normally enough . . .
"Do you have the tickets?"
"Do you know where we're going?"
This conversation typifies conversations with Chas: my six words to his one.
We were on our way to our date, driving BACK to Chico -- didn't I just flee this town an hour ago? -- and beyond to the town of Oroville, and the Gold Country Casino. We'd been clutching tickets to see Al Green -- yay Al Green! -- for about a month, and the night was FINALLY here. I wore my favorite orange sundress, and don't you judge me for wearing summer clothes after Labor Day; it's still hot around here. The dress has this complicated crossing strap system, so naturally I had complicated matters even more by taking my bra apart and crossing the straps. Brilliant!
Somehow (and I won't tell you how, to protect the guilty) we got lost on the only freeway to Oroville. Half an hour lost. Our 5:30 dinner reservation, which would have been tough to be on time for under perfect conditions, was dust in the wind. But I had heard that the restaurant was worth seeing, so up we went in the elevator to the sixth floor, expecting only to get a glimpse of the place and apologize for being idiots, then leave. Yes, the restaurant was lovely, designed in descending tiers, like a wedding cake, so that every table has a view (although the late afternoon heat made the blinds necessary). But surprise! The maitre d' was exceptionally accommodating, considering our tardiness and the busy night, and got us a table by the window.
The Steak House menu was somewhere between straightforward and arty, which is a good place to be. As we looked everything over I was so glad we had the $100 gift card I'd been given by a very kind and connected business associate. And, in case you think this kind of date was too good to be true for a goof like me, you're right. I had to mess things up, so it was my bra straps. They were clearly out to see and be seen. Chas's eyes kept drifting down to my shoulders, so finally I had to bolt for the bathroom, strip to my waist (not what I usually like to do in public restrooms), and fix things. I was hoping that the casino didn't have security cameras in that bathroom, but really not caring enough to live with crazy bra straps.
Back to dinner. We both ordered the seared rare ahi tuna, served on a sea of wasabi cream sauce with lovely vegetables and something red mixed in; I wasn't paying attention. But it was divine, if you like raw fish, and I do. A slab of almost-raw fish as thick as your wrist is something to work up to, but I recommend it for the adventurous.
Cocktails were excellent, service was exceptional -- am I destined to fall down the stairs? Because this is just WAY more good stuff than I'm used to, OR deserve. We left a healthy tip for Candace and Josh, who gave superlative service. They DO deserve good stuff.
Hmmmm, kidlets will be brushing their teeth at Grandma's house about now . . .
TO BE CONTINUED