So, I'm an independent woman.
I think I've aptly proven that point. I'll change my own damn tire, I'd be happy sailing past the rock of Gibraltar on my own. I would even be brave enough to go it alone to a gala I've got on my calendar in April (though I may just dig up a date for that cha-cha formal event).
But drinking a glass of wine? Alone? In a bar? Ooooh that's so scary.
Friday night started innocently enough. Casino Royale with a new friend. A drink and a bite to eat before hand and then we decided to cap the evening with yet another drink at another fabulous Newport institution. 80 cent drinks (appletinis, merlot, G and Ts - you name it) for chicks and fun 80s music. I was a bit apprehensive to go back to Tropicana considering I was there two weeks earlier and I accidentally (yes, accidentally) tossed my cookies. In the bar. Seriously.
I guess Kate the Great is going to march into her 30s, uh, gracefully.
SO there I was, sipping on some uber-cheap booze and enjoying the fine musical stylings of Bon Jovi (or was it Poison?) and rubbing elbows with some guys who are battling the Saints today (D Money, I saw SG's hideous two-tone Benz again. That guy makes my skin crawl) when my friend and I decided to bail.
But I wasn't ready to call it a night.
I thought about how my good friend D told me she likes to enjoy a good glass of wine by herself from time to time. And so I heard her voice echoing in my head, encouraging me to sack up and be a big girl, unafraid of the solemnity of sitting solo at a bar.
I left Newport, destination Hyde Park, headed for this quaint little wine bar that is dimly lit and appointed with sleek and cozy love seats and a stunning, curved granite bar. The intimate room kind of glistens like a secret jewel-box hideaway in one of Cincinnati's most exclusive neighborhoods.
The bar would be a perfect spot to baptize my first foray in drinking wine alone in public.
I crept in, dressed to the nines and confident the sparse crowd would be kind to the girl drinking wine alone. I took my red overcoat off and hung it on the back of the chair and flipped open the wine list.
Then I pretty much stopped dead in my tracks.
I realized that the sparse crowd included the very guy I had my sights set on last February. Irish. Two seats away and on a first date of his own.
That's when I wanted the tectonic plates that lie beneath Hyde Park to rumble and create little fissures, leading to a massive hole that would have swallowed me to the hellish depths below.
At this point, there was no going back. There was no chance for me to flip closed the wine list with a Thank-you-very-much-but-no-thanks quip and throw on my coat to head back to the safe corners of my messy apartment.
Instead, I had to sack up and order a glass of wine. Two. Seats. Away. From. Irish.
I picked a 10 dollar glass of merlot and took the biggest first sip I could. The faster I could drink, the more quickly I could be out of there, right?
Doesn't that just blow - having to drink an excellent glass of wine fast? Too swift to even enjoy the tannins and smoky undertones and hints of berry and chestnut or whatever Miles would say?
My stomach was sick about half way through the glass. Not too much alcohol sick. More like oh my god how pitiful do I look sick.
I know he saw me. But we both observed some strange code of silence, failing to acknowledge the other's presence.
The agony inside that wine bar lasted about 20 minutes. 20 minutes from first sip to cash out. 20 minutes to ponder the existence I call my own.
20 minutes to consider whether I have the cojones to actually go have wine alone again.
Granted, it's not an ideal situation. I'd do cartwheels naked down Cincinnati's Main Street (which says a lot considering I'd likely get shot during my stunt) to sip and sup with a standing date.
But I'm not going to let my solo status, or Irish, steal my drive to enjoy life the way I'd like.
I sure as hell won't be 60 and wishing I had done more with my life or took more opportunities during my single years.
Kate the Great