Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alaska: The State I Love to Eat

So my friend Kate received a gift certificate at Christmas from the family she babysits for and we decided we should have a date night. That was nearly 6 months ago, and last night we finally made use of it.

We hadn't made reservations and the restaurant was surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday night, so we sat at the bar. The bartender Walter was quite nice and gladly poured our celebratory flutes of Prosecco. We toasted to finishing the year, ordered dinner, and caught up on each other's lives.

It's hard to do justice to the experience we had with the man sitting next to us and his daughter, but I'll try:

Man: What is your name?
Me: Phoebe
Man: That is a beautiful name! What a beautiful name! Beautiful.
Me: Thank you
Man (to Kate): And what is your name?
Kate: Kate
Man: Kate!? Don't you feel simple next to Phoebe?

(I can only assume he meant doesn't the name Kate feel simple next to the name Phoebe, but we'll never know.)

He asked if we were celebrating something, and we shared that we had just finished grad school. When he found out we were social workers, he spent the next 10 minutes telling us why social work was such a great field and why the work we do is so important even if we don't get paid much.

Later, after the man had shared part of their second bottle of wine with us, and after repeatedly calling Kate "Nancy" throughout the night, he and his daughter left. The daughter came back because they had forgotten something and as she left said, "Just think - he's increasing your number of future clients every day!"

Our evening ended with Baked Alaska. Neither Kate nor I had experienced this dessert before, and all we could say was WOW. Coconut ice cream and passion fruit caramel. We rolled ourselves out of there full, happy, and feeling like we had properly celebrated the culmination of the past two years of our lives.

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