Saturday found me nervous and anxious because I had agreed to go to the Chef’s restaurant for a television shoot. I was bringing C and the Hot Blonde, per the Chef’s request.
I do my hair, flatironing it and everything. I even shave my legs, though I decide to go with jeans. I end up wearing a very French chocolate-colored blouse with a rose scarf I received from my mother who bought it on a trip to Italy. It’s chic and timeless and I am aware I will be in crowd shots, possibly for years.
[There are upsides and downsides to being friends with a renowned chef.]
We arrive for the shoot. I bus up, as I am becoming a bus regular, and C, who is supposed to bus up, misses it and has to cab. C has a new job and is making a lot of money for doing not a whole lot, so she picks up dinner for the three of us, too.
We sit outside on the patio as they stage inside. Out walk two men, both in their 40s, one is stupidly handsome. Like Hollywood handsome. Dimpled, perfect teeth, blue eyes, just dreamy in exactly the way I like. Also, sorta short, which is apparently my new thing. He reminds me a bit of LP. Dark hair, tan, Hollywood. I am with two beautiful women, and yet, I know he is smiling at me. Okay, hottie. We are keenly aware of the other’s presence.
When the producer comes out, she leads us into a dining room filled with diners already assembled (although we were there before our call time). She tells us we will be filling in at random tables, but then they decide to seat the three of us and the two of them at the bar/chef’s table. She asks if we are okay being interviewed. We are.
C wants to sit in the middle, so we let her. I sit down, and then the producer seats the men next to me, with Hollywood sitting a person over from his slightly gay — though married — friend.
Chef, who has been on dates with me and with C, is completely head over heels for the Hot Blonde, who is the woman I told him to date in the first place. She barely knows he exists. He texts me about her while they are shooting. It’s hilarious.
The two men chat me up a bit and it’s very clear to me that Hollywood is smitten. Because it’s a tv shoot, there’s not a whole lot we can do. We are talking very quietly, for some of it, talking about our favorite dishes. They tease me about claiming I live “South” when I really live downtown. Hollywood, who apparently is a commercial model (of course), lives in the upscale suburban community where my former beau The Nice Guy lives.
C, HB and I order wine, and they want to order red until I remind them we are going to be shot for television, so we go with a great bottle of champagne. And then another. We order entrees rather than appetizers as the producers are really telling us what we need to order. We each order something different and our food is delivered and I realized we are really the only people being served. And then I realize we are going to be the only people really interviewed. Sigh.
When the camera rolls, they ask me questions first of our group and it goes really well. It feels like it goes on forever. I am told to look at the producer and not at the camera and it’s all fine. She’s very very good at her job. People are calling me as I am there, and Chef is texting me, and the whole time I am like … uh, cameras are rolling. 🙂 When I am done, they shoot C and then HB. Then they rearrange us so that HB and I can be in a “two shot” together. It goes really well, I think.
The whole production side of it is amusing and I end up eating most of my meal and then much of HB’s second one — they made them make us second entrees to have Chef deliver them to us by name. Ha. They also film us eating. Ugh. Producer: “Can you eat some of the biscuit?” C laughs. Each of us has varying degrees of an eating disorder and making me eat bread on camera . . . is rather funny. But, we do as we are told and it goes really well, and we are there for hours and hours. Everyone is starting to get a little tipsy, and we are still the only ones who have really eaten.
[It’s nice to have really attractive friends.]
Finally, we are allowed to go, and the friend hands me his card and gives me one of his for my information. As I hand it to him, and I am now rather tipsy, I say, and this is for your friend. Hollywood hugs me goodbye, grabs my ass, and is rather adorable. We tell them where we are going, which, of course, is the CHB.
C and I leave together, with HB off for other plans. We look for a cab, but we’re in midtown and it’s impossible. As we go to call one, she realizes we are three minutes away from the bus. Score! (And $35 savings. For her.)
We giggle on the bus all the way down to the CHB and she laughs about how truly camera shy she is. And she really is. I am the least attractive of the three, but I am a natural on camera as I grew up being photographed and filmed my whole life.
We check in at the CHB, and I become the mayor again, to my great delight. It’s the small things, really. C orders champagne for herself, offers me one, but I am enjoying this moderate level of drunkeness. Then a friend texts to say he’s nearby and asks if he can stop by. The more the merrier. It’s a party as the room is very lively and we have a comfortable table. He buys a bottle of champagne for us and we are having an even better time. C goes outside to smoke and meets a random stranger, rather cute actually, who lives in BV’s building a block away. He’s southern and he’s quite charming, but C was not really that interested when she brought him back to the table. I am rather embittered about BV for reasons I do not remember clearly, but that have much to do with “wtf didn’t you show up last night, you dick” and I make a catty remark to C and our nameless friend about BV. FM texts and then joins us. He and C loathe each other and have for months, but they sort of agree to get along for the moment and then sort of make up finally later on.
The party is still booming, but we decide to head off to the bar where I had my birthday party. We know the bar manager and our favorite food truck is there. It’s a win all around, though there is no way I can eat again after two entrees and a dessert during the shoot. I am not drinking there or at the next place we go to, but I do end up texting BV.
It’s a simple text at 12:18 am: “You out?”
I don’t get a text back. I get a phone call at 1251. I agree to meet him at a bar a few blocks away. I do not rush. I get a voicemail from him at 109, a missed call at 111, a voicemail at 115 and at 118, and missed calls at 123 and 143, along with texts. I am there, and looking for him, but I didn’t find him. I sat down at the bar and a man sat down next to me and started chatting with me.
After a couple of minutes, I realize the Bon Vivant is sitting at the turn of the bar, about 8 feet away from me. Angry. Looking at his phone. I jump up and hug him and kiss him on the lips and say, I was looking for you everywhere, I thought you blew me off. He said, “who the fuck is that guy? you brought a date? what the fuck?” and I am like who are you talking about? And he’s like dude in the blazer? Who you’re sitting with and I am like, dude, he sat down next to me, I don’t know him.
BV is angry and jealous and I’ve never seen him like this. We’re also both very drunk. I don’t realize at the time just how drunk. I realize it the next day when I listen to his slurring voicemails when he’s really pissed that I am not there.
I reassure him I’d been looking for him, sat down when I assumed he blew me off, and I have no idea who that guy is. BV is in a jacket and in a hat and he looks good, as usual. Handsome man, even if he’s all pissed off.
We head off together as it’s probably last call, although we’re not aware of it. His building is two blocks from this little bar, and we walk along, both calmed down. He brings me in to his building and he doesn’t have his keys so the doorman has to buzz us up. It feels like it’s really later than 2 am now, as there is a woman and two friends trying to get him to do the same thing, claiming her “husband has a place on 30” and BV and I just look at each other and laugh, like riiiiiight.