Monday, February 12, 2007

Pretty Lady's Ten Best Dates of All Time

Pretty Lady just received the unwelcome reminder, courtesy of a client of hers, that Valentine's Day is almost upon us. This particular client has been known to Get Fresh, and Pretty Lady was forced to cut him down pretty sharply. She has never been a big fan of this 'holiday,' corporate construction as it is; she once drew a comic entitled "The Evil of Valentine's Day" which was published in an obscure 'zine called 'theoryslut', back in the mid-nineties, and her opinions have not significantly altered since.

However. It occurred to her that this is an unproductive attitude. Valentine's Day is not inherently or exclusively evil; it is, like most things, what one makes of it. Pretty Lady was then going to make a large and glorious Valentine, which she intended to distribute impartially to everyone in the world, via the Internet. But this plan was dashed when the grocery store proved to sell only the most inferior sort of paper doilies.

So instead, Pretty Lady has decided to wax nostalgic, and present you with her personal recipes for her ten best dates ever, more or less. It is to be hoped that you will then be inspired to share such blissful occasions with your own personal sweetie, and Pretty Lady will sleep in peace, knowing that she has not heaped another whopping dose of negative karma upon this benighted holiday.

10. The Valencia junk-shop troll.

Ingredients: Valencia Street between 24th and 16th.

Start at 24th; peruse every antique, thrift, junk and used bookstore until 16th. Discuss which items of exotic furniture would be appropriate for the theoretical industrial loft warehouse you intend to occupy, in the uncertain future. Conclude with tapas at Picaro's.

9. The all-night avant-garde film dialogue.

Ingredients: Two-dollar balcony seats for pretentious film at Hogg Auditorium; skateboard; all-night coffee shop.

Make sure you get the front row balcony seats, so you can prop your feet on the ledge and watch the bats fly around. After the film, skate downtown and order a bottomless cup of decaf and cheese fries to share. Argue about esoteric philosophy until 3 AM.

8. The Manhattan Jazz Standard.

Ingredients: Round corner table by the piano at Small's; one bottle Booker's.

Be sure to consume the Booker's at a rate wherein the experience of the jazz is slowly, gracefully heightened, not brutally obliterated.

7. Manhattan: The Works.

Ingredients: Whoa, nelly.

Start with Ethiopian food at that place in the Village which is below sidewalk level. Get a carafe of honey wine to share. Move along to that bar in the Village which has couches facing the sidewalk; have a Manhattan or two. Take a cab to the Algonquin, and have a couple of apple martinis while hammering out the plot and cast of a screenplay entitled "Drunken Angel." Take a cab to Chelsea and visit an impossibly hip club, just so you can say you did. Leave after half an hour, because that last bit was really Too Much.

6. Tahoe ski weekend.

Ingredients: Two weekend lift passes to Heavenly Ski Area; reservations at the Lazy S; cooler full of goat cheese, caviar and Jim Beam.

Drive three hours, get onto the slopes even though there's not really enough light left in the day, return to motel, consume goat cheese, caviar and Jim Beam, swap massages. In the morning, enormous breakfast at Denny's, ski blue slopes until dark, go for cheese fondue. Repeat the next day; drive back to San Francisco and collapse. It is very important that this be undertaken without much premeditation.

5. The New York winter unemployment special.

Ingredients: two bicycles, motley and faintly ridiculous warm winter garments, one trans-East-River bridge (Brooklyn and W-burg most aesthetic.)

Awake at the crack of a bright winter noon. Don long johns, jeans, sweaters, boots, wool thrift-store jacket, scarf, hat and gloves. Mount bicycles and cross to the East Village. Park outside the Lotus Cafe and order coffee, orange juice, and bagel with cream cheese, olive paste, and roasted red bell peppers. Nab corner table between window and bookshelf; select reading material. After 1 1/2 hours, re-traverse bridge and go back to bed.

4. South of France food tour.

Ingredients: two round-trip tickets to Paris, one rental car, 1 pair running shoes, 1 swimsuit, family in the Midi-Pyrenee.

Fly to Paris, stay with Herve 4 nights. Consume Pastis, go out for Moroccan food, crash. Wake after 4 hours and repeat. After 4 days of this, rent car and drive toward random adorable village; find best restaurant and order local cuisine. Go running every morning, or swimming in local rivers, so as not to gain 100 lbs. Repeat every day for 1 week. Stay with family 1 week, spending vast majority of time รก table under the tilul tree; drive to Montpellier to visit friends, then Nice, where Reg has his cottage, that bounder. Return via Paris after 3 weeks. Or not.

3. The Home Depot.

Ingredients: 1 trashed, vacant storefront; 1 van; Home Depot; sushi.

Get in van, drive to Home Depot. Purchase caulk, caulking gun, primer, paint, tinting colors, rollers, sandpaper, tools, light fixtures, hardware, houseplants, and planters. Return to vacant storefront, deposit purchases. Go out for sushi.

2. The post-tequila-binge hangover cure.

Ingredients: two tequila hangovers, 1 van, 2 mountain bicycles, mountains, 1 hole-in-the-wall stew joint, 1 video.

Drag selves blearily out of bed, pack bicycles into van, head to hole-in-the-wall and order beef stew, tortillas, hot salsa, Pepsi and lime. Consume. Drive van to 20K mountain biking trail, deserted except for hungover selves. Complete entire trail to Santa Rosa and back. (Alternatively, hike deserted Spanish ruins in rain.) Return to bed, play video, take naps.

1. The all-night music exchange.

Ingredients: 1 bottle Chivas, 1 pack cigarettes, 1 record collection.

Take turns playing favorite tracks while consuming Chivas and cigarettes. Talk about everything, everything, everything. In the morning, proceed to #2.

Bonus: Go to grocery store. Buy ingredients. Go home and cook them, while drinking good wine and talking about everything, everything, everything. This can be repeated indefinitely, anyplace in the world.


Anonymous said...

OOPS, I placed this in the wrong thread. Could the Lady help me not look stupid by removing the one below?

I want to make it clear, in case it's not, that I gave you your V-day present a month or so early. I hope you're enjoying it. With love, EN

mitzibel said...

Awesome. The hubby and I do the "Bonus" date on a regular basis. May be why I'm still so batshit in love with him.

Pretty Lady said...

Yes, dear EN, I AM enjoying it, and I even considered re-posting the video, to remind people how lovely it is.

Mitzibel, I am glad I'm not the only one who considers grocery shopping just about the most romantic activity on the planet, provided it's done with the right person.

Anonymous said...

I am a simple man, and not much of a world traveller. I think the best dates are the ones where I can enjoy a really good conversation with my date, regardless of setting. I find romance in things unusual, and am unmoved by hearts and flowers.

For example, I was once doing some bodywork on a friend's car and while I was working she came out into the garage, placed a beer next to me and read Tolkien aloud for a few hours while I worked.

It may be strange, but this simple, thoughtful act changed the depth of feeling I had for her and was the catalyst that began our relationship.


Anonymous said...

The bonus date is also my fav. I like to go to the wineries for the wine, produce stores for vegies, and the butcher for meat. My twist is to do this in Tuscany or Veneto. Nothing like it.

Chris Rywalt said...

Time for a Henny Youngman joke!

My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food... She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.

Pretty Lady said...

Chris...never mind.

Crom--why strange? That ROCKS.

One of my favorite pastimes, which does not actually qualify as a 'date' so I didn't include it, is 'parallel labor.' Working at a task across the hall from someone who is working at a different task, and occasionally pausing to discuss random issues, perhaps having a beer or a sandwich, and going back to work.

Chris Rywalt said...

As much as having my studio in bedroom can be annoying, Dawn says she likes it. She gets to watch me work while she reads in bed, and we can talk (I can talk while I'm painting -- two totally unrelated brain modules. I can't talk and watch TV, though). She's even fallen asleep while I painted through the night.

mitzibel said...

Crom, that's one of the most romantic things I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

"The All Night Music Exchange"

That's what Annie often do, but often minus the music. After a few scotches we just natter the night away anyway - on anything..

Anonymous said...

That should have read "Annie and I".
You'd think I'd already got into the scotch.