The Surreal Life
November 08, 2005
Or, My Life on the D-List
Or Or, My Dinner with Antonin
Last night I shared an order of fried calimari with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
I know! Even I was thinking, "The hell?"
So about a week ago, Jason and I were asked to be judges at the 2005 International Wine for Oysters Competition at Old Ebbitt Grill here in DC. (For the non-locals, every year Old Ebbitt throws this huge-ass party called the Oyster Riot and holds the wine competition ahead of time to determine 10 wines that will be paired with the oysters and, I assume, will get everyone tanked and properly riotous.)
We were completely flattered and were all, "We are bona-fide local celebrities now! Riot!"
Then Amy, the event organizer (who keeps ordering me not to write anything bad about her, which OF COURSE I WON'T, that would take valuable space away from discussions of my boobs), sent us the list of the OTHER judges.
Scalia. Phyllis Richman. Food Network show hosts. Actual Media Professionals. And Other People Who Probably Know Way, Way More About Wine And Oysters Than Us.
It was exceedingly clear that two judges had pulled out and we were the Bottom of the D-List Barrel.
But who the fuck could care when we're talking about a competition of 20 wines and all the oysters we could eat, PLUS tickets to the sold-out-since-forever Oyster Riot?
Hint: not us!
So we agreed, and I was determined to be as fabulous and non-mommy-like as possible, and even seriously considered taking the baby to Georgetown to shop for new clothes. As in, new clothes for ME, new clothes that did not snap around the crotch or feature sayings like "Daddy's Little All-Star" or some such shit.
I did not take the baby to Georgetown, because...well, that's a lot of work and planning and I thought the lighting in dressing rooms was depressing BEFORE, so I cannot even imagine what my wide, squashy expanse of stretch marks would look like under those lights.
So I rooted around my closet and behold! I found that an admittedly quite awesome suit from Banana Republic actually, seriously fit me. As in, I could zip the pants ALL THE WAY UP. (I will not say whether I actually left the house with them zipped all the way up, or if I maybe left them an inch or so unzipped in order to minimize the over-the-waistband-pooch-while-sitting effect, because THE POINT IS, I COULD ZIP THEM IF I WANTED TO.)
And with a scandalously low and suddenly-super-filled-out silky camisole under the jacket and the return of the fuck-me gold stilettos, I was SO READY to ascend to at least the C-list of Washingtonian celebrity.
Of course, you know where this is going, right? You totally know that the baby pooped all over my silky camisole the instant the babysitter showed up, right?
Sigh. I wore a regular tank top instead.
(And yes, of course our babysitter has a blog. Doesn't yours?)
So we arrived, and all the other judges were Networking, and we stood in the corner like Idiots, because I was suddenly hit with an Attack of the Shy, and OMG, Jason's seated next to Phyllis Richman, who like, OWNED THIS TOWN when she was the head food critic for The Post, and JASON DON'T LEAVE ME TO GO TALK TO HER AND DON'T MAKE ME GO TALK TO HER BECAUSE I WILL SAY SOMETHING DUMB ABOUT MY DUMB WEBSITE.
Once we were seated at our little appointed stations (which contained, no lie, seven hundred million billion different wine glasses and a gallon-sized spit bucket), we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves, and GOD, I'm SUCH A LOON, because while the other blogger there had the sense to introduce herself as a freelance writer and Jason just said he "wrote for" DCFoodies.com, I completely forgot that I could mention my ACTUAL JOB and just mentioned my website and I called it a blog and nobody there knew what a blog was I think and then the President of the Old Ebbit Restaurant Empire asked me if I had a webcam, and I meekly protested that it's more of a creative writing thing, not so much of a sex-on-camera-exhibition thing, but by then the person next to me was introducing himself and I decided to Shut The RIghteous Fuck Up.
Luckily they started pouring the wine soon after that.
And oh, my GOD, the wine. Twenty different wines and we were supposed to taste each one with an oyster, and oh, my GOD, the oysters. I kept tasting the wines repeatedly, mostly because I wanted to eat more oysters, and partly because I knew there would be a mingling cocktail hour afterwards and then dinner and I figured if I was really drunk I wouldn't notice if I said stupid things about blogs to people.
Oh, and we had Official Judging Clipboards where we were supposed to write comments about each wine and assign a numbered rank to each one.
My comments? Were the STUPIDEST THINGS EVER. Everyone around me was the type who could sniff each glass and detect the barest scent of a nutty edam cheese and discuss the fruit's effect on the brininess of the oyster or whatever, and all my comments were like: Good. Is crisp or something. Contains alcohol, which is a plus.
On one wine that I didn't like? I seriously just wrote "Meh."
(Needless to say, the winning 10 wines were almost all the wines that I ranked in the bottom 20.)
After the official judging and whatnot, we all went upstairs for -- what else? More free wine and oysters. And Networking.
Guess which of those three things I did NOT do so much partaking of.
Jason: You should introduce yourself to the publisher of DC Magazine and see if you could submit articles or something. He's right over there.
Amy: (nods thoughtfully) Yes. Yes I should.
Amy: Look! I am not paying for this champagne!
While I was pondering what kind of monstrous mother leaves her five-week-old with a babysitter and whether my nursing pads were still in place, everybody sat down for dinner, and the only spot left was right next to SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA.
I kind of freaked and grabbed Event Organizer Amy and hissed that I COULD NOT SIT NEXT TO SCALIA, and she assured that he is actually quite nice and not scary, and we'd probably be discussing food and wine mostly, so if I could just not have any Tourette's episodes of yelling GEORGE BUSH SUCKS! HARRIET MIERS WTF! for an hour or so, I would do just fine.
And indeed, he is charming and nice and we compared our rankings to the winning wines and we actually liked several of the same ones. And he shared his fried calimari with me and then ordered a hamburger and a beer. Which: awesome.
I ordered filet mignon. And didn't giggle stupidly when Marc Silverstein of the Food Network told me how awesome I looked after having a baby five weeks ago, although I did introduce him to Jason by pointing and shrieking, "The Best Of! The Best Of!"
Oh, and in my oh-so-suave way of justifying why in HELL I'd been asked to participate in the competition, I mentioned the Washingtonian article and then (oh, GOD) starting rattling off my visitor stats. So, so tacky, but since at least 98% of the people there still didn't get what a blog was and clearly still thought I had sex on a webcam or went through my congressman's garbage looking for incriminating memos to post, they didn't get why that was a tacky, dick move on my part.
Anyway. I could still walk when we left, although I was officially Freaking Out About Missing My Baby, My Precious, Precious Baaaaybeee.
Who was fine and alive and sleeping peacefully. Ceiba missed us a lot more, and gave us all a minor heart attack by FALLING OFF THE BACK OF THE COUCH as we walked in, because YEAH, LET'S SPEND THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ON ANOTHER STUPID LEG, YOU STUPID DOG.
And Noah rewarded our neglect with sleeping for six. Hours. In. A. Row. Six! Sixsixsixsix!
I woke up at 2 am anyway, already in the throes of the most awful hangover EVER, or at least since JANUARY, and stumbled around looking for Excederin and water and very nearly had an oyster-related-come-to-Jesus-experience in the bathroom but did not, because pregnancy or no, I am still an old pro at this drinking thing.
Although I will probably be pumping and dumping breastmilk for at least a week, which really adds a new dimension to Big Nights Out, and how many D-list celebs do you know that will share THAT kind of information with you? Huh? NONE. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT A BLOG IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE. THE SHARING.
I think I forgot to thank Justice Scalia (no, he didn't tell me I could call him Tony or Big T) for sharing his calimari though, and I may have spelled my website's name wrong to a couple people who pretended like they would rush home and check it out. (Probably because they still think I am having sex on a webcam.)
"No webcam here, just some stupid girl who tried to photograph her baby's big gummy smile and forgot to turn off the damn baby swing beforehand."