Weekend eating pals, Susan and John, met up with me and Miss Wendy at the popular Italian-style eatery to break bread – dipping choices included a peppery virgin olive oil and a rich, sweet marinara sauce. But I digress.
The foyer is where you order, first glancing at an expansive menu that stretches for several feet across one wall, then giving your order to the greeter-cashier-maitre d-sommelier-tallish-blondish-youngish woman behind the counter.
Friends Susan and John went for something suitably Italian and saucy and Miss Wendy played it safe and ordered ravioli, filled with mushroom puree and amusingly and tastily sprinkled with a salmon-infused sauce. I decided to try out one of the specials, a Chianti risotto with caramelized onions. It all sounded very Italiany and safe. Wrong! It ended up tasting like an old dishrag – tepid, mushy and the color of faded beets. But I digress.
I thought I might like a glass of wine with dinner, so I checked out the expansive wine list stretching for several feet on the wall opposite the dinner menu. I settled on the house Pinot Grigio, mostly because I like saying Pinot Grigio. It sort of rolls off the tongue and makes me feel very, um, continental.
I placed my food order, including the wine. And that’s when a worm hole opened up, transporting me, Miss Wendy and the tallish-blondish-womany cashier back in time! “Could I see your ID,” she asked. The last time I was carded, Richard Nixon was in the White House and Elvis was wearing spandex and playing Vegas; Jimmy Carter was still Jimmy “Who” and Barack Obama had just started middle school.
“My wallets in the car; I don’t have my ID on me,” I said. Gee, I felt like a teenager again, trying to pull a fast one. But this little lady was much too clever. She wasn’t going to fall for the old wallet-in-the-car ploy. “Sir, I need some ID!”
Fortunately, the always lovely Miss Wendy came to my rescue, saying the drink was, ahhh, for her, then pulling out her ID just in case the age issue was raised yet again. The waiter gamely played along, delivering the wine to Miss Wendy who, I’m pretty sure, can now be charged with illegally buying booze for a minor.
I, of course, kept checking over my shoulder as I sipped the unremarkable house vino, expecting to hear the wail of police sirens before being whisked away to jail. Truth to tell, I’d put up with much worse if I could actually manage to transport myself back in time 40 years, even if only for an hour.