Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Honesty Sells!

At least I hope it does because what I am about to say is blatantly honest. It isn’t so much a commentary about the guests, or Felipe and the food, or the wines, oh wait, it is about the wine. Last Thursdays at Worth Street, dinner #13, I have to confess I may have had a few too many glasses of wine. As I sat down to write about the experience, I realized the experience was….blank, plus, a headache too big for it to be a Friday morning hangover headache. I did remember a couple of things. For example, I remember I dropped wasabi peanuts all over the floor. I also remember challenging Felipe (and myself) to cook dessert all by myself (again, don’t ask me how that turned out, ask the guests or refer to pictures). But let me take a few stops back before you label me as a drunk. Dinner #13 was what could be called the first dinner with strangers. Besides my best friend’s roommate, and Stanton, who is turning out to be a good friend of ours, the rest were people who we barely knew, in fact two of them we had never met before, only via email, a cousin of a friend of a friend, one of those connections which takes about 2 minutes just to explain. Don’t get me wrong, the guests were outstanding, but the fact that we didn’t know them is a reality. It also didn’t help that the night was chaotic right off the bat.

Both Felipe and I were running very late, the first guest arrived before we had time to begin any food prepping. We heard our first guest arrive, I opened the door to see a girl who I had only met once, during a recruiter interview (her being the recruiter, me trying my hardest to be placed). She brought with her a beautiful bottle of Proseco and right then and there, won both of our hearts over, mine and Felipe’s. She began to tell us about her travels through the world, this girl has been pretty much everywhere! Adventurous at heart, a snowboarder who had just recuperated from a tough knee injury. The conversation was wonderful, the experience so different to the last (and the only) time we had seen each other. I was so amazed at how things turn around, and how they do so, so quickly. Next up at the door was Stanton, crazy guy, gotta love him though. Up next Sophia, my best friend roommate, she brought with her sunflowers, my favorite! The last two guests arrived a bit later, and these were the two girls who we didn’t know. One of the girls was a yoga instructor and interior designer, the other, a lawyer. While they were both originally from Mexico, tt was amazing to see how different they were in character. It really is amazing to see how much your nationality unites you once you are far away from you country. And here we get to the part of the night where it begins getting a bit complicated (hence the heavier drinking). It is known by many, that I am a horrible muti-tasker. I got to a point during the night, where I was trying to split my attention in too many different places and in too many different directions. I couldn’t ignore anyone or anything because I had to be polite, I had to have things together, I had to be part of it all, but at the same time remove myself from everyone, focus on the kitchen and make sure people felt at ease and were comfortable. Let’s not forget while I play victim here, that after all, I was also a stranger in my guests’ eyes, and they had kindly, with no doubts or hesitations, accepted my invitation.

At the end of the day, dinner was great and all the chaotic energy eased at the “sobremesa” (conversations after dinner). In fact, it ended being one of the longest, most enjoyable after dinner conversations. Everyone was comfortable and relaxed, I could sense everyone had settled in and felt at home. So in the midst of my wasabi throwing undercover drunkenness (at least I hope I wasn’t so obvious), and my playing chef and playing host, and sort of failing at both, I have to say it was a great night. I am thankful for the new people that I know now well enough to have them over at my apartment for dinner.

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