Nine Lives

Take one night, add 12 hours on either side of it, never lose focus on the point of it all–to savor enormous quantities of food–and voila, so many lifetimes, lived to their fullest.

Lifetime one: Hug Mr. Restaurant Gal, holding on to him for dear life, not looking back, and pretending there is no tomorrow.

Lifetime two: Notice how much older the ancient cat has become in three months, and not being able to laugh at him any more. Petting his fluffy head, trying to get him to play kitten games, wondering how he’d like apartment life in South Florida, and deciding he’s a D.C. man to the end.


Lifetime three on a glorious day of perfect weather, the likes of which D.C. reliably has only two weeks during the year–the first week in October and the last week of April: Call my Wonderful Friend and ask when we can meet to walk for miles through the city, stopping only to eat the best fries in the entire world. I tell her I’ll be the one wearing a Kansas Jayhawks T-shirt, and she groans.


Lifetime four: Hugging my Wonderful Friend when we meet at the Cleveland Park Starbucks like we always used to, and promptly dissolving into tears like two babies because we have missed each other that much. Eating two pounds of the best fries in the world (dipped in mayo, of course), deciding not to drink bloodies at Pharmacy Bar, glancing at the Crafty Bastards craft show in Adams Morgan, and marching all the way back up Mass. Avenue to the semi-annual Greek Festival at Saint Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral to buy pastries I cannot eat, but that my Wonderful Friend will have for dinner and breakfast. Miles walked–8. Hours spent together talking nonstop–almost 4. Value placed on this–how much does the sun and moon cost?





Lifetime five: Going to The Palm for the steak and lobster I have been craving for weeks, only to be seated at the worst table (thank you wicked curse of Open Table) with the best server. After slurping oysters on the half shell, drinking a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, the experience of having to send back my initial 2 lb. lobster because it was, well, mushy and wafting a slight aroma of something lobsters shouldn’t, and then having the chef’s sincere apology served up in the form of an exquisite 3 lb. lobster was, after it all, a dinner I will never forget.

mr rg.jpg


Lifetime six: Continuing a night out on the town, kissing Mr. Restaurant Gal very publicly at a bar where I used to work, kissing him again on the sidewalk, and for a much longer time at home at our front door, a display not previously in my character, because my character is nothing like it was three months ago, and because this is the date of a lifetime.

Lifetime seven: The next morning, having coffee and a quick walk with another close, long-time friend who has come up with the perfect description of me and her and my very closest friends: “I am the older sister, you and your best-sister-friend from Montana are the twins, and your Wonderful Friend is our baby sister.” I love her for this view of us as family. An hour later, sitting with Mr. Restaurant Gal in Bethesda in the Tasty Diner’s aged wooden booths to drink steaming coffee, while wolfing down a salsa and cheese omelet and a side order of grits loaded with butter and sugar (yes, sugar–I am not apologizing for this!). While pondering the choices of a table-top juke box, we laugh with one another about how totally and completely hung over we really are.

Lifetime eight: Meeting talented blogger and frequent RG commenter, Jenni, and marveling at her beautiful 4-day-old baby and her gentle and utterly charming older son and daughter and husband. And once again wondering how it is, as I meet a few of my readers, that I have made friends online that I feel as though I have known in person for years. And how they are every bit as wonderful as I imagined them to be.

Lifetime nine: Eating TGI Friday’s burgers and fries and drinking a margarita at Reagan National Airport, trying not to cry knowing I will be winging my way back to my palm-tree paradise in an hour, and yet regaling Mr. Restaurant Gal with details about how much I love my apartment, my neighborhood, my beach, my job. And hugging him and kissing him one last time just before I walk through security, promising him with a smile that I will absolutely spend a fortune to see him again in two weeks.

I am the luckiest cat of all. The way I see it, my nine lives are just the beginning.






22 responses to “Nine Lives”

  1. kim Avatar

    Awesome! That is just fantastic RG! You have made my day ! … enjoy deserve it so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lex Avatar

    Though you won’t apologize, I will shame you for putting sugar on grits. I just ate a bowl with butter, salt, fresh cracked pepper and freshly grated parmesan.

    And I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend!

  3. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal


    Lex–I eat grits with butter and salt and pepper and cheese, too. But sometimes I hark back to being five years old and dump multiple tablespoons of sugar along with the butter on top, instead. It’s really good! No apologies!!!

  4. Shannon Avatar

    This post made my day. After so much struggle and hard decisions, it sounds like you had a great weekend full of love, laughter and good food! I love it that you love Mr. RG. Separation is a bitch – I don’t care what good reasons there are for doing it.
    My best wishes to you for many more weekends (or for that matter a lifetime) of days as good as these that you described.

  5. Candi Avatar

    Hooray! I’m glad everything worked out so well and that you got to eat so much food! (That lobster pic seriously made me soooo hungry! I’m coming to Florida for my honeymoon next week after I get married on the 12th! I’ll be eating lobster in Disney for a week! I can’t wait!)

  6. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Now I’m feeling peckish…

  7. Julie Avatar

    Sounds like you did as many things as possible during your time in DC. And, I know it was much-needed. A chance to re-charge and re-connect with loved ones makes it easier to get through day-to-day life on your own as well. And you’re making plans to go again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    When I lived on my own, I traveled quite a bit to see old friends. It was the best thing I did for myself.

    P.S. Next time, have a second lobster for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed an allergy to shellfish. But, I can still remember how much I enjoyed eating lobster (and shrimp and crab) years ago.

  8. Katie Avatar

    Sounds like a great weekend!

  9. maureen Avatar

    How great to hear you so happy . You’re twiced blessed you not only had a great weekend you’ve have the capacity to truley appreciate it. You go girl !!

  10. PhilosopherP Avatar

    I’m quite happy to see you had a wonderful weekend — hubby and I had a similar weekend in Omaha. We are separated because the academic job market is so horrible, that a long-distance relationship is the only viable option.

    Maybe I missed it, and forgive me for not reading as often as I’d like, but could you explain why you moved to Florida — away from those who love you, and whom you clearly love?

  11. Junior Avatar

    Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!!

    Love the shirt and loved the story.. made me warm and fuzzy inside..

    that might be the scotch though ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. namaste Avatar

    love your lifetimes. especially the walking and the kissing and the meeting of readers. totally yum.

  13. savannah Avatar

    been a while, but what a great read to come back to, sugar! i wish you all the best!

  14. Artful Dodger Avatar

    Yay!! Restaurant Gal!! Glad too see you ever so happy and bubbly. ^_^

  15. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Thank you, everyone, for the happy wishes. It’s a beginning, and I am made at once calm and thrilled by it.

    Savannah and Artful Dodger, so nice to have you visit again.

    Junior, go Jayhawks, scotch be damned!

    Philosopher p–Read back through May, and then just know sometimes one needs to break away and be alone to find one’s way back.

    Shannon, Maureen, Julie, Katie, Candi–Thanks! You all are so great to keep up with my crazy life.

    Kim–I had to look up the UK meaning of “peckish” which is quite different from the U.S. meaning!

  16. Laura Avatar

    Again just lurking – but I did get a nice note from you the first time I ever sent a message. I just thought it was funny that I was at the Greek festival too. Glad you and Mr. Restaurant Gal had a good time this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Sharon Avatar


    I’m going home next week- 2500 miles away, to the town I lived in all my life until 7 years ago, where my family and best friends all still live- and have been secretly dreading it, because there only really 5 days, and so many obligations and people I must see, and people who will be upset if I don’t see them, and so on… but you’ve reminded me that I need to do what I can fit in, and enjoy each minute of it to the fullest. And if I manage to get an hour to myself to walk down to the beach and sit on the sand alone and enjoy the sensation of being in a place I love, all the better.

    Thank you for this reminder.

  18. Sharon Avatar

    P.S. I thought I’d let you know that just as I hit the “add my comment” button, I burst into tears– because I am finally so happy to be going home.

  19. K Avatar

    LOL – the ‘peckish’ comment was amusing. We say it up here too, in Canada! I just looked up the US version, VERY funny ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yep, I totally understand that – sometimes you just need space. I’ve moved so many times in my life (though it’s not a long life at this point) and each time I’ve learned more about me, which just makes things that much better. It gives you perspective on the rest of life and eventually you will find ‘home’ whether that be with your Mr, or without. Mine was without – which was the best, though I miss being in a relationship.
    But going back is always lovely isn’t it?

  20. Curlatini, Esq. Avatar

    I don’t get why you moved away from Mr. RG, your cute cat, and D.C. to move to Miami! I moved from D.C. back to S. Fla. about 4 years ago and it might be the worst 4 years I have ever lived. If you know what’s good, you’ll be back in D.C. within a year.

  21. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Laura–were the lines a million miles long for all the grilled food when you were there? I never did get souvlaki!

    Sharon–Oh, have a great time during each of those 5 days. You will, I know it, happy tears and all.

    K–I don’t know all that is next, and I am here in Florida for the remainder of the season, at least. But, I know I feel a lot better.

    Curlatini–Sometimes, you have to leave it all to find your way back. Time, distance, and reflection was absolutely necessary for me after a rocky time of it. I am still taking that time a very far distance from DC, and the reflection continues to be a positive, albeit difficult, process. Good luck to you, too, wherever you land next.

  22. QKK Avatar

    I’m so happy for you and Mr RG =) Looking forward to your time back in DC in a fortnight’s already! Keep us posted!