The great thing about Bemelmans is, it doesn’t change. Time seems to stop as you enter its magical world.
Like in a Bogart movie, the bartender was drying glasses while a couple snuggled at the far end. He smiled as I entered, as if he knew me though we’d never met. It’s been months since I’ve been so there’s been a changing of the guard.
“Hello young lady,” he said, giving me a half smile. Young lady…I knew we’d bond for life.
I was all set to sit at a table then decided to warm a stool instead.
“Merlot please,” I said, that 20 twitching in my pocket. I hadn’t had a great glass of wine in a while, not since the last time I was there with my friend Steve who took my picture, as a gift, for my last eBook. Now that was a strange day since he brought his wife along to assist. She assisted alright. She did everything, including order our wine sharing one glass between them. Made me so uncomfortable. I know it’s pricy and Steve was treating, but it’s a 5 star hotel, not a Houlihan’s, so it shouldn’t have been a big surprise. I felt I had to be polite which took me away from the matter at hand, and it showed in the photos. I looked like a paper doll with an enlarged head. He did send me one after it was photoshopped, and shopped and shopped my face a tad embalmed, but of course we all know it’s the thought that counts.
Men and dominating wives give me the creeps. I can hear those balls they’ve confiscated crashing around in their handbags.
But back to the young lady and her new barman.
He gave me a large goblet, the burgundy liquid heating up before my eyes. That’s the thing with good wine, it struts it stuff like a showgirl even before the show begins.
Old habits die hard as I perused the room for blog material. The couple nearest to me were up to no good. Middle-aged, too much girth, and by the looks of things, this was no doubt a tryst on a twistin Thursday afternoon. I watched her giddily grope him beneath the bowels of the bar…preview of coming attractions no doubt.
“I’ll take another Jameson and water,” he called out, his voice a tad high.
I’ll bet, and I’d have two.
I was suddenly envious of their passion soon to explode on an upper floor. I imagined two walruses going at it with natural abandonment amid an open mini bar.
To the rear of me sat a table of women labeled to the hilt. See, I don’t care for my Chanel to show, it’s always nicer if one gets a surprise peek. But this group could have been an ad for Neimans.
What possessed Miuccia Prada to enlarge her letters on her purses embossing them in gold is a mystery to me. Each woman had one glowing like cheap firelight, and God knows, Prada ain’t cheap. They also had designer eye wear perched on their heads so the ivory inlaid would show. Tom Ford? Gucci? Who knows. And the shoes…it amazed me they weren’t lame. I half expected crutches hanging overhead, their initials finely etched in the wood.
And we mustn’t forget the prattle. Even with hearing loss I was privy to the limited conversation. Do women ever realize how boring they are when all they can talk about are carbohydrates, clothes and men who don’t want them?
How about, are you reading anything Betty? And Sue, tell me about that trip to Rome and Venice. Are there really that many stray cats in the Colosseum? Did you imagine Anna Magnani passionately going to feed them every day?
A girl can dream, right?
They were all drinking sours…so apt…whiskey, scotch, rum. I laughed when one lady said, “You’d think at a place like this they’d have those little umbrellas.”
She thought she was at a singles weekend at a Club Med in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Oh, do I miss Bemelmans. I haven’t been able to be this catty in much too long.
And right when I was all set to go, enjoying that last sip of my Burberry Merlot, my new barman strolled over and said, “How bout a glass on me young lady?”