I don't really have a ton of moments where I live out Sheryl Crowe's lyric, "This is LA." But Wednesday, different story. I went to a hip LA eatery to have dinner with a friend and visit another that works there. To preserve their identities I will from thenceforth call the person I was meeting for dinner, Candelle, and the person who works at the eatery, Maveed. I had wanted to go to dinner at around 7pm. Thinking, "Well that's sort of pushing my stomach but it will probably be fine." 7pm is super late in Bellinger dinner time. Normally we are a 6pm sharp kind of folks. When I told Maveed we would be arriving at 7pm, he laughed and said they don't start to fill up until 8ish. Fill up? What in the heck do these people do that they can start dinner at 8pm? Seriously. I want to know. WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE DO? Maybe I've lived in hippieville too long.
1) Who goes out on a school night?
2)Who spends money on a school night? 3)Who starts a Wed. night at 8pm?
I guess you can take the girl out of Waco, but ...you get it.
I get a message from Candelle that she wants to meet up at 8pm. 8pm?! That's even later. Then she's late, so around 8:30 we finally order. The place is starting to fill up, as promised, and I'm looking around realizing I am in a United Colors of Benetton ad. People could not have been more attractive. It was that tight seating where you can hear everything the table next to you is saying. You really should be friends but everyone tries to pretend there is an imaginary wall between the tables. On our left was an extremely good looking model type couple. Candelle told the woman she liked her shoes, and a lovely conversation ensued that the shoes were from Spain, and very cheap at only $120, her Coco Channel diamond earrings glittering, while her teeth made that "ding" sound.
[Deep Breath] $120 is not cheap. I get it. I live in hippieville and she lives in modelville. There will come a time when indeed $120 will seem cheap to me, but given I do pretty much all my shopping at "Ross Dress for Less" the idea of $120 shoes from Spain being cheap, had me feeling like I had finally entered the bubble that is LA. Mr. Model made a comment about his shoes, slightly miffed Ms. Model was getting all the attention. Oh the Model family...their Christmas cards are always so pretty.
Dinner continued and I was struck by a coughing fit towards the end. The very charming gay couple to our right recoiled with disgust. I caught the eye of one of them, and apologized, and then out of no where told them I was a smoker. I'm not a smoker. I don't know why I said it. I think I liked the idea of being someone else in the bubble, and that it might be comforting that I wasn't carrying the Bird Flu, but just emphysema. The well built one of the two, explained he was a dancer and couldn't get sick.
I chatted with the two men about what they did, and the other was an actor, "I'm an actor!" I said. "Have you been going out much?" For those of you that don't speak actor that means "auditioning". "No not really." Refraining to say I hadn't been going out at all, because I don't have an agent. But in this fake world, I have an agent and emphysema.
It just funny you know, how all the pieces fit together. This restaurant is in the same world as VFW in Mandan, North Dakota and Libya and Walmart. I guess I need to be flexible about my dinner start time.
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Gillian Bellinger is an LA based comic rockin' it in the free world.