“I can walk around Kierland free as a bird.” Middle Chicken and I are playing a game called, Guess what I can do now that the mask mandate has been lifted. The Kierland part is important as it’s home to Anthropologie. Anthropologie is that wonderland for women of a certain age-all our favorite stuff is in there.
Flow-y clothes, exotic bath salts, kitschy kitchen aprons, dishes, serve ware worthy of constant display and the candles. Scents dropped from heaven assault the senses upon entry. Everything demands touch and smell. Wandering Anthro masked is simply an inferior experience.
Middle Chicken offers up a comedy club in Vegas as she can’t imagine being overcome with laughter with her mouth covered. It’s one of those places out of the movies, where you have dinner and smoke cigarettes attached to holders and tease your hair as high as the ceiling. And you may spy some sort of rat pack people.
“Ooh,” a thought strikes. “I can go back to the dive country bar.” A thunderclap follows. “We can dance again.” Middle Chicken laughs. I’ve dragged her along more than once. Country dive bar charms are lost on my middle child.
“I bet it will be so busy, they’ll have to have a band inside and out.” Excitement has me in its grasp. “And all the regulars will be there.” I say.
“What regulars?” she quizzes.
“You know. Denim sleeveless shirt guy. And Mike. And the waitress who says, ‘Corona with a lime ladies?’ when she sees Sisterella and myself?”
“Do you think maybe if you know all the regulars that you, too, might be a regular?” My face paints itself dumbfounded. It is the place I lost my favorite scarf, the last spot I danced with The Norwegian and the joint that houses some favorite stories.
“When I go there I do feel comfortable and happy. I can wear whatever I want and the waitress knows it’s the only place I drink beer. Well, I don’t know if she knows that part, but she knows I have Corona with lime, no glass, ‘cuz, well, ew. It’s a dive bar.”
“Isn’t all that the very definition of being a regular?” Middle Chicken quips.
A warm pride washes over me. I’ve never been a regular, that I know of. There is my friend Joe at Fry’s who I have to find and ask after his family or I feel the trip is incomplete. The guy who owns the little pizza spot is such as grouch but he calls out, “Miss Linda, got your sausage and black olive right here.” I bet he says the same to everyone. And isn’t that the point?
Add it to the Corona lessons–the virus not the beer. What did you miss? Really yearn for? It wasn’t stuff. It wasn’t toilet paper. It was connection. It was the people in your daily round. We’re all regulars somewhere.
Just don’t ask for a glass at the dive bar. There’s being a regular and then there’s just being silly.