Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day one hundred and forty four ... Such a bargain.

I've been going out to eat a lot.

There are plenty of good reasons why I've been letting other people cook for me and my companion. We have a plethora of good eateries, and here on the southcoast the seafood is worth whatever they feel the market price is.

Not to mention we are in constant possession of the requisite Dinner For Two book, which is like a frugal gourmet's treasure map, illuminating the way to savory savings. With this book one can dine at many fine establishments and receive their second meal of equal or lesser value, free.

Just don't order any sodas and no one gets hurt, if you know what I mean.

But something has been making its way to the front row of my "newly noticed" pile of junk.

It seems as if almost everywhere we go they are running a "buy-a-dinner-for-two-and-get-a-free-bottle-of-wine" special.

Man, I wish I could get with that program.

I was never a big wine guy.

If it wasn't a date-night, I'd occasionally go with the biggest, cheapest, box of the highest proof red Riunite offered at my local package store. Once it was carefully tapped and balanced on the top shelf of my fridge, I would let its sanguine solution gush forth into my big, purple, plastic cup which had taken the place of the last intact wine glass. By the end of the bag (to which it had been reduced with the ravaging of the paper box it had come in) I would roll it tightly and then crumple, hand-over-hand, until every drop of vino had been squeezed from its silver confines.

So I guess I should ammend my previous statement to say, I was never a big wine guy, except for when I was drinking it.

That makes a bit more sense.

I say "if it wasn't a date-night" because on those nights, I would often opt for a nice bottle of something my date would choose (girls are good at that stuff). And, of course, I'd buy a bottle of vodka to have on reserve as well. As most of the girls I dated did not yet know of my legendary alcohol hobby, it wasn't an issue. Those were the nights I'd buy Grey Goose. I was trying to make a good impression, right? And jeesh, that bottle of wine would be gone in a matter of a couple of hours and then I might have to actually concentrate and talk and stuff. That so wasn't my style.

In the last year, date nights pretty much involved a big bottle of Grey Goose, a bag of ice, some seltzer (lightweights) and coming-to alone, at three in the morning, with the remote in my hand, the TV blaring static, and the videotape of me in a Portuguese wedding band somewhere on it, stopped frustratingly in the middle of an episode of Wiseguy, still in the machine where I had left it.

Needless to say, I never married.

But these bottle-of-wine-with-dinner specials I have been running into everywhere are pretty indicative of the times. It's tough out there. Gas is through the roof. Everything costs more and people are getting laid off everywhere you look.

But ya gotta eat.

And people aren't going to stop going on dates, right? Not at least until they really get to know each other.

You know what I'm thinking right now?

If you're as hard core of an alkie as me, you would.

OK, I was thinking, I wonder if you really need a second person to get that deal.

Maybe get the other meal to go.

You know you're gonna be hungry after that bottle of wine is gone.

Nah, maybe I'll just stick with going out with my companion. She likes me better sober and she pays for dinner.

Now that's a deal we can both get a little out of.

Thanks for reading.


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