Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Playing Hooky With My Girl

Shh, don't tell — I took Mimosa out of school yesterday (she had to be there for Madrigals and Chorus; she has a solo in tonight's concert, and her teacher would've had kittens if she'd missed school altogether), picking her up at 9:15 with vague murmurs of "have to see a specialist," and we were off!
My poor pumpkin, she is completely tuckered out. She had rehearsals every night last week from 5:30 to 10, not getting home til 10:30 (she's usually in bed an hour before that), then rising at 6 for Mads practice every day, and then four performances of Into the Woods this weekend.

And I'm tired too, man. I was an emotional wreck on Friday — the fact that no one from Arlington was coming to see her just hit me so hard.

But Good Neighbor Anne and Angel-Daughter left flowers for Mimosa at our door on Friday, and a sweet little girl from Madrigals came to Sunday's show, and we were also able to get a ticket for Brunie at the last minute, and the show itself went really well — Mimosa says she's glad she did it.

Husband and I helped the cast strike the set after the final performance, which was fun in a grim kind of way but took two hours, and by Sunday night we had all the boing! of overcooked pasta.

We needed Mommy and Mimosa's Day of Fun, stat!!

A light snow began falling just as I picked her up from school, but it was easy to drive in, and it made everything so pretty.

Mimosa and I had decided to spend our day in Cambridge. Our first stop was Verna's, for a honey dip and a hot drink. Verna's is a Cambridge institution. A few years ago it looked like it was shutting down — weep! weep! — but then some new owners swooped in and rescued it. (cue Indiana Jones theme music) Hurray!

Except and except. It hasn't been quite as good since. Mrs. Cynicletary and I, who used to wax rhapsodic over Verna's honey dip, have transferred our affections to Ohlin's Bakery in Belmont. Nonetheless, on a chilly morning on your way into Cambridge proper, a Verna's slightly faded honey dip is still a thing of beauty.

We were also waiting for the stores to open at 10 a.m. February means my besty Lady Darcy's birthday on the 24th, and two of my favorite places to shop for her are Joie de Vivre and The Paper Source, both in Porter Square. These stores have such cool things!


Alas, I was not shopping for me, so the hedgehog Valentine kit and Barbie flask went unpurchased.

(My favorite find was a magnet featuring a golden-haired lad proudly sporting a plaid sweater vest. It reads, "Dad says I'm a disappointment, but Mom says I'm fabulous!")

It was still a bit early for lunch, so we drove around Cambridge for a bit, admiring the snowfall on Harvard Yard and checking out what's new in Harvard Square.

In Central Square, I showed Mimosa the exact spot where her dad and I met, on the steps outside the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, waiting for someone to open the door. I think she was impressed.

(Husband and I were both speakers bureau volunteers. I think it's a cool way to meet a feminist guy with good politics; nonetheless, it does give one pause to say, "I met my husband at the Rape Crisis Center!")

We also drove by the Middle East Restaurant, owned by my former beau, because I wanted to get a good look at the mural painted on its side; I heard that my ex is prominently featured in it. Alas, there seems to be a new mural — or else someone has re-imagined my ex to be 20 years younger and channeling his inner Ricky Ricardo. (The guy in the mural who most resembles him is shirtless and pounding on some bongos — neither, I assure you, being my ex's usual practice.)

(And wow is he doing well! The restaurant seems to be thriving, and it looks like they've expanded quite a bit. Ah, the Cambridge dynasty that could've been mine. C'est la vie.)

Lunch time! There are dozens of good restaurants in Kendall Square (including one with the promising name of Hungry Mother), but I picked a name I liked even better: The Friendly Toast.
And it was the perfect lunch spot for us!

The wallpaper features vintage YA mystery books, including Nancy Drew's The Bungalow Mystery and Tom Swift and the Caves of Nuclear Fire! There are quirky little oddities on the walls and along the shelves, and the menu itself is all kinds of fun; I held onto it for a bit so I could read the Hitchcocktail list.

I had mac 'n' cheese with chorizo and banana peppers and a side salad, Mimosa had a burger with garlic spread and avocado and onion rings, and we were happy kittens. We can't wait to come back and bring our boys!

To round out our day, we chose an Oscar-nominated movie from our must-see list, Her, which we both enjoyed enormously. Usually I dislike Joaquin Phoenix, but he completely won me over in this sweet part. And I love both Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson, and they were stellar as always.

We drove home through quiet snow-dappled streets, warm and contented. Mimosa had purchased a stuffed Grumpy Cat earlier, and she held kitty up to the window as the sun sank lower and dusk gently settled on our pretty town.

It was a lovely, restful, soul-restoring day. I love spending time with my girl!

But real life now beckons . . . I suppose I should get back to it.

— Lady C, wishing she could play hooky every day


  1. that was a grand tale of a lovely day. my girl and i took a penny rug course over the weekend. i must say, my blanket stitch is wicked good. it is nearly 2 AM and i'm sitting her eating fudge and oranges. i am trying to eat more oranges than fudge but i'm failing. i got the email. slightly freaking out but we'll talk later about that. i'm suddenly so afraid and intimidated. sigh sigh xx

    1. Oh, honey, did I scare you??? It is so hard for me to imagine wonderful magnificent talented you being intimidated by anyone or anything, especially when you can do a wicked good blanket stitch and I don't even know what a penny rug is. I will be in touch soon and will soothingly talk you down from the ledge . . . all will be well. xxx