Patsy Porco

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Pete’s Tavern: Where I Acknowledged My Mortality

In Humor on March 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm
I was invited to a jewelry party that benefited a charity in Nicaragua by my neighbor. She hand-delivered the invitation to me a month or so ago. The party was at her house, and was being hosted by her two daughters.
I dutifully emailed my RSVP to the hosts. In response, I received an email from one of them, asking me who I was, and how I heard about the party. I laughed out loud. Who try to crash a jewelry party, where one would be obligated to buy something?  Most people would try to figure out reasons to avoid it.
This reminds me of the time that a friend, Janie, asked me to pass the word that she was looking for clients for her hair-cutting business. When one of my friends contacted her via email, Janie became infuriated and wrote back—in all caps—something to the effect of, “WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DID YOU GET MY EMAIL ADDRESS?” I laugh every time I think of this.
Anyway, responding to an email has gotten me into trouble before, but this is the first time I’ve ever been suspected of trying to crash a party just so that I could spend money. 
Apropos of nothing…
Back in our salad days, when my husband, Frank, and I lived in Manhattan, we used to go to Pete’s Tavern all the time. Pete’s Tavern is a New York City landmark restaurant on Irving Place, not far from Gramercy Park. O’Henry wrote “The Gift of the Magi” there in a booth across from the bar. The first room contains a bar with booths; behind it, the second room is for dining; and, until last weekend, we didn’t even know that there was a third room behind the second one. During the time that we frequented Pete’s, we were always seated in the front room, where it was lively and fun.
Last week, Frank suggested that we go there again, since we hadn’t been there in almost twenty years. I was thrilled with his suggestion. However, as soon as we presented ourselves to the host, we were immediately ushered into the third room–the back room–without a moment’s hesitation on his part.
We soon realized that this was the “Hide the Middle-Aged Crowd so that They Don’t Discourage Young, Hip People From Coming In” room. How disheartening to realize that we had fallen, head-first, over the “cool” hill since the last time we were there.
The food was great, though, and we had a lot of fun … but there was, nevertheless, a cloud of lost-youth regret hovering above our table—or at least above my side of the table. Frank, of course, thought that I was hallucinating.

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