Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Zigeunerweisen - ode to date night

Parent's night out at Fort Jackson is the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month. And ever since I found out about it, I do my best to make sure I'm at the CDC bright and early to sign up for a night of super-cheap (and reliable!) babysitting for five hours while the honey and I go out.

This week, however, the plans changed; and I admit, I didn't take it so well.
A friend had offered to keep Cam for the night, which meant we could go out sans curfew. The honey accepted said offer and started making plans of his own. It turns out, his plans involved going to a club. Um, what? 

I imagined going to some sweat-filled nightclub full of 20-somethings (and younger than 20-somethings with fake IDs) spilling cheap drinks while dancing to the latest garbage as it blares through the speakers (seriously, have you heard the music these days? ugh!).  Two things about me: I don't like noise and 2) once I've decided I don't like something, there's a very slim chance of changing my mind.

So. Date night. I bought a pair of shoes to make what I assumed would be an inevitable disaster more palatable. 

About an hour before we left, I googled the club. And it wasn't a "club" at all really. It was more of a restaurant/lounge situation. Ok, I'm feeling better. Except for # 2 listed above, of course.

Anyway, I reluctantly showered. Dressed. Untwisted hair (which could have lasted another week!). Camouflaged eye bags. Minimized skin flaws. Perfumed. And off we went.

I will skip the part where we got lost. I will gloss over us googling the address in the museum parking lot only to learn we were off on the address by about um, 30 or so blocks. And I will barely mention the fact that once we got to the club (30 minutes after my normal bed time, no less!) it was closed. Seems there was some sort of controversy brewing over a fire investigation, which I assume had something to do with it. So, there we are. All dressed up with nowhere to go, getting sleepier by the moment, and knowing that, like Cinderella, I only had until midnight. Except, whereas Cinderella's carriage turned into a pumpkin, I turned an overworked working mother with bags under her eyes the size of storage trunks.

So in an effort to salvage the evening, we decide to go to a tried and true jazz spot, the Blue Martini. When we got there, something was going on. The bouncer?host? was apologetic at the $8 cover he had to charge us. He seemed even more apologetic that he had to put "tacky" orange bands on our wrists. I wasn't sure what was going on, but it didn't seem like our scene. Meaning: the majority of the patrons seemed to be older than 60. An entire section was occupied by a group of gray-haired guys wearing sweater vests. I think I even saw one wearing one of those blazers with the patches on the elbow. "Professors" was the word that came to mind. Turns out, I was right.

We'd walked into a Dez Cordas concert, a double bassist/guitarist duo. The bassist was -- wait for it -- a professor at the University of South Carolina. I didn't know what they were playing, the blog title, Zigeunerweisen is one of the selections they played, but I liked it. Much of what they played sounded like something from the soundtrack from Martin Scorcese film. You know, that crescendo of strings that happens right before the part you imagine to be the climax, when in fact, the climax is nowhere in sight?

And the guys, well they were funny. In that geeky, Steve Carell-in-40-year-old Virgin type of way.

The talent was amazing. As a journalist I (rarely) use a tape recorder and later transcribe the interview. These guys did the same thing, except with music. As in, listened to a song, then wrote the notes in order to play it on their instruments. Amazing.

When they played a series of tangoes, I felt like I was in a little Argentinian club. When the little old lady next to me asked: "Do you tango?" I wished I could have said yes.

Was it the evening I'd thought it would be? No. But I enjoyed it; and in the end, I came out of it feeling just a little bit more cultured; a little bit more refined.

And then we got in the car and listened to Ludacris.

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