Blue Ribbon Brooklyn
I hate off-kilter weeknights. There are these occasional weird mid-week dining excursions where I simply want to have a satisfying meal and unwind, yet little unimportant things start thwarting my fun and my sanity comes into question. Is this how nervous breakdowns (whatever that means, exactly) begin?
This same evening, I spent almost my entire subway ride home from work feeling like my chest was being squeezed, and I couldn't breathe or swallow. I'm convinced that I'm on the verge of a stroke, or more likely, a nice panic disorder that seems to have set in with age.
Even though we only had to wait at the bar for about five minutes, there was still aggravation with where to stand when you're the only one not seated. Since everyone is sitting except for you, it feels like you're hovering even when positioned a good foot behind someone's stool. I also have this issue when for some bizarre reason, I'm the first person who has to stand on the subway (this really only happens on the end of the G in Queens when the train sits and waits for like five minutes) Like I said, I wonder if these non-problems are the first steps towards mania. Standing dilemmas really shouldn't make you jumpy.
On the opposite end of the potential problem spectrum, we got a nice spacious, squishy corner booth in the back. None of that squeezing you ass through the three-inch clearance between table rows. We decided on salt and pepper shrimp as an appetizer. I'd finished about 80% of my pricey gin and tonic (that's one thing I'd forgotten about Blue Ribbon–the drinks seem a buck or two higher than need be) by the time the waiter came over. I don't know what happened but my hand totally smacked the glass over and the clear liquid ran down the table, onto James and completely soaked the red velvety fabric we were sitting on. I had no one to be annoyed with except myself, and yet I was still annoyed. I was hoping my duck club sandwich with sweet potato chips would set the course back on track. Meanwhile, I picked up the spilled vessel and put it far from my spastic reach.
When our waiter came back with my sandwich and James's spicy steak (that's what they called it, I think it was their way of saying steak au poivre), he managed to re-knock over my glass onto the floor and underneath the table of the two loudly inebriated young women seated next to us (I couldn't figure out why you'd go to Blue Ribbon for cocktails, because like I said they're not cheap, and these girls seemed mildly on the prowl and it was only families and couples as far as the eye could see. If I was their age, I would be drinking at a proper bar. I would've continued our evening next door at Great Lakes, but James is no Thursday night boozehound and put the kibosh on my plan). I was like what the fuck is going on. And everyone looked at me like it was my fault–or is that just the paranoia of a mentally ill mind in the making?
I half-heartedly slogged through my food since the spirit of the meal had been crushed. I did amuse myself by ordering a Hefeweizen, which comes in one of those tall, skinny, top-heavy beer glasses. Talk about precarious. But that's me, living on the edge.
Blue Ribbon * 280 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY
Image borrowed from The Small Object