One Pink Martini, Please Waiter!

Sunday night I made it home from Columbus in time to lead a girls' night outing to Ravinia Park. Inspired at first from Jason's reluctance to join me for Latin Jazz night, his idea that I ask a few Chicago girlfriends turned out to be a very good one. Maybe it's the years of ostracism in grade school that make me still surprised as an adult that I have lots of friends now. (I was a nerd, and Mom always told me I'd make more friends when I was older. Thank God, people mature!) Good thing Jason also has confidence in my friend-collecting abilities, since I don't know if I'd ventured it without his encouragement.
The concert featuring Arturo Sandoval and Pink Martini was really enjoyable. Although at first I was overwhelmed by the crowds. We traveled up north on the Metra train, standing the whole way. The dutiful conductor climbed over people and picnic baskets to collect every fare, every penny. (There should be some rule that if there isn't really room for you on the train, your fare is not counted. They didn't count on you when they put the train cars on the track, did they?)
The exodus off the train choked the gates, and when we came to the edge of the lawn and saw a ten foot square patch of green we immediately snatched it. Surveying the crowd, it was as promised: the cultured, mostly 40+ y/o, Chicagoans arrive with lavish spreads. Outfitting their tables with tablecloths and tea lights there isn't a spot without a bottle of chilled wine, decorative wine glasses, and some fancy cheese. You half expect there to be white gloved waiters milling about.
If I'd been a better girls' night planner, I thought to myself, I would have concocted a signature drink for the evening, themed around the band itself, Pink Martini. But this may just be a symptom of my entering the wedding planning stage of my life, where every missed detail is guilt-fully regretted. And I feel powerless.
But as it was, we did have our wineglasses dive bombed by the cicadas, so anything more expensive than the grocery store wine might have been wasted. (I swear I caught the 17-year cicadas when I lived in Columbus two years ago, so it's ironic to find them here again, 15 years early according to my personal chronology, in Chicago. How many large creepy bug cycles can one girl suffer?)
Pink Martini was wonderful in my mind, and I stole a few moments to lean back on my elbows on our picnic blanket, staring up at the white birch tree, and through its leafy branches to the half moon in the summer sky. (To the tune of "Everywhere" from PM's latest album. And I thought a little of my mom, who would have maybe enjoyed the lounging on the grass, and whose visage was queued by the dreamy nostalgic lyrics: "Every time I'm far from home; I am never quite alone; Whenever we're apart; You're always in my heart; For you are with me everywhere)
There was a background of angst-ridden chatter regarding how members of our party would get home. The train would certainly be crowded and there was misinformation from the Information Booth about its arrival time. This was a little frustrating, especially when you're day-dreaming yourself off into a moment of profound reflection. As you may know from my previous posts, I am of the school of thought that if something is worth attending, it's worth staying for. Rather than "beating the crowds" I'm of the "wait out the crowds" mindset. Stay.. lounge... people-watch or stare some more at the moon. But contemplative summer sky staring is best done alone, and not on a Sunday night when others are beginning to fret about the start of their workday or their children at home with husbands whose patience may be rapidly waning. We left early, admittedly a little to my chagrin. But it's ok, since I had come half for the company and it would not have been a girls' night without them. Even if I didn't get to hear the title song, "Hey Eugene!" Here it is anyway:


Jean Therapy said...

Sounds like a great time! I've never seen PM but have been told many times I'd really like them. Enjoying grass, friends, food, wine and there anything better in the world? nice!

Andra Sue said...

Love love love me some Pink Martini. I've seen them 5 times now...and they seem to just keep getting better! Sounds like you had a wonderful girls' night under the stars.

BTW, I haven't heard the title track from their new album live yet either...but I did see it on Letterman and wasn't very impressed. I can think of a buncha songs I like better, to tell you the truth. :-)

Marci B. said...

Oh! Two of my favorite things: Ravinia and Pink Martini in one!!! Since I moved to NYC, I haven't been to Ravinia in years (miss it so much). Thanks for sharing the fun!


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