Thursday, December 20, 2007

Celebrating at the Family Wash

Had an enjoyable evening out last night (more than my expression in this picture might indicate) at the Family Wash. Nope, not doing laundry (though that's not the worst way I ever spent an evening out); the Family Wash is a former clothes cleaning facility that has been remodeled into a artsy restaurant featuring fancy dishes and live music. This bastion of all things left-of-center is in East Nashville, known either as the trendy, trashy-chic part of town or as the area where you're most likely to be robbed or shot, depending on whom you ask. I suspect even the fiercely-loyal residents who brag about it the most are as careful as anyone to lock their doors and avoid lingering outside after dark. But things are improving.

There was a group performing the music of Vince Guaraldi from the soundtrack of the Charlie Brown Christmas special we've all watched since childhood. It also turned out to be my photographer friend Kristina's birthday and she was already planning to celebrate with friends there, so I was happy to be able to join her group for dinner.

We were seated at the entrance-side section of the restaurant that is separated from the main dining room by a large window; while it did keep us from feeling like we were in the middle of the action, it also kept the music to a conversation level (and our conversation from disturbing the serious listeners), so for me it was win-win.

We made a very congenial gathering, especially considering many of us had just met; we spent a good deal of time explaining how each of us knew Kristina, the "hub." It was an interesting mix of creative people; in addition to myself and Kristina, the group included a couple of artists (one of whom is also a Starbucks barista), a guy who supplies drum parts, and a construction manager (if you don't think construction is a creative pursuit, you don't know much about construction).

We all got along very well and there was never a lack of conversation. I was not into the group's discussion about and sharing of the various beers and/or wines they ordered, since I've never developed a taste for alcohol of any kind (just as well--that way I know it'll never be a problem for me; like Forrest Gump says, "one less thing"). But if the question of Mello Yello vs. Mountain Dew had come up, well, they would've had an earful.

I guess it's my obstinate nature, or my youngest-child tendency to welcome ways to stand out from the crowd, or maybe my anti-alcohol Baptist upbringing, but I've never understood why people are so insecure about not joining in when other people are drinking...and especially why anyone who is drinking would be offended by those who aren't (not that this was the case last night, but I've heard it happens). Insecurity drives some strange behavior. As much as I appreciate the urge--and even the need at times--to conform for the sake of fellowship and goodwill, I'm happy to know there are some things I'm simply over. Of course, there's a long list of things about which I am insecure, and the other side of being a youngest is an inherent chameleon-like ability to find ways to fit in (since we had no power in the family group, we had to be flexible), so I really have no stones to throw.

I do, however, have a goodly portion of my chicken pot pie left over to savor; a great way to remember an evening of good food, great music, and friendly company. And I didn't even get carjacked.

1 comment:

Brent said...

A well done documentary of the evening. Thanks!