Sunday, July 20, 2008

Is Less More?

My friend Q and I had decided on sushi for dinner, and the prerequisite was that we sat outside. Lucky for us, our neighborhood boasts some of the best dining around. We headed to what I like to call the Red Carpet Oscar Party Restaurant in my neighborhood. It's the in place to be right now, and a lot of people go there to be seen. I know, it turns my stomach too, but the food, especially the sushi is heavenly.

Hot spots offer great character ideas if you're a writer. There's me; sitting just a little off to the side so I don't miss out on anyone's conversation (insert auditory voyeurism); asking lots of questions, and mentally filling in the blanks to all the questions that never get answered, while simultaneously creating new characters for a story that has yet to be conceived.

I don't try and compete with the jet setters (not that I could), and I'm usually wearing my standard: Tank top (no bra), a pair of shorts (no panties) and a pair of cheap, 99 cent, all rubber flip-flops. Sometimes I'm wearing a straw hat too, because writers always seem to be wearing hats, or more than likely, I didn't wash my hair that day. There are times when one must ante up and wear the damn panties and bra, though, but not last night.

I sat their watching as couples, singles, and groups of people were seated for dinner; after their flashy sport's cars and gas guzzling SUV's were turned over to the valet. I saw beautiful women; dressed in silks, and strappies; exposing lots of tanned skin. Nails, toes and make-up on their faces; all matching perfectly in shades like, peach and poppy. They smelled of honeysuckle, rose and spice. The men I saw were equally stunning; sporting golden golf tans, dressed expensively and crisp; holding bill folds full of cash.

I dipped, and swallowed my sushi while my eyes followed and my ears tuned into the jet setter parade. I blinked back tears; partly from the wasabi, but also from all the ostentation that surrounded me. I was overwhelmed with the audacious, loud, and voracious behavior. The flaunting of money; the inclusion and exclusion of power, and the shallowness of all of it seemed to vibrate throughout the restaurant; it was louder than the music pumping through the speakers.

After we'd left the restaurant, I thought about my experience as we walked the short distance and slipped into a lesser hot spot located close by for an after dinner, cool and breezy, icy, cold drink.

"Q, do you think less is more?" I asked sipping my decaf ice-coffee with a shot of Irish Creme.

"Yes." She answered, savoring her drink.

"I think so too. I'm not one for wanting to live too far below my means, but I certainly feel better about myself when I don't have too much. Frugal is the cure. Too much of anything, is just too much. Too much sushi. Too much perfume. Too many cats (Fuck. Ooops, too late.) Too many clothes. Too much sex (Okay. Maybe not this one thing). It seemed gluttoneous to me back there. Did you get that too?" I asked.

"Yes." She answered, smiling.

Is less more for you? Why? Why not?


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