|"High Tea" Esca, February 2011|
For a few months I had been pining to go to Esca because of it's slow-food mentality. And thanks to specials we could take advantage of it. I knew it was impressive considering the review sites labeled it as "$$$$" and while I don't own any fancy frocks, because let's face it I can't afford the SATC lifestyle, I do own some decent items. But yesterday, the outside world was quite literally an ice-skating rink and there was no way to leave the house without rain boots and cozy pants.
I know we all have an "I-don't-have-anything-to-wear" dilemma every once in a while. But I instantly fell into a pity party. Why don't I have nice, professional clothes when I'll officially be one in May? Why don't I have a versatile closet? What have I worn the past year at my other job? Why have I gained all this weight since living in the city and my decent clothes doesn't fit right? Why is this restaurant giving me the Cinderella-syndrome?
I was knee-deep. I cried. I yelled at Jon. I took out the majority of my closet to try on. I did not want to go to the restaurant of my dreams anymore if it was going to make me feel like a scrub. Why did I deserve or think I had the right to go to such a place? I kicked Jon out of the room and remembered to breathe. Here I was with the perfect opportunity to try new things, have a romantic date, feel nice about myself, and I was throwing it away because of a tantrum.
I quickly threw on a nice tank with my thick Gap sweater and stuffed my black "professional" pants into my Tretorn rain boots and decided to face the disapproving looks of staff. At least if I didn't look fancy, Jon didn't either and we'd be in it together, like a couple. And if they didn't approve and try to offer us blazers, then we would keep our dignity and patron a different restaurant. It's NYC right? Everyone dresses crazy!
As we travelled over my confidence starting swelling, "well screw them if they don't accept us!" We made it finally, where a very attentive staff that was kind despite their initial reactions of seeing us, and sat us at a small table full of different sized utensils that we had no clue how to use. Jon and I looked at each other agreed: we felt like little kids wearing our parents clothes. We were the youngest ones there among business executives and ladies-that-lunch.
We were out of place, but we ordered anyway. And it was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had. (Note: if you ever go, order the spaghetti a la bolognesa!)
This seems to be a recurring theme in my NYC life: finding a niche to fit into, a balance between my young-professionalism versus my peter-pan roots, feeling classy enough to dress-up my single-parent-lower-middle-class Argentine roots in this sky-high concrete city. It's one of my personal demons that is always lingering in the back of my mind, where I've come from. And I never want to become one of those adults that consider Applebee's fine dining.
But hopefully, I can do as I did yesterday and overcome the negative voices and enjoy what I deserve. Grow into myself and who I'm meant to become: appreciate the skeletons in my closet but ignore their taunting voices.