Monday, April 24, 2006

hello, gorgeous

This weekend, the ever-lovely Torie Gorges came to town for Sunday brunch.

Torie and I used to work in a shared mini-cubicle nicknamed "the playpen." It was so named because it did, in fact, resemble those collapsible mesh boxes you put babies in so that they can entertain themselves. It was also so named because if we hadn't called it something amusing, we might have killed ourselves.

Thank goodness we had each other. Torie was really the only thing that made life in the playpen bearable (well, Slappy, too, but she was in the other's a long story). However, she'd been there longer than I and thus managed to escape a good five months before I.

And escape she did -- all the way from Boston to Palo Alto, for a stint in the hallowed halls of a phenomenal international educational policy program at a school whose campus looks absolutely nothing like a gigantic Taco Bell, really! In all seriousness, Torie is rather brilliant and wholly dedicated to the improvement of education worldwide, and she's done some great work out there, no matter how much I tease her about being all "left coast"-y now. She's really not at all uber-Californian, but I have to have some payback for her ongoing hilarious insistence that my husband is perpetually twelve years old.

She received her Master's in what seems to me to have been record time, and now works in educational research; I'm sure she'll wind up with a Ph.D. not too long from now and I'll start sending her silly missives addressed to The Gorges Doctor or some other horrendous pun.

Anyway, she had to fly out to the Hub this week to do some research and came out early to visit her family on the north shore, so I was able to convince her to make the two-hour trek north and have brunch chez nous.

I made a frittata that, thankfully, we all saw looking beautiful in the pan, because it did not decide to make the transfer to the plate in one piece, and became rather more of a giant, well, scramble. The lemon-poppy scones and balsamic berry salad with mint were all delicious, but I think the best part might have been the several mimosas. Whee! Champagne!

We spent an absolutely wonderful afternoon chatting and catching up. It was a dreary rainy chilly day, which is a shame because it would have been nice to walk around the Old Port, but I also relished the opportunity to talk to a Torie who seems really and truly happy, centered, and flourishing. Northern California -- and the, ahem, people there -- definitely agree with her, and I'm thrilled to see her looking and sounding so wonderful.

And of course, we spent a good deal of time poring over the wedding album and discussing the upcoming honeymoon. Torie's wedding gift to us was the promise of a phenomenal bottle of wine while we're across the pond celebrating. (Torie and I, it should be said, go waaaaay back when it comes to wine. And I think that's all that should be said about that.) Torie may have California wine country out by her -- and I fully intend to explore that to the deepest extent of my ability to finagle a table at The French Laundry -- but in the meantime, I've got Paris in less than two weeks! Oh, les fromages, les chocolats, les plateaux de fruits de mers! I've been busy dialing abroad and I've got five dinners already reserved and one more to go, keeping one night free for last-minute decisions or revisitations. We got to share a bunch of the plans with Torie, and talking about all the details with such a close friend made it start to seem that much more real. Paris!

The other great thing was being reminded how well good friends really know you. After all, even with all that to look forward to, Torie could probably tell you that I just might be most excited about that bottle of excellent wine. I think we might have to bring some of it back for posterity, no?

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