Waitin’ on a Sonny’s day

September 30, 2021

The grail of ottomans

   Carol’s daughter was in the midst of a search for a specific ottoman that had eventually turned into a quest. Every time she thought she located the piece, it turned out to be a phantom. Given my standard daily posture, I know how important an ottoman can be. Heck, an entire empire was named after it. Then one seemed to appear available in San Clemente, also home to Carol’s and my favorite Italian restaurant.

   “Fancy a Happy Hour in San Clemente?” April, unable to go herself, asked her mother. Carol turned to me. “Wanna have linner at Sonn –“

   “Yes,” I exclaimed, before she could finish pronouncing Sonny’s full name.

   But going there would break all the rules. It was a Sunday, first of all, and the last time we tried to have dinner there was on a Sunday. The entrance was jammed with people waiting for a table. The image had so traumatized me (picture the NY Port Authority Bus Terminal on a Friday evening) that the thought of going even at the linner hour was just too daunting. Plus, assuming we found the ottoman right away, we’d be arriving at Sonny’s nearer the actual dinner hour. But there was Carol sincerely suggesting Sonny’s as part of the ottoman search. If I had a tail, it would have been wagging wildly.

But there was Carol sincerely suggesting Sonny’s as part of the ottoman search. If I had a tail, it would have been wagging wildly.

The grail of Italian food,: Baked rigatoni and sausage; chicken scallopini

   It should also be noted that Sundays in our household are designated as non-wine nights (along with Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). Wine nights are ironclad. Non-wine nights tend to be honored more in their breach than their adherence. Overall, this schedule imposes a discipline, a kind of built-in “drink responsibly” orderliness that can be used especially effectively when answering medical questions related to personal behaviors. (“Do you have more than “x” alcoholic drinks per day?” “No,” you answer truthfully, having spread out the number of drinks you actually have daily across the days you don’t have any at all. By the way, this schedule creates a bank, which you can draw against when there occurs exceptions to non-wine nights, which are frequent …ahem, when in season.)

    Gamely, Carol attempted to frame the Sunday trip to Sonny’s as a non-wine night visit. (Just imagine the comestible faux-pas of eating at an Italian restaurant without ordering wine?) Reflecting on how this all came to be in the first place, I responded, “What part of your daughter’s suggestion of ‘Happy Hour in San Clemente’ did you not understand?”

   We were rewarded for our charitable efforts to seek the ottoman (unsuccessfully), when we later arrived at Sonny’s to find tables aplenty, available even after 5:00 p.m. The first glass of Cabernet dissolved any disappointment over failing to locate the now-prized ottoman. The second glass spawned clever schemes to continue our humanitarian quest on other scheduled non-wine nights. I have to admit Carol expressed surprise at my sudden interest in home furnishings. But it only took her a half-glass of her chardonnay to unmask my thinly veiled plot. A case of flying too close to the vine on wings of a Cabernet.


   Looks that I might be going bookcase hunting on a Wednesday, looking for lamp tables on a Thursday and seeking an armoire on a Monday are all in my immediate future. There’s an old saying, “never write a check with your mouth that your butt can’t cash.” I don’t think my feet will ever be comfortable on top of an ottoman again.

Photo credit: Carol Madigan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *