As we continue this June 11, 2021 day, we left off with our girl headed for home after a wonderful evening. But it was only 8:30 and I wanted more time in my dress! Plus an almost two week Kandi shutdown was lurking on the horizon. So I decided to head to an area (Independence for my two Cleveland readers) with a bunch of restaurant options. I was going to stop at the sports bar I was at the previous week, where I talked sports with the gentleman seated near me. Something drew me to the site of the final Kandi’s Supper Club, The Oak Barrel. The parking lot was full, the patio near capacity and this girl was feeling her oats as she walked in.
One seat was open in a rather humid bar, along the right side of the square U shaped bar. As I sit down two African-American ladies are getting up and I locked eyes with one of them. I smiled and she gently laid her hand on my shoulder as she left. That painted a broad smile on my face and the bartender greeted me. I asked for a wine list and selected a pinot noir. She brought me my drink, which I told her would be the only drink for the night and called me “Dear”. I sat, smiling in a full bar, and enjoyed my wine. I then asked for my check as a lovely woman asked me if the two seats to my immediate right were open. I told her they were all hers and we made some small talk while she awaited her husband and I awaited my check.
I give the bartender the check and my credit card only to be informed that my drink was taken care of. Oh my! A woman, seated across the bar with her husband or date, bought my drink. The bartender would only tell me that once she left the restaurant. Wow! Now the woman seated next to me, her husband seated, says she’ll buy me another drink if I stay. I order another glass, but tell her it was not necessary that she pays for my drink. An almost hour conversation between the three of us ensues, as if we were life long friends.
During our conversation, another bartender comes up to me and asks if I work at CMA (the art museum). He knew me (and no, I didn’t know him)! He then informed me the second glass of wine I was enjoying was on the house. What a night! I order a third glass simply to extend the wonderful conversation I was having. As I was chatting with my new friends, a lovely woman comes up behind me and excuses herself to tell me how beautiful she thought I was (yeah, I know, but she did seem to have eyesight)! Could the night get any better?
So I finally pay for one glass of wine and did what I felt obligated to do, pay it forward. I basically gave the bartender a 200% tip and thanked her for a remarkable evening. I bid my new friends farewell (they were visitors to Cleveland and left with a story to tell, I am sure). Casey, this wonderful new friend of mine asked if I gave hugs when I told them I had to leave. Me? Hugs? You know I gave her a warm hug and thanked her for being so sweet. I won’t bore you with the details of our conversation, but it was all over the board. Sports, where we grew up, restaurants, concerts, places to visit in town, their professions, the food, etc… Like I said, it was as if we had simply decided as friends to meet there. And not one single mention of my attire. I was accepted as the worthwhile human being I am.
Proudly being who I am, beaming with joy and happiness, living my life, this has always paid me huge dividends as Kandi. Me, no one would have even noticed me. Kandi, she is a ray of light and I am privileged to be along for the ride.