Meet my new friend, Señor Patron.

shapeimage_2-3_4Revolution.  Fashion.  Scientific discovery.  Tequila.  Sometimes there occurs a confluence of forces that, individually, would amount to nothing, but collectively, bring about a shift in energy, thinking, history . . .  This is how, as a species, we end up beheading Marie Antionette, discovering the cause and cure for cholera, and determining that ponchos are acceptable outerwear even if you aren’t wrangling cattle on the Argentine Pampas.  

The stars seemed to have aligned themselves, and due to a series of unrelated events, tequila and I have gotten reacquainted.  Our little rapprochement started when I went to Chicago in April to meet up with my college housemates for a long overdue reunion.  We had bonded our freshman year at Notre Dame because we all shared an aversion to hugging our dorm mates at Sunday night mass where everyone showed up in their flannel jammies and fuzzy slippers.  It really was incredibly lame.  As soon as we could, we moved off campus to a decrepit but lovely blue house on St. Peter’s Street that was so dusty and mold ridden that I had to go home for a weekend at the beginning of the school year so two of our guy friends could rip the carpet out of my bedroom and I could get fresh prescriptions for asthma medication.  In retrospect, it could have been the pot and cigarette smoke making my lungs itch, but whatever – that carpet was nasty anyway.  

The five of us hadn’t all been together in the same room for far too long because of busy lives, babies, etc.  But as it goes with old friends, the ease and chatter and laughter from our days on St. Peter’s Street translated with complete immediacy to the hotel suite in Lincoln Park where we set up camp for the weekend.  We talked about everything and nothing, noshed on yummies both in the room and out on the town, shopped, drank, smoked, laughed our asses off  and had an all around rockin’, rollicking, hilarious time.  It was sooooo good for my soul.

On our second night we ended up at Heather’s friend’s bar called Feed the Beast (genius name for a bar).  We decided to do a shot of tequila and her friend, the adorable proprietor set us up with perfect, icy shaken shots of Patrón.  No salt necessary.  It was a crazy night and the thing I remember with most clarity is Heather (who is a wonderful, responsible, pie-baking, jambalaya-making mother of three and not at all some crazy mo-fo) telling a couple of guys she knew from home that we girls had discovered the perfect going out combination in college: a tequila shot and a bong hit.  Heathie is very pretty and demure and she was describing our little ritual in her typical storytelling, singsong voice – she could have been reminiscing about her sister’s wedding or sharing a recipe for potato salad.  She was totally cracking me up with her cute lipstick and her whole far fetched explanation . . . tequila and bong hits, it’s the perfect combo, cuz you’re super mellow but SUUUUPER FESTIVE! 

So these guys were eating this up, though surely a bit befuddled and wondering do our wives act like this when they see their college friends Moreover, I simply cannot believe I had forgotten that!  Tequila and bong hits are indeed the perfect springboard for a fun night out with friends!!!

So then fast forward a couple weeks to our church fundraiser, which, in keeping with the fine Catholic tradition of drinking to excess in order to loosen the pursestrings, was a really amusing fest.  My friend Gigi the Animal Whisperer and Neighborhood Scat Expert was singing as part of the entertainment and had brought along a little liquid courage: her longtime friend Señor Patrón – not that she needed it, because she’s an amazing singer and rocks Bonnie Raitt like nobody’s business.  At one point she lassoed me into the ladies room to do a shot with her, and once again, I had this moment of hilarity watching her pull out this little tupperware of perfectly cut limes, surely the same tupperware that had held her last batch of chocolate chip cookies, or vegetable soup or whatever.  Even when doing shots in the ladies room at a church function, she’s still such a MOM!  Gigi swears that good tequila does not make you hungover, and since this lady is wise about many things, who am I to doubt?  I decided to give it a whirl . . . 

Then my little brother comes to town and we decide to make crazy delicious burgers with the ground beef we had gotten from our third of a quarter of a grass-fed cow.  We went nuts with the gorgonzola and bacon and fried onions and made a little asian coleslaw for the side.  Delectable.  My brother juiced about a thousand limes (no margarita mix here!) and he made us some scrumptiously fresh and mouth puckering margaritas while we cooked . . . Again Señor Patrón was in the house for the festivities . . .

And then my friend Nanook of the North and her hubby had us over for a little Cinqo de Mayo bbq where we did a shot of Patrón, chopped and chatted and before we knew it ended up with a toothsome feast of carne asada, guacamole with chipotle and roasted corn, and jicama salad with jalapeño lime vinaigrette.  Nanook had had the foresight to prepare a little simple syrup and we made pineapple jalapeño margaritas.  Fantastico!  Sweet and tart with a hot kick in the caboose.  And then we played Rock Band until way past everyone’s bed time while our kids ran around with big cans of Sprite.  Tots Gone Wild: It was like spring break in Daytona Beach for my guys, though they stopped short of crushing the Sprite cans on their foreheads.

And finally, last Saturday night we were invited to a margarita party of all things, where our gracious hosts served pomegranate and traditional margaritas like they were going out of style, along with a gorgeous spread of fantastic Mexican deliciousness.  The margaritas were flowing like the Rio Grande and the poor piñata ended up being doused in gasoline and immolated.  As a master at imagining calamity, I stood with my hands covering my eyes just waiting for the garage to catch fire.  Luckily the piñata manufacturers have figured out a way to minimize the combustibility of their product and the poor donkey eventually sputtered out – a smoking, sizzling, blackened husk.  We were dancing up a storm on the back porch and someone, I won’t name names, was using the patio umbrella like a stripper pole.  O.K., it was Crackerjack.  We ended up collapsing into a rousing rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and getting busted by some cops who claim to have heard us from inside their squad car down the street.  And for all our wild carousing, I felt pretty darn good the next day.  Just a tad sleepy.

That said, I think I’ll be taking a little break.  Nanook got me a bottle of Patrón Silver from Costco (remember, I can’t go to that place), but Señor will be waiting in the wings for a bit. He’ll be squinting out at the horizon, twirling his mustache and strumming his guitar, striking a match on his boot to light a cigarette . . . and when he hears the distant strains of  mariachi music beckoning him, he will stand, straighten his bolero, crush his cigarette in the dusty road, hop on his trusty steed, El Lobo, and join us for the revelry.

Now if we could only track down Cheech.  

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