The Marrieds. That’s what we call ourselves. No really. Yes, I wish we were more creative too, but all in all it’s accurate.
In short, we’re a group of 4 sets of friends who are all married and half of each couple knows each other from work. The group have been planning for a proper outing for months now and last night it finally it all came together.
Outside of the actual friendships, the whole idea is just a fun, silly little thing for everyone I suppose. And setting up dinner with multiple sets of friends and couples is nothing new to me.
But, to be frank, for a gay guy from Ohio, being part of a group—who I adore—called “The Marrieds” is nothing short of a blessing wrapped in a dream, and deep fried in awesome.
Joe and I have been together for 8 years now. And while our weekday elopement here in DC back in July was a surprise, our intention to marry was not. Other than falling in love with the District, we were also excited to know that marriage was legal here for
homos gentleman like us.
For my entire life, all I’ve ever wanted is to feel normal. That or become Batman, but that one’s probably never going to happen… And Joe makes me feel special & normal all at the same time. [Insert Robin joke? Nah.]
For me, wanting to be married with the person you love is normal. And getting married is normal. So in short, being part of a fun set of friends who who call themselves The Marrieds and like to spend time together, go out eating, drinking (someday dancing?) is the epitome of normal.
And just so we’re clear, being/feeling normal does not mean I’m not a bouncy, goofy, inappropriately wise-cracking, mouthy smart-ass kid inside. It just means I found someone who wants to share the rest of life with me regardless.
Now, whether that makes Joe normal is a whole different story, I agree.
So, The Marrieds went to Cava Mezze on Barracks Row on a packed Saturday night. Cava is a Greek-inspired small plates restaurant well known for their great food, service and inventive drink menu. And it’s like a fast moving show within a restaurant—the wealth of servers run the tables taking orders, dropping off orders, filling drinks, making suggestions, oh, and setting cheese on fire with 5 foot flames. Seriously. It’s all pretty awesome.
The drink menu had some fun stuff on it, but I was looking for something was a bit more standard, classic. I settled on a vodka gimlet called the Kaffir Gimlet made with Kaffir Lime vodka, fresh lime and agave nectar.
Lime. Lime, lime and more juicy, tart, lime. The gimlet had a smack-you-in-the-face alcohol bite that was complimented by the lime’s bright, bitter sting. It was sweet, but not cloyingly, thanks to the agave nectar that helped sooth the drink on its finish.
It wasn’t a complicated drink in flavors or profile, but it was fantastic. Every sip filled my sinuses and glands with a welcome, striking sting—like when you try hot sauce or yellow mustard and it seizes your senses, but in that good, makes you feel, kinda way.
In short, have you ever doused a lime with alcohol, set it on fire and then tried to drink the juice? No? Well if it sounds like a challenge, it probably is. So, I would instead suggest Cava’s Kaffir Gimlet. No seriously, sure it sounds scary, but it’s simple, delicious yet visceral—if you’re into that sort of thing.
On the menu side, Cava’s food blew our doors off. There wasn’t a single item we all didn’t devour, or want to order again. Their staff is smart, attentive and quick. And their drinks are creative and delicious—as agreed by all of The Marrieds.
I will be back to Cava again. Hopefully soon. Not just for the firstdrink opportunity—they make a cucumber-habanero margarita that sounded like fun—but for the service and about 30 additional small plates I want to try.
You know, in the end, I am a believer that being part of groups and experiences that make you feel whole and normal is important. That said, pushing yourself, trying new things and taking risks—often while surrounded by solid friends and family—is also important.
These days, thanks to my friends, family, Washington, DC and Joe, I’m able to lump all these things into one big long adventure. Seriously? It might not be your normal, but it’s my dream come true.
Dear reader who’s been drinking alcohol longer than 1 month,
What I am about to divulge is not going to blow your mind, I can promise you, but I’m going to say it anyway: shots are quick. I mean like—BAM!—and it’s gone.
I’m telling you this because it will explain why I broke my own rule of “1 drink only of any said drink” and had 2 kamikaze shots. Stay with me.
Joe and decided to meet up with some good friends at Nellie’s Sports Bar, this really fantastic gay, legitimate sports bar with several floors of bars, solid food and some fun entertainment options. We had dinner in the dining room and then went up with our friends to their well-stocked upstairs outdoor terrace.
[Should I elaborate on the whole gay-sports-bar thing? I know some readers will be like “is that possible?! blah blah something ignorant blah” Eh, it works and is a great asset to the gay and general community. I’ll think more about challenging stereotypes later when I have the interest and energy]
Joe ordered us each a kamikaze shot. If you’re unfamiliar, a traditional kamikaze is vodka, triple sec, and fresh lime. I sampled a bit of it with my finger—it tasted like a limeade. And then after some cheering from my friends, threw my head back and downed that shot like I had seen so many others do so many times.
I tasted lime. It was cold, sweet, had a slight alcohol burn… and then it was gone.
I was kinda sad.
So I ordered another.
Yes, yes, I know. I warned people early in my sangria blanca post that I might break my own rules some day. And so, the first break came on the 13th drink. That seems appropriate.
I figured, they’re tiny. So very very tiny. Two seems more appropriate for shots and, hell, for the second one I’ll really be able to taste it so I can describe it.
Ok, second shot, same drink: I tasted lime. It was cold, sweet, still had that slight alcohol burn. It was certainly tangy… and then it was gone again. Ha.
Damn. But I guess that’s just the thing: shots are just these tasty little throw-backs to the throat and then you move on to the next one or the next drink. I can absolutely see how you can do shot after shot and then quickly become sloppy-shit-faced-hitting-on-the-coat-rack drunk (not to name names). Before they can get sloppy, they’re a lot of fun.
But yet again, I personally didn’t feel anything—drunkwise. I’m starting to think I’m
too fat superhuman. It’s like I’m 230lbs 17 years old all over again. I’m invincible!
So, yep, that was it. We talked about work, DC, the general bar scene, shared a few drinks and then went home. Your basic extended happy hour. Much like the shot itself, it was a pretty fun and quick evening.
Wait… you know, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I didn’t break any rules after all! No, you know what? Instead, what happened is that I just made a new rule: every firstshot gets two tries. Yep, that’s clearly a new rule. Nothing broken.
I’m so damn smart. I’m invincible!
Cheers to Chuck our bartender and Nellie’s for a great happy hour. And the Adventure continues!
PS: Next up? I’m probably having another drink before the weekend—who knows what. Then I’m finishing the week by having some cocktail-of-choice at a friend’s Birthday dinner in Annapolis, MD on Saturday. And then I’ll kick-off next week with a New Castle during the Super Bowl.
PPS: Did you see I’m having a charity #firstdrinkHappyHour in February? No? You better check it out and then plan on attending!