Last night I got a text from my friend Woodyman, “At Mimi’s and thought of you! French onion soup, baby! Yeah!”
I miss Mimi’s Cafe. It just doesn’t quite make it for Computerguy, though we have gone, mostly when we’re meeting my friends. Cobb Salad or Pot Roast Sandwich and French Onion Soup and those ridiculous muffins. Happy sigh.
I don’t really know what it is about Mimi’s. I think it seemed quirky and fun when I first knew it, with it’s New Orleans’ bistro decor and menu. It’s a chain restaurant. It’s not REALLY out of the ordinary. But it’s nice. And it’s relaxed. And, somehow, it’s one of those places (whichever franchise) that feels like home to me. When I think of Mimi’s, I don’t think of one person or one incident, but pretty much everyone I’ve known in California in the last 20 years.
My first Mimi’s experience was with my aunt for a mid-afternoon tea break.
Right after college it was the Sunday Night hang-out for CAPPUCCINOS.
It was the roommate meet-up spot (Illinois Roommate writes about it here).
It was the class of 2001 seniors bringing lunch back for me when they would slink in late to 5th period.
It was one slightly awkward, but nonetheless sweet, Valentine’s dinner with The Concert Guy.
It was/is the default meet-up spot for me and former teachers, former students, old friends, my mom’s friends, family, etc., etc., etc.
There was one very long week in 2008 when Computerguy ended up in the hospital for a few days. I was teaching evenings. Bubble was about 13 months old. I’m not sure I have ever felt so alone in my life. I had no one I could call to watch Bubble at exactly the time I needed, so I ended up just taking her to class, hoping the students would not later mention it in their evaluations (“Well, she’s a pretty good teacher, but why did she bring her baby to class?” Or even, “the best day was when she brought her baby to class.” Not helpful. No one did. Whew!) I couldn’t face coming home at 7:30 after that incredibly long day and feeding myself and the baby. So I stopped at Mimi’s because I could. And I sipped a glass of wine and ate a cobb salad and fed Bubble and it was possible to face life again. (And it was that week that I said, I WILL find a church because I can’t do a week like this again, and when you have a church there just IS someone to call.)
So… No immediate plans for Mimi’s, but Woodyman and I tend to make it at least once a summer (and that’s where we left off with the texting last night… once his school year is over…) and I have a few other “once school is out” meet-ups to do. Maybe I’ll have to work it into my birthday plans, though. I’ll have to think about that.