I went with brown shoes.

Those of you who haven’t known me that long may not know this, but I used to wear skirts and business suits every day (ok, not every day, not on the weekends and not every other Friday when we could wear jeans to work). Hose, heels, makeup, and even a bra. Shocking, I know, and I felt as bizarre wearing them as you might guess.

About 90% of them came from a store called Petite Sophisticate, which is as pretentious a shop as you might guess from the name. The benefit, for me, of shopping there, is that they sold outfits prematched. Remember G’ranimals? Think of it as that, but for grownups and with a much heftier price tag. I think I once paid $50 for a top. I’m not proud of it, but I can’t match anything to save my life. You pay for that kind of ignorance in life.

I love that my life has somehow wound to a point where my work clothes consist of shorts, a bathing suit top, and a tank top. I have a Gabber polo shirt for really important occasions. But that leaves me helplessly unprepared for anything that requires something dressier than a swimsuit (even my best ones), which is fine as precious little in my life calls for much more.

So when Tom called and told me that his nephew’s girlfriend’s family was having the friends and family opening of their new restaurant and asked if I wanted to go, I said yes, but asked “do I have to dress?” He, with a very similar wardrobe (save the bathing suit top), had already asked and was told “Well, you shouldn’t wear your Speedo.” Those of you who know Tom know that Martin likely said that in all seriousness. It’s part of Tom’s charm.

Anyway, with Tom planning to wear long pants, I didn’t think I could get by in my board shorts and the Gabber shirt, so I went to the dark recesses of my closet and tried to find something.

Sweatpants aside, I own exactly two pairs of pants. Both incredibly wrinkled. I do not, as you may guess, own an iron. Upon making this discovery, I opt to throw the least wrinkled pair in the dryer with a wet towel for ten minutes. Didn’t work. I look again in my closet and find a skirt. Denimn, yes, but a skirt. I find a sweater (I don’t really own blouses) and then have to call my mother to ask her what color shoes I should wear.

I think, after the initial alarm I heard in her voice when she found out I was dressing “up” (I think she just wanted to make sure I waasn’t going to a court appearance or church), she was rather amused. Those of you who know my mom may understand this; I think she owns one dress (she had to buy it for my wedding) and pretty much lives in Keds and flip flops. It would be like me calling me to ask for shoe advice. Although she does style her hair every day and, as far as I know, wear a bra to work, so to me, she’s the expert.

Anyway, the point of the story (betcha didn’t know I had one) is that, despite me having to watch how I sat all night (skirt and all), I had a great dinner. The food at this place was pretty amazing- I base this on meatballs that taste remarkably like my grandmother’s as well as pretty good sausage. It’s called Dominics and it’s on Curlew just south of where Curlew meets Tampa Road in a new row of shops, north side of the street. They open to everyone else Monday, have dine in and take out, and while I don’t know the prices, it doesn’t seem like the kind of place that’s gonna cost too much. Those of you who live around here should definitely check it out. They have a web site that lists the menu- www.dominicsgrille.com.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.