When did it happen? When did I become too old to spend Saturday night in a bar or nightclub? I think it was last summer; Handy and I went to The Old Goat in Richmond to listen to live music. We cozied up to the bar, ordered a sandwich and some beverages, and watched the crowd arrive for the band. A good number of lively Richmond-ites sauntered in plus the folks that creep over from Dresden and other towns.
The band set up and there was the “tick, tick, tick” of drumsticks on the cymbal. And away it went. We waited for the right moment and the right song and we got up to dance. There was nothing overtly wrong. We danced a bit more, finished our dinner, and then called it a night. Driving home, I said “I don’t think my knees are as springy as they used to be. Maybe it’s these flip-flops.”
And that was the last time we’ve been out “clubbing.”
There are other things to do on Saturday night. Portland restaurants are just an hour away and who doesn’t want to join the throngs of foodies and connoisseurs on the quaint city streets to try the latest hip restaurant?
This Saturday, after shoveling like a stevedore in the gardens all day, a trip to Maine’s restaurant capital was out. So what were Handy and I to do?
Why, date night at Market Basket, of course.
Sure, Biddeford is farther south than Portland, but it’s generally smooth sailing down the interstate at the dinner hour. And the Market Basket is right off the exit, a bright and shiny location with a “Market Café” right next to the “Market’s Kitchen.” Every week, there’s a different sub sandwich for $4.99. This week it was ham and cheese with all the fixings. Handy and I split it and sat in the café to eat. We compared our grocery lists and then we leisurely strolled the aisles and did our shopping. And you know what? On Saturday night, there are lots of other couples shopping at Market Basket too.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about the Market Basket feud.
This year, two documentary movies were released about how loyal non-unionized employees and the stores customers staged a strike and boycott which lead to the return of the ousted CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas, or “Artie T.” Handy and I went to see the movie with some friends a few Saturday nights ago. (Yes, the classic “dinner and a movie” date night.)
“The Market Basket Effect” did a good job of outlining the long-standing Greek family drama. It had a happy ending. The company didn’t declare bankruptcy and fade off the scene. Lucky for us we’ve still got a place to go on a Saturday night.
After we loaded up our groceries and got on the interstate for the trip home, we scanned the radio dial and picked up “The Legends,” a little indie station broadcasting from Sanford. On Saturday nights, they play syndicated recordings of Dick Clark’s “Rock, Roll & Remember” and Handy and I sang along to Herman’s Hermits and the Everly Brothers until the signal faded out as we approached Portland.
Second verse, same as the first.