I’m down with the scene, yo

By Mir
June 13, 2008

I have a great many awesome friends. Some of them take me out of my comfort zone, periodically, which is to say that they make me leave the house and pretend to be an adult. I hear that this is good for me.

So when my buddy Melissa sent me an email that said, “Hey, I often have to go to these media dinner things to check out restaurants, and I get to bring a guest, so do you think you’d like to come with me sometime?” I immediately replied that YES, that sounds like FREE FOOD GREAT FUN and she should count me in.

Silly me. A couple of weeks later she mailed to invite me to a dinner at Straits Restaurant. “You have to come,” she wrote, “because I really like the idea of two suburban moms eating dinner with Ludacris.”

Because I am a white suburban mom, I immediately had to go Google Ludacris. Oh! He was in Crash! I’ve seen that! I am SO HIP!

(Okay, okay—I did technically recognize that he’s a rapper. And I know you are SHOCKED to find out that I’m not really a huge fan of rap, a few late college nights of belting out “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” along with the car radio notwithstanding.)

The restaurant bills itself as Asian Fusion, which sounded extremely yummy, so we got dolled up (that is to say, Melissa got dolled up, and I got dressed) and headed out.

[Digression: I actually TRIED to get dolled up, I DID. But I keep forgetting that I live in Georgia. So I got all prettied up and even tried to do something with my head of Medusa hair (thank you, ten pounds of hair products!), and PUT ON MASCARA for cryin’ out loud, and then I headed out. But I stopped for gas, because I never have any gas, because paying over $4/gallon makes the baby Jesus cry and I try not to fill up until I’m running on fumes. So I stopped for gas and stood outside for a grand total of 25 seconds in the JAW-JAH HUMIDITY and my perfectly coiffed hair turned into a giant frizz ball. The end.]

We made our way to the restaurant and left Melissa’s van with the valet parking. (Oh yeah. Two ladies out on the town, rockin’ the minivan!) Then we went inside and the real fun began.

First of all—and I don’t know if you know this—only beautiful people work in fancy restaurants. The hostess nearly sliced through us with her cheekbones, and I suddenly felt very frumpy. Er, more frumpy than usual. But then she said something about complimentary passion fruit margaritas and I forgot all about her. Tralalala! It was off to the bar for our drinks, and then Melissa started bumping into lots of people that she knew. All of whom were also young and beautiful.

About ten minutes into a conversation it turned out that I had been chatting with a former student of Otto’s. THAT didn’t make me feel old AT ALL.

Then Ludacris started walking around, and Melissa cracked a joke about how she’d worn her wedding ring special for the evening so that he wouldn’t be too tempted by her hotness. I wondered aloud how tacky it would be to whip out my phone and take his picture, and then settled for sipping my drink while vowing that before the night was over, I would get a picture of us together.

After a little while they took us upstairs and we were all seated and then we began the Parade of Plates. Everything was served family-style and we had little appetizer plates, and the teeming horde of waitstaff had apparently been instructed to snatch away our plates and replace them with clean ones as often as possible. So I’m going to guess that for a seating of maybe thirty people we used approximately 5,000 plates for this meal.

I could tell you about the food, but really, I’ve been watching reruns of Top Chef and now I find things coming out of my mouth when I’m talking about food that are so pretentious I have to stop and smack myself. I’m not a food critic. There was food and some of it was better than others of it, and there were lots of flavorful sauces, and people kept coming over to talk to us while we ate (the chef, to see how we were enjoying things; the PR folks with press kits; other random people). Mostly I was transfixed by the women we were sitting with, all of whom were young and gorgeous and hilarious and extremely patient with the two dorky mommies sitting at the end of their table.

We got to sit with Tiffany, who’s an editor for Daily Candy, and I hoped she was standing behind me when the hostess almost got me with her cheekbones, because if she had been, then at least I could’ve fallen backwards into the relative safety of Tiffany’s dimples, afterwards. One of Tiffany’s guests looked astonished when I said something about my eight-year-old son, and when I raised my eyebrows at her she said I didn’t look nearly old enough to have an eight-year-old. So I told her that I also have a ten-year-old and then she looked positively FLABBERGASTED and said AGAIN that I look SO YOUNG, and then I put her in my pocket and took her home with me, because she’s pretty.

At one point a lovely woman came over and started chatting us up, and she said her name but it was kind of loud in there, so none of us were quite sure we’d caught it, and she just hung out for a little bit and then moved along to another table. We all looked at each other and said, “Who was that?” I had heard her first name was Roberta, but I’d missed her last name. Someone else thought her last name was Shields. A third woman guessed that she was Ludacris’ mom, but none of us knew for sure.

So I whipped out my iPhone and Googled her. Yep! She’s Ludacris’ mom, alright. I totally ate a spicy chicken lollipop while chatting with Ludacris’ mama, yo. Just a regular night for me. Word.

The menu listed dessert as something called “French Kiss,” which at the beginning of the meal we’d been guessing about. Would it be something sinful and decadent? Would it be a quarter teaspoon of meringue adorned with a single mint leaf? WHO KNEW! But it turned out to be a little molten chocolate cake thing (see, they really ARE serving those everywhere) topped with strawberry ice cream, sitting in a strawberry reduction. Not nearly as much tongue as the other kind of french kiss, but still very yummy. SO yummy, in fact, that when they served us ONE for our table of five people, along with five demitasse spoons, the conversation turned to how we could each get our own. Heh.

The evening was drawing to a close, and my stomach was full and my face hurt from laughing. And then Ludacris wandered over to our table and started shaking hands, and we finally managed to blurt out that we would love to get some pictures. Now, understand that I say this with the full admission that I really don’t know his music or much about him at all, so I don’t know what I was expecting, but—Ludacris was so sweet and cute I wanted to put him in my pocket. (Except I couldn’t, because I already had that other woman in there, and I only had one pocket.) He was just very gracious and normal and adorable. And tolerant. Did I mention tolerant? Because everybody wanted a picture with him and he was clearly unruffled and happy to oblige.

When it came around to me and Melissa, she said something to him about how we needed a picture of him with “us two old mommies” and he laughed and said that we looked great. Then we got up, went and flanked him, and he put his arms around us…

Just hanging out with Ludacris....

… and totally grabbed my ass.

Just kidding. But wouldn’t it have been awesome if he did? I would’ve gone right out and bought all his records. I’m just sayin’.


  1. jen lemen

    best post evah.
    may ass-grabbing by rappers be in your near reality, sister.


  2. Bakerina

    If anything bad or irritating or trying happens to me today, I’m just going to think of you saying “I totally ate a spicy chicken lollipop while chatting with Ludacris’ mama, yo,” and I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that my day gets better in a heartbeat.

    What a great night — and oh, the foodish descriptions! Many thanks for those. You know what I like. ;)

    Incidentally, as soon as I get my hands on some dry ice (not literally), I will totally make you your own French Kiss. Hell, I’ll make you eight of them, so you can share them with your family. Or not. No one would judge you if you didn’t share. I certainly wouldn’t.

  3. Deb

    Sounds as though, despite our lovely humidity and that ever present Gawgah glow, you had a blast! Which is a great break that every mom needs! Rejuvenation is wonderful. And dahling, I must say, you look MAH VEL OUS.

  4. Jill

    My office mate sometimes wonders why I randomly laugh aloud (really loud!). Then he sees my screen and knows I’m reading this blog.

  5. ccr in MA

    I’m sure the only reason he didn’t was because someone could have been taking his picture from behind, and he didn’t want to get caught. Otherwise, of course he would!

    Great story!

  6. All Adither

    But I bet he would’ve fit in the minivan. You could’ve totally taken him home.

  7. Otto

    Dear, had he grabbed your ass, you would never be allowed out again.

    Just saying.


  8. Lou

    AAAAAAAAAAH! MIR!!!!!!!! That is a yell of extreme bliss.

  9. Megan

    And now you can casually drop, “you know, when I was hangin’ with Ludacris the other night…” into future conversations with HMO representatives and public school service specialists and things and they will HAVE to respect you. Yo. With bling. That pretty necklace totally counts as bling, right?

  10. Undomestic Diva

    Duuuuude, that’s awesome. I live in So. CA and have never seen Ludacris. (Although I think he hails from the ATL.) I think he’s one of the more stand-up guys in the industry, from what I’ve heard.

  11. The Other Leanne

    This post iz the bomb, fo’ shizzle!
    Y’all are so pretty, too.

  12. Melissa

    See, but he gave ME his phone number. And his mom’s phone number.

    Please get your photoshop-lovin’ husband to fix my wonky eye in that picture. (If you do, you can have both phone numbers.)

  13. Em

    And handsome. You forgot handsome. He is a cutie (especially after hearing that he was a nice famous person. I like to hear when famous people are nice).

    I just have to say though, your kids are going to be pissed. You know how children assume the party starts as soon as they go to bed? This is like ten times worse. They go away for a measley week and mom is all hangin with the homies and such. They will assume, of course, that Fitty Cent slept in their bed and LL Cool J played with their toys while they were gone. Then when they get home its all work and family time and no music superstars at all.

  14. Angel Smith

    Oh My Gawd! Luda is my celebrity freebie! I’m so jealous and thrilled for you at the same time. Rappers, good food, great friends-sounds like a great time!

    PS Luda, if you are reading this, call me! LOL

  15. kristy

    so cool! what a great story! :)

  16. Shalee

    You are playing with the big dogs now…

    And shut up, Miss Money Bags. You look great with your curly hair self! (And totally not like you’re the mother of a 10 yr old.)

    (You go, Otto!)

  17. Jen

    I just love the way you write! Thanks for sharing your night, it actually sounded pretty darn fun!

  18. Jennifer

    I agree. Gas prices nowadays are just ludicrous. (No, I am not a mother, nor do I drive a minivan. Why do you ask?)

    I agree- one of your funniest posts yet!!

  19. AmyM

    Whoa! You are a rockstar! Or rapstar! What evah! Who knew a stint on the Today Show could make you an A-lister. (Well, unless you’re Kathie Lee…)

  20. Mamacita

    Um, I have a few Ludacris Mp3’s on my player. Now that I know how gorgeous he is, I might have to add a few more. Thass how I choose some of my listening goodness.

    All three of you look great in your picture, actually. But that middle guy. . . . oh wait, I keep forgetting that I’m an old chick and we never think or talk like this. Never, never never. It would be, how do you say, “inappropriate.”

    Yeah well who gives a rip. HOTNESS!

  21. Sheila

    I hope he LudaGoogles himself and this post pops up first.

    And if you ever get an invite to a function with Doug E. Fresh, PLEASE take me with you. That’s the rap I belted out while you were throwing down tuff with the Beastie Boys.

  22. TC

    Mir, you look like you’re 22, tops. I’m ridiculously jealous. (Not about the Ludacris thing, because I am rock-bottom unhip and still didn’t know who he was after I saw his picture, but about how cute you look!)

  23. Jenny

    Woulda Coulda LUDA!

    That sounds like so much fun, though, seriously. Free food at fancy restaurants? How do I get in on that action?

  24. Jenny

    Also, I read this SO incredibly fast because I wanted to get to the bottom and see if there was, in fact, a picture of Mir and Ludacris, as I SO hoped there would be.

  25. Lisa

    I don’t know, Mir…looks to me like you have a handful of his arse. Jus’ sayin.

  26. Karen

    My sister’s ex-boyfriend works for the record label that Ludacris is on. He worked on the tour maybe 3 or 4 summers ago and we met Luda when they came to our area. I have a photo similar to yours with my sister and I flanking him.

    By the next summer ex-boyfriend had a bit of job change went on the Hillary Duff tour. I wasn’t quite as excited to get backstage that time.

    Looks like you had fun. And I want choclate cake now.

  27. Leandra

    Dude, I told you you were famous — now you’re hanging with Ludacris! Word to ya motha’!

  28. Aimee

    Heh. I seriously feel for the ass-grab thing. That would have been AWESOME. Except, you know, for the part about Otto not letting you out of the house any more.


  29. Teresa

    Oh, I am so jealous!

  30. Sue

    Stand Up!!!! (Ludacris song). Represent, bitches!!!!!!!!! Nicely done.

  31. Carolie

    Mir, I would KILL for hair like yours! Such beautiful, shining curls, the sort I dreamed of having (along with a name like Aurora and a castle and a steed — not a pony). I expected a dandelion head when I got to the photo, but no, your curls ripple and shine. I’ll trade you fine, straight, dark blonde hair ANY TIME.

    I won’t talk about your pretty dark eyes or lovely smile, because I already sound like the world’s most idiotic ass-kissing stalker.

    (But I’m dead serious about the hair.)

  32. Cele

    This coming on the heels of your chocolate desert free-for-all between Chickie and Monkey is hilarious. I don’t watch cooking shows (my hips begin growing of their own volition) so what is a strawberry reduction? Strawberry Sauce?

  33. Danielle-lee

    I am SO JEALOUS right now. You have NO IDEA!!! I love Luda! You really need to check out a few of his songs-his voice is yummy. More yummy-sounding than that French Kiss dessert.
    I totally wanted to scan down to the bottom of the page to see the picture! But I was patient and read all the way through.
    Arrrrg! I’m so jealous!!!

  34. Lylah

    I don’t see the ball of frizz anywhere, Mir. You just look great!

  35. becky

    wow. awesome food, fun times, a pic w/ludacris.

    livin’ the dream, baby. heh.

  36. Vane

    Hahaha … love that Otto!

    So glad you had a great time :)

  37. Taylor

    It always surprises me so much when I see pictures of bloggers that I read daily but that don’t post pictures of themselves that often.

    It’s that same feeling I get when one of my favorite books gets made into a movie and I’m all: Oh no! That isn’t right at all! Her hair is much blonder than that!

    Anyway, I picture you with crazy short hair, because of the way you had it done at your wedding, which is one of the only pictures I’ve ever seen of you. At least that’s a nice thought, right? That people who read you picture you on your wedding day and not on any old humid day in June?

    And I’m also very jealous of your very cool evening with Ludacris.

  38. Stephanie

    Well CRAP! I thought I would impress Sydney with the story of you meeting Ludacris, but she didn’t know who he was, so no cool mom points for me. :-( Do you think, next time, you could meet Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers. ;-)

  39. k-ma

    mir, i absolutely love your blog, although i have to say i’m guilty of plenty of lurking…. heh.

    but– just wanted to say that this was such a great post, sounds like so much fun!

    (and i’m one of those people who sobs just a bit b/c of gas prices and so i just had to put this little bit of advice out there– running the gas tank to fumes [heh i used to do that too] is actually really bad for the engine, because the sediment in the gas settles to the bottom of the tank. that makes the mileage really bad long term because it messes up the engine. there should always be at least a quarter tank of gas. suggestion? keep the tank full, and fill it up when you have half a tank left. that way it feels like you’re paying less, and you’re getting better mileage out of your car at the same time.)

  40. Fabs

    YOU ARE SO AWESOME! and cool too.

  41. Mysh

    Nice smile, but you DO look as though you have a handful of his arse! :O)

  42. Velma

    Oh, I wish wish wish he had grabbed on to you!

  43. Sasha

    Mysh- I was just thinking the SAME thing! lol

  44. Jamie AZ

    Very cool, Mir. Sounds like a great night out.

  45. Astrogirl426

    Wooo hoo, look at you all rollin wit da homies (slightly-off Coolio reference).

    I hear you with the “lookin like a suburban mom amidst the beautiful people”. You are a brave, brave woman Ms. Mir, because I would have been a complete basket case from the inferiority complex (yes, I’m in therapy for it).

    And frizz shmizz – I think your hair looked very awesome. And girl, I *know* what you mean – I’m only in NY (which is humid enough, thanks), but I have hair that frizzes up at the slightest hint of humidity. And I also do the ten-product-tango – although I just tried Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-humidity Smoothing Milk, and it really does a number on the frizzies! And I even used it ALL BY ITSELF – I can imagine how it does if I add a couple more products. My only permanent solution (because the current solution of just putting the mop up when it’s humid – thank god it’s pretty long – is not really permanent) is to move back to Denver. Ooohhhhhh that was hair heaven – i NEVER had a bad hair day there. NEVER.

    And yes, to the poster who asked, strawberry reduction is basically strawberry sauce (a reduction is basically when you cook a liquid down – reduce it – until it’s maybe 1/2 as much liquid as it was, which intensifies the flavor). Hope that helped!

  46. susan

    I don’t see any Medusa hair! Better luck next time with the ass grabbing.

  47. Mother of Two


    You keep me in stitches sister! I love the butt comment, that would have been CLASSIC! (Sorry Otto… but she did bring you a cute little toy girl home.. maybe she’ll let her grab your butt???)

  48. Amy@UWM

    So, let me get this straight. Your friend Melissa. Has a job where she gets to try out restaurants? For free? With celebrities?

    How do you get THAT gig?

  49. Mom101

    What an amazing night! And you say you’re not cool.

    I’m dying to know which Top Chef-emism you got in there.

    Was it “this demi-glace could have used a little acid”? Because I totally love that one.

  50. sunny

    yes, can I have your friends job too?

  51. Tootsie Farklepants

    You LIAR! Your hair looks great!

    Is that chick still in your pocket? You haven’t forgotten her have you? Because she’d never survive the wash.

  52. Asianmommy

    Hilarious! I love that you Google people with your iPhone at the restaurant. :)

  53. Amy, WA

    I came across your blog a few months ago quite by accident. I am now an avid fan and look forward to reading your posts! Thank you for interjecting a little humor into my morning routine – it’s like a real life soap opera – now complete with celebrities!

  54. Kate

    I had a remarkably similar in the “surrounded by gorgeous people including the charming adorable super professional wonderful waitstaff plus owned by a famous person this one P-Diddy and tiny foods on dainty plates but lots of it” way experience in Atlanta several years ago.

    The part that’s different is 1) we didn’t ask for pictures because 2) we didn’t KNOW we were going to the pre-launch of his restaurant because we just went where the guy at the hotel suggested and 3) we were four very grubby-trying-to-look-good anthropology PhD students at a conference.

    Oh man. And we were sooooo outclassed.

  55. Zee

    Dang, Ludacris is ADORABLE! I had no idea… (Obviously, I’m not a big fan of rap either – Beastie Boys ALSO notwithstanding. I am dating myself. EEK.)

    Seriously, though – if it’d been me I’d totally have taken that woman out of your pocket and stuck him in there. YUM-EE.

  56. bethany harrington

    I love your writing… i’ve been following you for a bit now, and i think you’re wonderful. this story is hysterical, and EXACTLY how I would feel in the situation! Although, honestly, i’m not sure that I would have had the courage to get a picture with him! good work!



  57. jennielynn

    It’s official. You are far too cool for me.

  58. Melinda

    I don’t know if this was a complete fluke but in my google reader, the ad with this post was for AARP. Hehe! You’re not QUITE there yet. Great story, Mir.

  59. Yan

    i read your post on friday and then happened to see this report on luda yesterday (saturday) and had to come post. did you know that he makes $750,000 for just making a guest appearance on an artist’s album. so if you are not making your own buckets of money you sure know how to hang out with people who do….may it rub off on you girl!

  60. gwendomama

    mmmmmm…spicy chicken lollipop.

    i LOVE lollipops.

  61. Yolanda

    Umm and how might one go about getting placed on the Ludacris SAHM tour? I left Atlanta way too soon :)

  62. Kathy

    LOL!!!! “Except I couldn’t, because I already had that other woman in there, and I only had one pocket.)”

  63. Sheri

    I’m coming out of lurkdom to let you know I’m in total awe of Ludacris. My son loves him. And now he totally thinks you rock too.

    Glad to hear you had a good time, and that Ludacris is a nice guy.

  64. Jen

    Aw he looks so cute! And you TOTALLY look about 12, so I’m not surprised that woman couldn’t believe you had a kid of 10!!!

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