One of the greatest things ever about the Internet is meeting new people, especially if those people aren’t psychopathic torture warriors greasing up the Iron Maiden for your visit.
Before I had this blog, I used this awesome blogging platform called LiveJournal and met some really incredible people, most of whom I have kept in touch with even after abandoning LJ in 2007 (I still miss it every day, though!). So on day 3 of our road trip, we had plans to meet two girls I have known for what seems like my entire adult life at this point, thanks to LJ.
After Indiana, we had plans to go to Michigan to hang out with Bill, Jessi and Tammy for the weekend. They were coming back from Tennesee that Friday night, so we had the whole day to make our pilgrimages to meet Michelle and Sarah, who thankfully all live within an hour’s drive from Bill and Jessi. And they were both available that day! All the stars were aligned, for once.
(Coincidentally, LJ is also how I know Bill! All hail, LJ. Some of my best friendships were forged from something that I had no idea what I was doing when I signed up.)
First up was Michelle in Royal Oak. I can’t even remember when she and I became friends, but it was definitely pre-Chooch, so probably around 2004/2005, would be my guess. I have wanted to meet her for quite some time and we even had plans to meet up last year at this Pee Wee’s Big Adventure festival that was supposed to happen in Louisville, KY, but then Pee Wee found out about the festival and pulled the whole cease and desist thing, so there went that.
Michelle and I both really like Pee Wee, obviously.
It was raining in Royal Oak when we pulled onto Michelle’s street. Henry passed her house and had to turn around but that was a good thing because it meant that I got to see her Little Free Library! Henry was like, “Oh she’s the one with the library thing?” TRY TO FOLLOW ALONG, HENRY.
Anyway, we finally parked in front of her house and Henry said hello to her mailman which cracked me up for unknown reasons. He just loves men in costumes, you guys.
Michelle opened the door and I immediately went into “dur dur dur now what??” mode because my social skills are missing a chromosome. My first impressions: her hair is awesome. She has purple walls! And some of my art is on them! OMG CUTE KIDS! OMG CUTE DOGS! Chooch pretended to be totally annoyed but then immediately ran off with her little girls, Delia and Kira, so Henry and I got to sit down and have grown-up conversations with someone which rarely happens!
It’s always surreal to meet someone in the flesh after they start out just being a user name (mshecubus!) but then advance to real pictures on Facebook and sending real life mail to each other. Michelle sent me my coveted blood-splattered coffee cup with the brass knuckle-shaped handle that made everyone at work shake their heads! I love that damn mug!
We passed a signed for 8 Mile on the way to Royal Oak, so of course I had to ask Michelle questions about Eminem. She wasn’t sure if he still lives in Michigan, but she said his daughter recently graduated from a high school close by and that he had to watch it from a TV somewhere inside the school so he wouldn’t get mobbed, which is kind of sad but then I remembered that I don’t like Eminem so what do I care.
Every once in awhile, Chooch would run back into the house to tattle on the girls, not one of his finer traits, and to cry about getting sand in his damn ankle wound. God, try to be a little more self-sufficient, kid.
As usual, we were behind schedule and had to leave after about an hour, plus we didn’t want to impose since it was such a poorly-planned meet-up because Henry sucks at mapping things out. Professional driver my ass.
The only good thing about leaving was watching Chooch writhe in horror and pain as Delia and Kira gang-hugged him, hahaha.
Then it was back in the car for more stupid driving, this time to meet Sarah. It took about 45 minutes to get to Flint and we were too stupid to find Sarah’s salon, so she took a picture of us standing on a street corner, looking lost, and texted it to me. And this is why we’re friends!
Sarah was one of my very first friends on LiveJournal, back when I didn’t believe in capitalization and the only punctuation I used were ellipses and groups of 18 exclamation points. We were pregnant at the same time (her daughter Alpha is two months older than Chooch) and she was one of the only people who knew the truth of my fucked up friendship with Christina; I still feel so grateful that she was there for me.
And now we were finally meeting! More surreal feelings.
Sarah had recently finished working at the salon for the day, but if I didn’t work at a Law Firm, I would have totally asked her to give me lavender hair. I dream of lavender hair. But instead she took us around the corner to the Flint Crepe Company, which was like walking into the 1920s.
A man in a suit said, “Hi Sarah!” and after greeting him, Sarah was like, “Oh that was the mayor of Flint.”
THE MAYOR KNOWS SARAH! She is so cool. (This made me really giddy too, for some reason. Mailmen and mayors just do it for me, I guess.)
OMG I got the Lemon Drop and it was just the right combination of lemon and drop. So good.
Who cares what Henry got, but he was actually kind of smiling!
Chooch got some chocolate strawberry special and ate it like we hadn’t been feeding him at all on this trip. Then he proceeded to lap his water out of the glass like a cat, because that was his new thing, as of that moment, pretending to be a cat who speaks like a toddler.
“Me a cat, meowmeowmeow,” he kept saying and I was kicking him under the table because it was creeping me out. I mean, it’s one thing if this was just his nervous tic, something that he does every now and then because he thinks he’s being cute, but aside from a casual and ironic “meow” here and there, he has never regressed like this before. I was kind of alarmed, like my kid was breaking.
I ended up chalking it up to the fact that he was acting stupid because he was crushing on Sarah.
After crepes, Sarah took us on a walking tour around Flint. Some of my friends were like, “Really? Flint?” because vacations are supposed to have beaches I guess, but it was really fun! I love exploring places and Flint had that gritty feel to it that I love.
Of course we had to ask Sarah about Eminem too. She told us this story about how she was at Warped Tour in 1998 (Chooch perked up at this part, because WARPED TOUR) and accidentally kicked a rock at the guy in front of her. He turned around and called her a fucking bitch and then later she heard all of this booing coming from one of the stages and the guy who called her a fucking bitch was on the stage and turned out to be Eminem, haha.
This is when Chooch was excited to trespass.
Sarah taught us about these berries, the most important fact being that we could eat them, so then Chooch and I had to stand there, pulling down branches and getting stains on ourselves. “I don’t even like these!” Chooch said, popping another into his mouth. Henry just sighed and kept walking.
I bet they sell Faygo in there!
Then Sarah took us to the river to see if there were any dead bodies and causally mentioned that there was a 1-in-45 chance that something violent would happen to us just by being in Flint. That was exciting!
I thought we saw a dead body for sure but Henry was like, “THAT IS A RUG AND BESIDES IT’S TOO SMALL FOR A BODY.”
Oh OK. Midgets or babies can’t be wrapped up and discarded in a rug? Appendages or severed heads? I forgot we live in a perfect world where midgets don’t get murdered and babies aren’t thrown away and not everyone eats their kill. That’s so 1990 Jeffrey Dahmer.
THIS POST JUST GOT TOO DARK. Or not dark enough, if you’re my kind of people.
We did see homeless people with a George Forman Grill, and that was the one thing that Henry took away from him. When we met up later with Bill and Jessi, he couldn’t wait to tell them about that.
“A George Forman Grill! Where were they going to plug it in!?” he laughed. Oh, Henry.
Henry Crapo, HAHAHAHA!
Trying not to laugh at Henry Crapo.
Alleyway Photo Op.
Henry and Chooch had to stay outside while Sarah and I went inside Paul’s Pipe Hospital, which immediately made me think of my dad. I’m not sure if he still smokes pipes, but he did when I was growing up and I always loved that smell. One of my high school teachers owned a pipe shop in the mall called the Tinder Box and I used to love walking in there for the same reason.
Paul’s Pipe Hospital taught me that there are actual trophies to be won if you can continuously smoke the same pipe longer than anyone else in Pipe Competitions. Now I kind of want to acquire a taste for pipe tobacco so that I too can win a trophy. How popular would Chooch be at school once everyone finds out his mom is a competitive pipe smoking CHAMPION? And how long will it take before someone in his school realizes there are ways to make this into a euphemism for fellatio.
“OH YEAH, I HEARD SHE SMOKED YOUR DAD’S PIPE REAL COMPETIVELY.”
God, this is a fantastic idea. How do I get started? I want one of the pipes I saw there that come in a far-out array of 1970s afghan colors.
Look at what you’ve done to me, Sarah.
My outfit matched Sarah’s hair perfectly.
After about 2 hours, it was time to say goodbye and head back to Wayne so we could check into our hotel and grab a quick dinner before meeting up with Bill and Jessi.
Sarah and Michelle, thank you both so much for making time for us and getting the awkward “first meet” out of the way. I already can’t wait to see you both again! Come to Pittsburgh!!