My people and I had a really lovely pre-Pierce the Veil afternoon in Cleveland last Sunday. I just love that city so much, and it’s OK for me to love it because I have zero affinity to our lame football team so I don’t feel like I’m breaking any rules of loyalty or solidarity, like when you keep being friends with someone who treated your other friend like absolute horse shit.
I like when we’re blessed with weekend shows because then we have all the time to tool around, stuff our faces, hang with local friends…it’s just PLEASANT. A very PLEASANT feeling all around.
It only takes around 2 hours or so to get there from Cleveland, but Chooch acts like it’s a cross country hike and then winds up sleeping for most of the drive which is fine because sometimes I just want to listen to music and not his psychotically motorized voice warbling incessantly from the backseat.
(He said we have high expectations if we want him to stop talking so much. He’s so strong-willed! God help us.)
Our go-to food place is usually Melt, but the last time we were in Cleveland, we went to Happy Dog and I fucking fell in lust so hard and I’ll tell you why: Froot Loops on a veggie dog and like 50 different condiments for my tater tots!? Is this real life?! I have been dreaming of this place since we were last there in November for the Dance Gavin Dance 10 Year Anniversary show.
This was Chooch’s first time there and he was so overwhelmed with his options, 99.9% of which he didn’t agree with anyway so I’m not sure where the struggle even came from. He shocked us all though by actually sticking a toe out of his basic box and ordering Spaghetti-Os and a fried egg on his dog.
I just now asked him if he liked it and he shrugged while sadly smiling. This kid is the worst when it comes to eating. It’s cereal or GTFO with him. Too bad there are only two Cereality locations left in the world and none are anywhere near Pittsburgh.
When I was pregnant, I went through a really intense condiment phase. I was a few weeks along, unbeknownst at the time, when Henry and I were visiting Christina in Cincinnati. I knew something was awry when we went to Jungle Jim’s and I bypassed the chocolate aisle in favor of MUSTARDS OF THE WORLD. (Don’t worry — there was a fortune teller machine at the store’s entrance so on the way out, I asked her if I was pregnant. I don’t remember specifically what she said, but it was probably something about how even mild-mannered men have a threshold.
Or: “He’s not going to marry you. Move on.”
Then we went to get ice cream and after making both Henry and Christina trade with me, I eventually pushed all of the dishes away and pouted. “I don’t want any of these,” I mumbled.
“Well, what DO you want?” Henry asked exasperatedly while Christina frantically prepared to book a flight to Iran to procure me some faloodeh.
“Horseradish,” I answered without even a second thought.
I even had two hermit crabs named after condiments: Tabasco and Dijon. If Happy Dog had been around then, Chooch likely would have come out of me weighing 15 pounds (as opposed to the 10lbs2oz he wound up being without the aid of Happy Dog’s fatty sauce enabling.)
Chooch at the bar getting change for pinball, knowing I was taking his picture because when am I not taking his dumb picture.
And then there was a weird menstrual interlude, where Henry had to go to Rite Aid to get me tampons because I’m the worst woman, as he always says. It makes him so mad that my purses are full of concert ticket stubs and lip gloss, and not things that a woman/mother should have. Like Kleenex and bandaids? Who knows.
“Get used to this, Chooch,” Henry sighed as he got out of the car to make his lady product transaction. “This will be your life someday.”
“What, buying TAMPAX PEARL? Chooch said from the backseat. And then that became the joke of the day, and he said it every time I took his picture.
(He knows I hate when he makes that stupid chipmunk face so he does it ALL THE TIME. I complain about it now, but he’s going to end up being the next motherfucking Jim Carey with all the idiotic face-pulling he does. His face is like rubber!!)
After sufficiently putting a plug in the menstrual interlude, we met up with our pal Jason at Sweet Moses. Chooch brought his dumb Loom thing with him and was really insulted when Jason asked him if he was making a robot when it’s clearly a PANDA. Also, I only took this picture because Chooch was acutely aware of those girls behind him and he always shuts down when there are girls around.
Henry’s ice cream date.
It’s always nice getting to chat it up with Jason. And finally, over dark chocolate vegan ice cream, I was able to blab on and on about Bled Fest with someone who actually gave a shit and even asked, “What bands did you see?” and as I rattled them off I knew that Jason had heard of all of them and for once it didn’t feel like I was speaking a language no one else understands.
It’s really frustrating not getting to talk about your biggest passion!
Jason had work obligations to attend Taste of Chaos, so we parted ways with lots of hugs (hugging is OK sometimes) and then we went to see THE WATER. Chooch was just happy that we weren’t taking another boat tour.
The whole time we sat by the lake, I kept screaming, “DON’T GET TOO CLOSE! OMG HENRY TELL HIM TO NOT GET TOO CLOSE!” I am way too tightly-wound and paranoid to be a mom sometimes. My mind automatically imagines 87 fatal outcomes for every scenario.
12 years ago, Henry and I sat in this very spot, and Chooch wasn’t even so much of a thought yet. It’s crazy to think about sometimes. But being there with these two idiots made me feel super lucky and content with life. It was a great day, and it was only about to get even better.
(And no—not because Henry proposed to me. Because he didn’t.)