I’ve suddenly found myself with a social life and I’m not sure how or why it happened. I’m sure I will go back to being lonely and agenda-less soon, don’t you fear.
Saturday night, Henry and I had a double date with my old co-worker Bill and his wife Natasha. Bill and I did data processing together at what I like to call the Eleanore and Tina Company, since they were my two co-workers who irritated me the most and gave me the most blog fodder from 2006-2008. I haven’t seen Bill since I left that place in August of 2008, and I had only met Natasha once before, when they both came to one of my infamous game nights. So it was cool to see them both and catch up. We met at the Green Mango for some Thai dinner and then went back to their apartment for Bill’s famous bourbon cake and some Penguins pre-season action.
I forgot how fantastic of a baker Bill is. That’s a lie. My taste buds never forget, like baked goods are tasty acts of terrorism.
It was awesome getting the scoop on my old co-workers (Tina moved to Wyoming!) and rehashing old memories like Murder Girl and the Coat Hook Conundrum. And it even made me miss Tina a little, oozing facial wounds and all. Here is a random Tina Memory from June 2007:
For the past few weeks, I’ve been power-walking around the parking lot with Tina. My elation is really beyond words, but I will say that it’s probably on the same level as diving into a pleasure pie, nude, and engaging in some aquatic ring toss with the cast of “Golden Girls.” And you better believe they’re nude, too.
Yes, it really is too delightful to be true.
During our laps, Tina is wont to release buoyant balloons inflated with complaints, gripes, whines and flat-falling jokes. The openings I have to speak are sparse, and Tina always cuts me off by mumbling a monotone “Yeah” before launching her next fleet of balloons.
Three of the four laps usually revolve around talk of her acid reflux and how she’s going to need to poop at some point before leaving. There was a reprieve of that topic last night in favor of menstrual pondering, so that was nice. I don’t want to be stingy with the details, so I’ll let you feast on the visual of Tina realizing her period started when she wiped (front-to-back, I hope) herself and saw a few blood spots on the wad of urine-saturated toilet paper. I was glad she told me this because I always wondered what that meant.
Two things to note from yesterday’s aerobic rendezvous with Tina:
1. It was the first time I saw her bare arms and could not stop myself from marveling over the variously hued splotches and dryness;
2. She was in the SERVICE, just like Henry! This explains why every time she talks about her “vehicle,” her tone makes me envision tanks and Hummers. Except that she was in the AIR FORCE, just like Henry!
I bet he’ll definitely want to go swimming at her house now. Maybe she was in Panama, too! I’ll have to show her Henry’s photo album from that golden time in his life.
While this little vignette played out in my head, Tina mistook my silence as a plea to learn every detail of her past failed relationships.
“My second husband would wake me up at five in the morning, wanting to have sex.” And then she said sex a dozen more times, each time making my labia curl and retract further inside of me. Two more times and I considered mummifying my entire vagina and never thinking of it again. She spat it out each time with a coating of vulgarity that made me want to be held by my mommy. I never thought there could be onomatopoeia for molestation. Even now, an hour later, I can’t quite shake the cloud of dirtiness cocooning me. I better turn into a butterfly, or I’ll be pissed.
Oh, how good those times were.
Anyway, Bill was one of the few people there who I could actually talk to without getting that “WTF is wrong with you?” look that I know all too well. In fact, he was the first person there who was privy to my shit-slinging blog. And his wife Natasha is super interesting and fun to talk to. She knows a ton about hockey and isn’t your typical “OMG Letang Sex Hair!” pretend-hockey fan that some girls tend to be. And have I mentioned her extensive collection of serial killer books?
I hope we hang out more often. I think they would also get along very well with my favorite Michigan couple, Bill and Jessi, so now I want to hook something up for the next time those two are in town visiting. They can all pretend they’re coming to my house for a comic book convention.
Afterward, we went to Henry’s sister Kelly’s house to give her a reprieve from Chooch Watch and wound up hanging out there for an hour or so, getting all the good family gossip. I even made Henry’s mom laugh! I’m not sure I’ve ever done that before. She usually doesn’t get that I’m joking. Henry said it’s probably because she doesn’t appreciate that her son is the butt of all my jokes.
The next morning, I met Jessy at Hot Metal Diner for breakfast. It’s one of those local places that somehow got super popular but you can never really figure out why. I got mini chocolate chip pancakes and wasn’t too impressed with them (less than half of them had chocolate chips in them and I paid a fucking dollar more for that shit!), nor was I impressed with the fact that it took an hour for them to be served. And I will never understand why some people enjoy being treated like shit by waitresses, but that’s just me. Our waitress tried to get smart with Jessy, who in return used a tone that implied, “Look twat, I come here a lot, so watch your tone.” Jessy is awesome.
Anyway, it wasn’t the breakfast that mattered – it was getting to spend time with Jessy. I could have been digging into a lukewarm hill of curds and whey and it wouldn’t have mattered because the company was quality. I couldn’t let a weekend go by without seeing her! She’s like a fun therapy session for me – my chest always feels so much lighter after leaving her, and my cheeks are always sore from smiling and laughing. It’s a No Drama Zone with her.
We talked a lot about the beach vacation we’re taking next summer and I just know this is going to be the longest winter of my life.
I got home in just enough time to collect Chooch and set off for Kara’s son Harland’s 1st birthday party. I didn’t really know anyone there, and we all know how my social anxiety tends to leave me standing in a corner with my jaw wired shut, but having a disgustingly outgoing four-year-old is kind of cool because I just let him do all the socializing for me. And socialize he did, Jesus Christ.
Harland looked adorable as usual. I can’t believe it’s been a year! When we arrived, he sort of looked at Chooch all quizzically. I don’t think he recognized him without all the blood gushing from his mouth. My favorite part of the party was when Harland discovered Chooch had a bowl of chips on his lap and proceeded to toddle over to the couch, lean ever-so-causally against Chooch’s knee, and help himself to some Doritos. Chooch started to emit this throaty laugh that he gets when he’s nervous and kept leaning slowly away from Harland until he was almost laying down on the couch. Babies scare him, and watching this play out really amused me. There were two other babies on the rug (one was probably under a year, and the other one was able to walk) and Chooch acted like he was wading through a vat of alligators every time he got off the couch.
Chooch brought some balloons back from one of his many voyages to the kitchen (God only knows what he was doing in there since I was too lazy/socially crippled to follow) and began a balloon battle with an older kid and some of the adults in the room. A guy named Brad (I believe Kara said he was her cousin’s husband) commented that the good thing with balloons is that they can’t break anything.
“But if anyone could manage that, it would be my kid,” I mumbled, watching a lamp teeter as Chooch fell against a side table and making sure he didn’t get all Godzilla on the colony of babies crawling around on the floor.
There were enormous sugar cookies there with lemon icing. Chooch got one to go and let me have a bite in the car. I was kicking myself the whole way home for not getting my own. Goddamn was that a good cookie.
The weekend was capped off with a lovely family dinner which has already been written about and a surreal visit to Trundle Manor, which will be written about something proper-like in the next day or so. It was too good to be rushed!
I slept really good that night.
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