After our fortuitous trip to the no-named junk store in Tarentum, we drove back to Pittsburgh to meet Wendy for lunch at Ritter’s. She ended up getting caught in traffic and after refilling our drinks for the third time, the waitress asked, “Do you want me to bring out some crackers?” I think she mostly meant to keep Chooch satiated, but both of us desperately whined, “Yes!” like we were being groomed for Sally Struthers’ next commercial shoot. Chooch ended up turning the crackers into confetti and our waitress—who was young, yet maternal—helped pick it out of my hair. I really liked that lady.
I liked anyone who takes care of me.
(I really need to be taken care of, I don’t know if you’ve noticed.)
Everyone had changed their minds a dozen times by the time Wendy arrived, but I was pretty secure with my omelette selection.
Until Wendy pointed out the special (which I never look at because that seems like such an Older Person thing to do) which was an omelette stuffed with kale and black eyed peas.
For some reason, I was intrigued by this.
“Do I like black eyed peas?” I asked Henry, who said “I don’t know!” in that stupid squeaky voice he uses when he’s angry that I’m speaking to him.
I shouldn’t have ordered this for two reasons:
- I had to ask if I like a legume that one of my most hated pop groups is named after
- It didn’t have cheese in it
Never mind the fact that I apparently hate kale and never knew it.
My omelette was a plated shit stain. But for some reason I still ate most of it and bitched with every bite.
Andrea thought it was SO FUNNY that I hated my omelette (apparently I hate kale*, too) that she nearly tripped over herself trying to take a picture of my plate of slop. My homefries and wheat toast were good at least.
(*In high school, I dated a guy whose last name was Kail and my mom absolutely hated him, even threatened to send me to an all girls school. One time, we were at the grocery store and I saw a bundle? batch? collection? of kale and tried to make her buy it. She almost started crying. So I don’t think I’ve ever actually had kale because my mom had a pretty hefty boycott on it.)
This was totally Wendy’s fault that I hated my breakfast. (I have to blame someone and I don’t think I’ve ever blamed her for anything yet, so congratulations—it’s your turn, Wendy!) She was trying to have an adult conversation with Andrea but kept getting distracted by the exaggterated “4-year-old eating brussels sprouts for the first time” faces I was pulling from across the table. Henry just ignored it. He’s really good at ignoring it.
Meanwhile, Henry ordered BEEF TIPS. Seriously! He’s not even trying anymore to avoid succumbing to Old Manhood. I noticed that some sort of beets were available as a side and while the waitress was waiting for him to decide, I was loudly pleading with him to order the beets. He was so agitated but the waitress was laughing, which made me love her even more.
God, I want to try to find her on Facebook now. I think we’d be great friends. She looks like someone who would help me cross the street.
I really need someone to help me cross the street.
My fantastic morning purchase served as an intentional centerpiece. Henry groaned, but Andrea encouraged it. This is why we’re friends. That and the fact that she’s like a crackerjack when it comes to getting Chooch and me to stop fighting. Maybe if Henry wasn’t so adverse to buying us shit, his stress levels would plummet.
Afterward, Wendy, Andrea and Henry all fought over the check while Chooch and I kicked back and dreww pictures on his Drawing Thing. We didn’t have any money anyway.
Then it was time to go down the street to my beloved Vanilla Pastry Studio so Andrea could finally taste the cupcakes that inspired the sex metaphor-laden review that wound up on my blog a few years ago. They are still my favorite cupcakes, although Kaitlin’s come close to dominating.
We stayed there to eat our cupcakes, and Chooch embarrassed me in front of the one and only Sugar Fairy (the owner and my cupcake idol), but then he really started being an asshole so Henry had to whisk him away. God only knows where they went; I’d suggest an alley where Henry beat him in private, but everyone knows that Chooch is the one beating us, so no one would believe me anyway.
It was early evening by then, and Andrea wanted to take a little nap (read: needed a break from Chooch and me squabbling like siblings) so we parted ways with Wendy and dropped Andrea off at her hotel after specifically telling her that roller skating started at 8 and I wanted to pick her up by 7:30. She “conveniently” slept “longer” than she “intended” so we were a little late getting there and I was like, “This is the kind of thing that gets Janna Mexican neck-tied by me, just so you know!”
But then she fell within 60 seconds of stepping onto the rink so that made up for her “accidental” tardiness. Apparently, some teenage girl laughed at her when she had her spill and I wish I would have known that because I’m always looking for a reason to mouth-off to teenagers. Especially at the roller rink.
But Andrea at least got to meet Roller DJ, and I think that was really all she wanted to do anyway. She rested safely on the bench for the rest of the time and even made a friend who just happened to be one of the ladies proficient at that crazy roller line dancing bullshit that I so badly want to learn. Andrea kept trying to get me to go out there and ask for help, and she was about one can of Aquanet away from acting just like a pageant mom. I think she was embarrassed that I wasn’t the best one out there.
Andrea’s favorite part was when a Lil Wayne song came on. She had just seen the video for it the night before at my house and quickly bought his entire discography on iTunes.
We ended up leaving an hour early. It was too “middle school dance” for me, and in between pre-teen slaloming, I found myself making quite a few enemies. (Most notably this 8 foot tall Waldo-looking motherfucker who snubbed me during Men Only skate when I tried to slap his hand. Andrea suggested that he was just a germ-phobe and I was like, “WHY DO YOU HAVE TO DEFEND HIM!? WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON!?”) Anyway, we wound up at an Eat n Park, which was on Andrea’s list of places to dine in Pittsburgh. We were sitting near a booth of about 10 girls who MAYBE were high school freshmen. They were playing some truth or dare-type card game and we now know more about their sexual history than their combined gynecologists ever will. Andrea was shriveling up and next to tears; if she opens up a shelter for sexually-deviant teens, you’ll know why. And then she can have a booth at Warped Tour and I’ll be her “helper” who “passes out literature” in front of all the stages and in the back of all the tour buses.
Of course we got stuck behind the whole gaggle of them when we were got up to pay. One of the girls dropped the entire stack of cards and another walked by and purposely kicked at them, sending them sliding all over the floor. It reminded me so much of the type of friendship Janna and I have, that my heart got all warm.
Andrea was beyond obsessed with them at this point and even talked to Colby the cashier about them.
“Do you know them?” she asked. And then we had to listen to him bore us with details of which ones he knows and how he knows them.
It was about 11:30 when we got back to Andrea’s hotel room. I’m surprised she let me come back at all; I figured she had a long night of praying the rosary for the Eat n Park girls.
We drank champagne and I “accidentally” smoked some of her cigarettes. (I can’t be around Camels. They were my absolute jam back in the day.) We talked about absolutely everything from depressing shit to my friend who wanted to “bang” me at the cannon memorial down the street from my house and when his wife got pregnant, he texted me: “We’re having a baby. :(” so now Andrea adds a “baby” behind every frowny face she texts me as an homage to our night of champagne-fueled conversation.
The next thing I knew, I was rolling in my house after 4:00 AM to find Henry methodically in his underwear, mopping up cat pee. He didn’t seemed too alarmed that I was just coming home.
“It’s like being married again,” he mumbled.