I’m skipping to the end even though other shit happened which I’ll get to later; chronology is so overrated anyway.
Andrea was still packing when I arrived at her luxurious Comfort Inn suite that late Monday morning.
“Do you need help?” I asked with a patented non-committal laziness to my voice. She said no and I cheered. I’m pretty sure she learned a long time ago that Erin Rachelle Kelly is the last person you’d want to ask for help.
After she checked out, she was quick to remind me of the real reason she flew to Pittsburgh in the first place: to dine at Chik Fil-A. Did you know that all they have at Chik Fil-A is chicken? Bizarre. Luckily, I was able to get waffle fries and some weird carrot raisin cole slaw shit which I thought I would hate but you’d be hardpressed not to find this shit at the reception to the wedding I’ll never have.
On the way back home, Henry sent me a pathetic text saying that he was locked out of the house. We pulled up and found him sitting on the front steps, staring intently at his phone and pulling off hearty bites of a soft pretzel. Even after I unlocked the door, he continued to sit there.
“He has Words with Friends on his phone,” Andrea reminded. “He doesn’t even need to go in the house.” We immediately left again for one last Starbucks run while she was here. As I was getting in the car, Andrea prompted me to be a good girlfriend and ask Henry if he wanted anything, which I did in a monotone sigh.
The look Henry flashed me in lieu of an answer made Andrea crack up, only because she’s not around to see him to do it EVERY HALF HOUR, this annoyed, “Don’t be stupid” smirk.
“He hates coffee,” I explained. “He thinks even the chocolate chip cookies have coffee in them.” The only thing Henry hates more than Starbucks is when we go to one that has a drive-thru and he has to stutter and stammer out my latte order to overly-perky voices chirping out through the speak
On the way back from Starbucks, I turned up the radio. “You might like this song,” I said.
“Let me guess—Jonny Craig?”
I was insulted! Besides, I think Emarosa (Jonny’s ex-band) only came on in the car a few dozen times the whole weekend she was here. That’s what I like to call “consideration.”
We had a little bit of time after that to hang out at my house. Even though I hate having my picture taken, there was no way I was letting her get on a plane without some kind of photographical evidence that we hung out in real life. First she took one on her phone but I my face had the girth of three footballs.
“We can’t use that one; I look like an Eskimo.”
This prompted Mama Evils to lecture me about racism. Really though, I can’t be expected to know this unless I see a PSA on MTV about Eskimos. Until then, they’re fair game.
Then the moment came where we had to take her to the airport. Chooch refused to get out of the car, and I could see him in the backseat all hunkered down and crying.
“Stupid geogaphy,” I said when she hugged me. WHY DID SHE HAVE TO COME HERE?! I mean, goodbyes are hard enough, but when you’re saying it to someone who lives clear across the country and you don’t know when you’ll be able to see them again, it’s like being finger-fucked in the heart by Freddy Kreuger.
The whole way to work, I whined about how sad I was. When I got to work, Wendy came around the corner and, knowing that we had just dropped Andrea off at the airport, she looked all Eeyore-ish too. The only upside was that I got to blather on to everyone about how fantastic the weekend was.
That night, I was sitting with Chooch on the couch. Suddenly, he looked at me and wailed, “I can’t even remember how Andrea laughs!”
It was the saddest fucking thing.
I’d like to think that Andrea took home a wealth of knowledge from Pittsburgh; such as: its residents are condimentally adventurous, Steelers jerseys are pretty much a second skin, and riding in the car with Chooch and me in the backseat serves as really effective birth control. But on the bright side, she still texts me as much as she did before so I guess that means I didn’t completely annoy her!