Don’t we always celebrate that jerk tho.
Anyway, Chooch maintained his 4.0 on his most recent report card and we were like, “cool I guess we will feed you at some point” and literally like a full month later, we finally made plans to take him to dinner to “celebrate.”
We had Houlihan’s stuck in our heads because he mentioned it once in passing that he wanted to go there because he had never been, and I got super nostalgic because that was my PLACE when I was in my late teens. I guess because it was like the next step up from Denny’s and my friends and I thought we were SO SOPHIS eating there and honestly we probably mostly only went for dessert. I sincerely can’t remember any actual food I would have eaten there aside from whatever their fried mozzarella app was – maybe the triangles? Or was Dingbats the ones with the triangles?!
The Houlihan’s I used to go was replaced by a WALGREENS ugh many years ago and at some point moved down the street to the Galleria, but I hadn’t been to the new location. Now that I think about it, the last time I was at Houlihan’s may have been in 2001/2002 when I was going through a heavy “meeting people on the Internet” phase by placing personal ads FOR FRIENDS (lololol) and had a FRIEND INTERVIEW with some dude there right around the time Henry and I started dating and you can imagine how well that went over. Don’t worry, I talked about my cats the whole time and never heard whatever that dude’s name was ever again.
We also invited Janna!
Sunday afternoon, while Chooch was still at work, Henry made CHOOCH PINS for us to wear that night.
This is the one Janna wore! I don’t have a picture of Henry’s and he almost blew the whole charade anyway by not having it on at first and then Chooch caught me mouthing “WHERE IS YOUR PIN” across the table; Chooch caught me and immediately asked, “WHAT” in a panicked tone but I said NOTHING and he moved on quickly because he only has so much interest in adults.
So then Henry to excuse himself to go to the bathroom and put the damn thing on; meanwhile, Chooch came down from Teenage La La Land long enough to actually SEE Janna at the table with us. He did a slow doubletake and asked, “Why are you wearing a pin of my face?” which was rather hurtful because I had mine on the whole entire time we were walking around the Galleria before Janna got there and he never noticed because I AM INVISIBLE TO HIM.
I pointed at my denim vest and yelled, “I HAVE ONE ON TOO” right when Henry came back and now Chooch was legit surrounded by people wearing pins of his face. It was like a TEAM CHOOCH huddle.
Chooch, after he realized what was happening.
We had a really stiff middle-aged (ugh probably like my age) waiter who looked like he was late for a Drive-By Truckers show at a craft whiskey festival in Williamsburg, NYC. He made me SO FUCKING UNCOMFY. He was for sure sneering at us and was also visibly anxious and annoyed when Chooch didn’t know what he wanted to drink right away. My favorite was when he asked Henry a question and then walked away before Henry had a chance to answer and Henry said something like, “How am I supposed to answer when he’s already halfway down the road?” and the fact that he said “road ” had me and Chooch dying.
Also, he was wearing a VERY FITTED short-sleeved flannel to show off his SUPER COOL tattoos.
Also, I chose Janna’s meal for her. Fish tacos. You’re welcome, Janna.
Chooch and I both got a veggie burger and it was fine, but also kind of unsatisfying. And they served it to us on these gigantic, oblong plates just to really illustrate how little food we were given. I made some comment about how we should have went somewhere better and Chooch said, “Yeah why did we come here, anyway?”
“Because you wanted to come here!” I snapped.
“Yeah, with my friends,” he snapped back.
OH DANG SON. Wow, just wow!
We didn’t get dessert (ironically, considering that was why I used to go there back in the day!) because the Galleria has a CUPCAKE vending machine! I already knew what I wanted, and then I told Henry which one to get, and Chooch picked his pretty quickly too, but then JANNA hemmed and hawed like it was A Big Life Purchase, and she kept trying to choose ones that weren’t available!
Meanwhile, there was a young couple waiting behind us and I felt so bad because we were taking so long (well, I wasn’t, I made my selection right away because I’m a pre-planner and thought about which one I was choosing all during dinner to the point where I was nervous none of them would be available). Janna finally chose a vanilla blueberry one or something – it was the very last one and she chose it after the girl behind us told her boyfriend that’s the one she wanted! Chooch and I were trying not to crack up.
Then the vending machine deployed its slowest snail to gather up our selected ‘cakes and I honestly had to walk away after mine was deposited because it was so awkward standing there with those people behind us.
But holy shit, these bitches were worth the hassle and the wait! Mine was matcha and strawberry, and Henry’s was white chocolate pistachio. Chooch’s – not pictured because he absconded to his bedroom with it as soon as we got home – was lemon. The Galleria is only like 15 minutes from my house and I’m seriously considering going back there as soon as I post this for ROUND TWO.
The end Congrats Chooch, on your big brain. Next time we’ll go somewhere you don’t want to go with your friends, I guess.
You will find as you get older — or at least I did — that I’ll see some little old half-grey, half-bald man who could be my grandfather on the other side of a parking lot and then run into him inside the store and realize he’s a guy who was in the same grade as me in school. It’s weird, this aging thing. Really f’in weird.
You still look like a teenager to me.