Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

Melissa, Carly and I made plans to meet for dinner last night. I got there early and went to the Walgreens next door to stock up on Halloween booty for this weekend: glow sticks, candy corn, dum dums, spider rings, gummy bats. You know, everything you might need for a gathering of children adults.

When I was paying for everything, the cashier asked me why I had nine glow sticks. "Oh, are they priced by the pair?" I asked. Nope, she was just curious. Turns out "grabbing a handful" was a foreign concept to her.

She also took a full minute to look through a circular and see if anything I was buying was discounted. Granted, it was nice of her, but sixty seconds is actually a long time to idly peruse coupons when you've got a line of people waiting. The guy behind me was just buying one thing and couldn't have been glaring at me any harder. I thought about throwing a quick apology at him, but he was sighing so dramatically that instead I left him to stew miserably in my peripheral vision.

I've been buying random crap very enthusiastically for my party gathering. Kate told me she picked up a few things too, one of which was fake cobwebs. I swear I could practically hear the collective intake of breath from everyone in the world who knows me. Fake cobwebs? In my home? To give the illusion of not having cleaned in months? Great! No, no, that's fine, really! I'll just pop a few Percocet and everything will be good.

Bad enough that I practically hit on my neighbor's cleaning people earlier today. They knocked on my door to ask where they should park. "Oh, that spot right there is fi...hey, is that a Dyson? What, um, what are you guys doing after this?"

Moment of silence for the Dyson. Steve dreams of the perfect Mustang, Elusive Jen dreams of the perfect Vera Wang dress, but I dream that someday that beautiful, complicated piece of machinery will be mine, all mine.

Anyway, where the hell was I? Right, meeting Melissa and Carly for dinner. So I walk next door to the restaurant, sit at the bar and order a glass of wine. You know you should've ordered beer when your options are either Kendall Jackson or the house chardonnay, but I digress.

The Globe is right there so I start reading it, which I never do now that I don't live with anyone who subscribes. I end up making my way through pretty much the entire thing: City & Region, Living Arts, Sports... although it did strike me that sitting alone at a bar reading the sports section felt a little bit like something a dating coach would tell you to do, along with drinking beer from the bottle and wearing a t-shirt that says "Not Really Looking For Anything Serious."

After awhile there were guys sitting on either side of me who were mildly entertaining. One of them used to own a bar in Palm Springs, and those spring breakers, man, they were crazy! "Did you ever go on spring break there?"

"No, I went to Florida."

"Key West?"

"Orlando." I'm not volunteering that it was Disney World. Let the world think I was a crazy partier in my day. Hey, we stayed off Disney property! If that's not living life, I don't know what is.

"Orlando! Well, it can get crazy there, too!"

I started to realize that it was closing on 45 minutes past when Melissa said she'd meet me, but I figured she got held up at work or in traffic or something. I debated calling, but then I thought, of course she knows she's running late, and does she need me to call her and clarify that point? So I called Carly, logically enough, even though she wasn't meeting up until later, but my call wouldn't go through because my reception was going in and out. Which of course meant that all my incoming calls were going straight to voice mail. I kept glancing over my shoulder to check out what I could see of the entrance area, but I didn't see anyone I knew.

I noticed that the guy on the other side of me was drinking vodka from a pint glass. I've seen strong drinks in my day, but what the hell? After a little bit more sparkling conversation, I happened to glance over my other shoulder. And saw Melissa and Carly sitting at a table.

I immediately said, "Oh my GOD." They didn't hear me, but vodka guy did and whipped around. Even though we hadn't discussed the fact that I was waiting for anyone, he immediately yelled, "THERE THEY ARE! HEY GUYS!" My poor friends, too used to random fools, stared wearily at him until they noticed me, at which point it all started to make sense. Melissa had been there for an hour, waiting for me in the entrance.

The funny thing is that when we had both arrived, it was early enough that the place was pretty empty and minimally staffed. I wonder if the host ever compared notes with the bartender: "Yeah, things are pretty slow. Just a girl sitting in the entrance waiting for her friend." "No kidding, I have a girl sitting at the bar waiting for a friend. Hey, what time's the game tonight?"

Oh, well. At least it gave both of us blog fodder.

8 comments: said...

i love the T-shirt idea. i love ''reading'' the sports section in public. i always just sit there thinking ''man, i'm such a catch for some lucky guy!" while i stare uncomprehendingly at the page

Anonymous said...

I briefly thought you really were wearing that T-shirt, and I wasn't sure if I should give you props or just ... pretend it didn't happen.

Also, despite that it turned out badly this time (THIS TIME), I commend you for not calling to clarify that she was late. Misuse of cell phoneage, $100 fine.

Melissa said...

I think calling is OK after about 20 minutes. That's around when I stop assuming "running late" and start assuming "waylaid by glue-sniffing carnies."

Stefanie said...

See, now, I think it's OK to call, just to check in and be like, "Yeah, hi, just thought I'd see how close you are." But maybe I'm just an impatient, annoying girl who can't comfortably sit in a bar alone. Also, I've done the call just to make sure the person I'm meeting isn't also in the restaurant and I just didn't spot him/her. Which, according to your story, CAN happen!

Anonymous said...

"Grabbing a handful" ain't no foreign concept to me, if you know what I'm sayin'! And I think you do.

Gah. It's the cold medicine I'm on, Red. I swear.

I have had the pleasure of knowing not one but two Dysons, and they are everything you'd think they'd be and much, much more.

Melissa said...

Hey, Stefanie, nice template!

Anonymous said...

A pint of vodka?! Holy crap.

Joe said...

I can't wait for your party/gathering!