The Hellhole

Monday, August 20, 2012

I passed a lovely weekend, turned tragic by the arrival this morning of Monday and another work week.

Friday was my friend Anne's birthday, so we met her and her husband at our mutual favorite Italian restaurant for dinner. It was delicious as usual. We'd been invited back to their house afterward for birthday cake, but the waiters and owners saw my wrapped gifts to her on the table and so wanted to give her a free dessert for the occasion. We compromised by all four of us sharing a slice of lemon cheesecake so we'd have room for second desserts. It's important, especially as one ages, to keep one's priorities in order.

She liked both my gifts and I was really pleased about that. I got her two necklaces; the first one she unwrapped, she put on right away and wore throughout the evening. I'd spotted it on my way out of Macy's, thought it looked "so her" and grabbed it. It turned out to be on clearance, which wasn't why I chose it, I just liked the look, but because of the reduced price I was able to buy her a second item. The first necklace is several strands of small turquoise beads, a couple of strands of brown leather, a strand of silver, long and tied into a big knot up front. The second one was multiple strands of flat purple beads (her favorite color) along with some spacers and pink accent beads - very pretty. I was especially excited about Necklace #2 because after buying it, she shared with me some links to dresses she was considering for her stepdaughter's upcoming wedding, and the one she ultimately chose was the exact same shade of purple with a neckline that would have gone absolutely perfectly with the necklace. It turned out that the dress was out of stock, though, so too bad about that but she still really liked them. I thought she would; they reminded me so of her, but then it's always a gamble, as Nancy once put it, when "guessing wrongly the tastes of others". One thinks, "Oh, this is perfect for So-and-So!" and, if you're me, you're either spot-on or the person is checking the gift tag because they're certain they've opened a gift intended for someone else - like maybe your great-grandfather.

They made me feel a lot better about my impending dental work, too. Anne is in the midst of an implant and her husband Rick has had quite a bit of dental work done. They were very reassuring, not to mention seemingly unashamed to be seen out in public with their toothless friend. I'm calling my dentist tomorrow to ask how much longer it's going to be for the non-permanent, strictly cosmetic fix because I finished moving some money around today (teefs be EXPENSIVE!) so now I can pay him in full.

Quick aside about my tooth: I am very self-conscious about it because it's an upper front tooth so you see the lack thereof when I'm talking. I know various strangers I encounter during the day don't want to hear chapter and verse about my situation, but at the same time I feel uncomfortable because they don't know I'm in the midst of a several-step process to correct it - they just think, "Shouldn't she be at Wal-Mart? Probably wearing a tube top?" I was telling this to a security guard at my building with whom I am friendly; we are both dog lovers and he just recently got a little girl Min-Pin. Anyway, he said to me, "No, people aren't thinking, 'man, what a total redneck!', they're thinking, 'oh, that pretty professional lady is getting some dental work done'. For reals." I thought that was very sweet.

Back to my lovely weekend: remember that I promised a pool party/barbecue to anyone who donated to my brother and sister-in-law's Kickstarter project? Yesterday Nancy collected on her deal. She, husband Mark and son Anthony came over. Mark and Alan hung out inside while Nancy, Anthony and I went swimming. It was a little chillier than perfect because the day had dawned overcast, but we persevered and things cleared up soon enough.

As promised, I had cut fresh fruit, gourmet cheeses, crackers, Boar's Head turkey pepperoni (yum!) and caramel-pecan cheesecake. Alan grilled burgers, brats, flatiron steak, chicken marinated in lime vinaigrette and herbs de Provence, portobello mushrooms. It was a little of everything kind of meal. Okay, it was a lot of everything...Alan and I had some slices of leftover steak and chicken tonight for dinner. I had made potato salad but didn't serve it because when Alan tried it pre-friends, I had somehow managed to undercook the potatoes even though they passed the knife-through-the-potato test. I was disappointed because Alan really likes my potato salad recipe, though Nancy wouldn't have eaten it anyway as it contains two tablespoons of mayonnaise, a/k/a "Nancy's bane". We also had Pelligrino, flavored sparkling water, red wine, white wine and beer, though no one drank any of the beer. I'd thought Mark might like one.

I kind of screwed up on the dessert, too. I knew Anthony was allergic to peanuts but didn't realize pecans were also verboten. He had a freezer pop earlier in the day, though, and was cool about it, saying he'd have dessert once they got back home. Nancy liked my cheesecake, so that was all good. Anthony cracks me up. Despite being only just-turned-nine, he consistently referred to the floats I had in the pool as "flotation devices", not 'floats' or 'floaties'. He's an incredibly polite child, too.

I'm sorta sad that the summer is winding down and there won't be more weekends like this for very long. I'm taking three days off next week and hope to get in some last-ditch pool time, though I have to spend at least part of one at the DMV renewing my license under new regulations where I have to produce a lot of paperwork proving I'm really who I say I am. (Is that everywhere or just a Georgia thing?) If I regret anything about the whole above-ground pool experiment, it is that - not the expense, which has been much less than I expected, or the upkeep, which has been minimal and nothing like I feared - it's been how little time I/we have actually been able to spend in it. But the days like yesterday? Pure gold.

I love what great friends I have.


  • I had this crazy DMV experience too. My driver's license now has every name I have ever had or been known by. When I purchased my last car, they used the name from my driver's license for the car's registration. Takes up two lines! Glad I've only been married once, can't imagine if I had married names to contend with too.

    By OpenID dkzody, at 10:15 AM  

  • We had such a good time on Sunday!! I hope you know we love you and think you look fabulous regardless of the number of teeth you have at any given time, and Anthony was particularly unfazed since he's very used to looking at gaps in the smiles of his peers. Thanks for your compliments to him. :-)

    By Blogger Nancy Heiges, at 1:03 PM  

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