As I mentioned, somehow the logical plans that Melissa and I had put together had somehow been totally redrawn by Al and Gene. Strangely, neither of them are morning people, especially Al. (Clue: Al opened the door wearing sweatpants and no shirt. I think I’m now a) blind and b) a lesbian).
Anyway, then we break into two groups – guys and girls – for the drive to the crepe place. The food was OK but I don’t see what the hell the guys enjoyed about it so much last time. This time I was a crepe abstainer. Following crepes, Melissa took off to go grade some papers for the Art History course she was teaching, so the rest of us crowded in the Infiniti to go back to Al’s.
Now, the Infiniti is a nice car. I was very comfortable for the 12 hour drive to Ohio but for the short drive to Al’s I got stuck in the backseat with Blanche and the boy. Maybe it was especially bad because after my header at the gas station in Kentucky, my knee was sore and by this time it got stiff pretty quickly (it’s fine now). More annoyingly, we get to Al’s and get out of the car and he says, “oh, wait, get back in, I don’t have a housekey”.
Now….this man also has his Ph.D. He has an important job. He owns by this time two houses. He has a baby on the way. He…has…no…housekey. My SIL has a key. The people remodeling the old house have keys (alas, they weren’t there…). My BIL — the DOC-TUH — does not.
“Oh, fuck me!” I utter in a strangled cry as I refold my leg to prepare for pressing back into the car.
Upside: we went to a oh-so-hip coffee bar (which brought the total to 2 for the day), where Melissa was grading the papers. I got a caramel steamed milk. Mmm. Ooh, and two Ghiradelli chocolate squares as a “I’m sorry we didn’t buy the Toyota Avalon with the massive backseat” treat from Gene.
Then we went to see the outside of the new house. It’s a very 1970’s house, 5 bedrooms, 3 levels. Blanche will have a bedroom and a sitting room so I think it’ll be a great situation for her. She keeps talking about having a kitchenette, but I can’t see why: her bedroom is on the same floor as the real kitchen (complete with push-button electric stove), whereas everyone else’s is upstairs. Ehh, whatever.
Back at the Old House, Melissa’s home and informs us that we have been invited to dinner at a friend of their’s. Yes, all 6 of us. I managed to strangle my inner “BUT I DON’T LIKE NEW PEOPLE!!” and go. So did the boy and Blanche, which was surprising as I figured they’d bail. The menu was Mexican: salsa, guacamole, chips and tostadas as the entree. Very good! The big draw was that the men could drink and smoke cigars in the host’s sunroom, which they did.
The women finally bailed about 11. Melissa dropped us off at the hotel and Blanche says “Hey, I don’t have my purse!” It’s in the trunk of our car for, frankly, no reason I can fathom. We head up to our room so I can call Gene’s cellphone (also in the car) or Al’s house (to try to catch Gene to tell him to grab the purse before he valet parks the car). No luck. Unpublished phone #. Wahh-wahh-wahhhh. So instead of saying “Oh, what’s really the big deal?” Blanche and I end up sitting in the lobby of this very nice hotel and wait for the guys.
They finally arrive after a rockin’ 90 minutes of people watching. (Upside: getting to watch a bride and groom walk through the lobby. She was in a short white dress; I assume she had a regular wedding dress and had just changed to leave the reception because this dress was less fancy than her bridesmaid dresses, which were the David’s Bridal strapless wraparound kind in red). Another upside: Gene and the boy arrive with (wait for it…) TWENTY WHITE CASTLES.
HOT DAMN! I LOVE THE NORTH!
I ate about 4 of them, the boy and Blanche had maybe 2 each and some fries and Gene eats an indiscriminate number (I was asleep!). We still had at least 6 left. What a waste of good White Castles. Mm, they were mushy and cheesy and onion-y and gooooood.