Sunday, August 2, 2009

Of friends and mead

The blackberry mead was excellent and, therefore, is all gone. Plus, it got to be 10:30 p.m. and April and Perry and Richard and Lifcha had to be going. They had an hour's drive ahead of them with April needing to be up reasonably early to vote in this election for regional representative for the sorority to which she belongs. "I can vote in my pajamas since the whole convention is in my hotel. Still, I shouldn't slack in the morning since I'm not a shoe-in for this position."

So with hugs, handshakes, "Nice to meet you"s, "Good to see you again"s, everyone left. It was a beautiful night after a day of rain, an almost too perfect ending to a stellar evening. I so needed this.

I was fairly certain I had lost the friendship of someone I hold in high esteem. The convoluted details need not be rehashed. Let's just say I took some actions that partially offended him. He hadn't spoken to me in three days. I had a house to clean and food to prepare. As April and Perry pulled into my drive, I was still nursing my insecurities, a task I am particularly suited to do.

The bathroom sparkled. All the floors had been dusted. A few of them washed thanks to Betsy's urinary tract infection. (She's currently lying behind me in the sunshine. She's been unusually quiet today. I hope that's not boding ill.) FInally, after over 8 months of using the kitchen table for storage, I had cleaned it off. The large folding wooden picnic table my grandmother had was brought up from the basement, dusted and set up. I found most of my folding chairs. I seem to be missing a couple from the "church" set. Jello was setting. Blueberry cobbler baked and cooling. Hobo suppers in the oven. Wine glasses rinsed and I'm missing one. I should have a set of 8, not a set of 7. Did one break and I don't remember? I was ready to entertain.

It was a wonderful evening. We laughed. We joked. We told stories. We ate good food. Jon brought his caraway potato salad. I'm not a potato salad fan but this was good. Richard and Lifcha walked in with 6 2 liters of soda which they refused to take home with them. April and Perry brought the mead. The hobo suppers were cooked to perfection. The jello salad, a long-time family staple (7Up Applesauce Salad), was just as I remembered it. Jon also brought cole slaw. It was just the right amount of food.

We started off the evening's activities by playing a game I won't mention because I am going to give it to Carole for either her birthday or Christmas. Much laughter ensued. But the real hilarity came when we played "Apples to Apples".

When Carole was growing up, games were a part of family life. We would get together with some friends to play kids games and then adult games. We played a game called "Railroad Tycoon" regularly with one of my ex-husband's friends. Even when her father left us, Carole would bring her high school friends over for game nights. My stash of games rivals a toy store. I would love to have friends with whom to have standing game nights.

Carole introduced me to "Apples to Apples" when I visited her in Seattle. We played it with Chad's parents when we had dinner with them on Mother's Day. It was fun then. It was hysterical last night.

You are given a number of cards with nouns on them; person, place or thing. (Remember "Schoolhouse Rock"?) One person draws an adjective or an adverb and you have to quickly select the noun you think "goes best with that word". It's that latter rule that ensures you'll have much laughter. "Goes best with" could mean it's the opposite. "Goes best with" could mean in a very quirky or, let's just say it, sick, sense. You also could just toss a card in to get rid of it. You have to think fast because one person's card doesn't count. The reader then picks the card they think goes best with that word. The person who contributed that card "wins" the round. The overall winner is the person with the most cards based on the number of people who play.

When it's your turn to draw a card, you can get the most head-scratchingly crazy answers. I got "lovable". My choices were "ninjas", "Woody Allen", "Dr. Kevorkian" or "Danny DeVito". I picked "Danny DeVito" because he's been married to Rhea Pearlman for a long time so there must be something lovable about him. But, I tell you, before I could pick my answer, I had to stop laughing.

It was like that all night. Some words and their answers lead to quite the comment, dripping with innuendo. Some were just plain stupid. Some, such as Lifcha getting "scenic" and her answers being "Ireland", "a sunset", "Italy", and "The Grand Canyon", hard to decide. A lot hinges on how well you know the reader and what they might choose so you could play your cards accordingly. I must have had to wipe tears away at least a half dozen times. Betsy even overcame her fear of new faces and voices to come sit in my lap and be scratched and admired by everyone.

It's been a rough July for me. As it happened, my friend was online after everyone left and we talked. He said it will take more than just this to break our friendship. I found my mood lifted. I still have worries, mainly about money and making sure Betsy gets the care she needs. But I so needed to laugh, not at someone but at absurdity and with people I can call friends. This was a great way to start a month.

Beverage: English Teatime


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