Suppressing the Surly

You have no idea how ready I am to move on to Surly Thursdays. I am forcing myself to recall my week-end, which was filled with largely pleasurable events, rather than wolfing down my entire chocolate stash and listing my largely petty but nonetheless stabifying grievances.

Friday night was my end-of-the-year book club meeting. We went to the Foolish Chicken again (half-racks all around, cue the boob jokes now). I got there at seven, and five minutes later was really afraid that my friend Sharon was having some kind of stroke or a small psychotic break because ohmygod, the loud and the belligerent and the sudden violent gestures. Happily, I found out that she had had many beers before showing up at the restaurant and was just very, very drunk. Tanis emailed our book list for next year to the waitress from her iPad, after we noticed that she was writing down titles in between serving us. Then she mentioned that she had just read A Confederacy of Dunces, which is Sharon's* extra-special favouritest million-times-read book EVER, and Sharon almost leapt over the table and swallowed her whole. I think we're still welcome there. We went to some pub after and Sharon groped the waiter a little, but he seemed okay with it. At the end of the night we were walking back to Tanis's house so I could call a cab. Sharon turned off to retrieve her bike, and we yelled at her to bike slowly and not get her dress caught in the wheel. She said she'd tuck it into her underwear, and flashed us her black panties, which was probably meant to provoke hilarity and exasperation, but instead just generated extreme envy. (*No names have been changed to protect anyone. They're not that innocent anyway).

Saturday night was apparently National Barbecue Day (I don't know, I got some press release about it), so we celebrated by going to our friends' house and watching a Big Jesus Hunk 'o Pork get grilled real good. I made mojitos. Many, many limes were harmed in the making of this pitcher of drinks. 

Sunday was Susan's birthday party. I went with Eve because the boys (see under: Goddamned Baseball etc. etc.) I knew theoretically that there could be a lot of people there, and since I only know Susan through Patti, if there were a lot of people there there would be a lot of people I don't KNOW there. The theoretical reality of this, it turns out, is much different than the real reality of this. When Eve and I tried to open the front door, some kids' shoes were blocking it - it was like the house was rejecting us UPON OUR VERY ENTRANCE. I stepped into a room full of people I didn't know. I started to hyperventilate a little. I looked to the left and saw Susan in the kitchen. I waded through the crowd towards her, hoping she would say something comforting. She gave me a hug and said "you have to take off your shoes".

Fortunately, Helen was at the stove. I met Helen through Patti too, and she's a whole pile of awesomeness too (I'll happily give her her own blog post someday). She has an adorable five-year-old daughter who adores, and is in turn adored by, Eve, so they too off and at least that was taken care of. I put my giant basket of strawberries (for which I had made chocolate dip) on the corner, grabbed a cutting board and knife, and turned my back to the room chopping strawberries, while imploring Helen to stay close until I stopped shaking.

It was a fun party, once my hysterical fight-or-flight impulses stopped firing at full thrust. On a few occasions it was hard to decide if I was talking to a friend or relative of Susan's or a slightly deranged homeless person who had wandered off the street, but that sort of just added to the charm. There were a couple of fun quotes, like "I'll show you where it is as soon as I find a googly eye to stick on my sparkly orange fish painting - I just sold it to John", and "Didn't I meet you at one of Jeff's sweat lodges?" People were artistic, and musical, and spoke French, and were freakishly tall, and were gorgeous but still didn't want to have their picture taken, and owned wine bars, and were worried that they had Lyme Disease. Also, Patti's daughter Olivia came in and when Patti told her to go out and play with the other kids she said "they're all playing volleyball". I said "Eve's here, and there's no way in hell SHE'S playing volleyball, why don't you go find her?" and she said "yes she is", and she WAS. Weirdest party ever.

MEOW Book Club List 2012-2013:

The Dominion of Wyley McFadden by Scott Gardiner

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Just Kids by Patti Smith (non-fiction)

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a  World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (non-fiction)

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami


Susan said…
Allison, I'm so sorry. You are such an awesome addition to any situation. I hope you can forgive my insensitivity and overcome your trauma in time for the next party.
Mary Lynn said…
Ooooh, I LOVE A Confederacy of Dunces. I laughed out loud so much reading that book. I gave it to my best friend to read and she just totally could not get into it (which I kinda suspected would be the case--love her to death, but we do have different tastes in books).

The only book on your reading list I've read is The God of Small Things, and I confess I was not a big fan. It was ok. Was looking at The Sisters Brothers in Chapters today and mulling it over. You'll have to let me know how you like that one.
Lynn said…
Mary Lynn stole my comment! The only book I've read from the list is The God of Small Things, and I didn't like it. I think I missed some important stuff in there, though, perhaps you will be able to explain it to me.

One takeaway from that book: the lead woman in it measures the quality of her aging body by seeing if she can hold a pencil under the fold of the bottom of her butt and her breasts. Every time I see a pencil now I am tempted, but I know the results would depress me.
alison said…
I had a lot of trouble eating pickles after reading 'The God of Small Things' at our book club. The party sounds amazing though.
Nicole said…
Wow, that is a full weekend. I don't KNOW Confederacy of Dunces, guess I should put that on my to-read list. Sounds like a lot of fun. I'm going to a party this weekend for two yoga teachers' 25 birthdays! I went to their 24th birthdays last year and I felt like a sage, or maybe just a crabby old lady. In any case, I'm making brownies.
Julie said…
um, i didn't like dunces. can i still be allowed to visit here?

wasn't a huge fan of god of small things. i've got it if you haven't bought it yet. you can have it.

sounds like the best party ever.
Patti said…
It was a fun party. You missed the part where I settled onto the white couch where three others were already perched and then broke it.

Then I knocked a picture off the wall. Not even drunk. After that, I was offered wine.

Also, Helen is totally awesome and I'll have to try and write my blog post about her before you do.
Helen Abbott said…
Patti & Allison & Susan, you guys are all awesome. I'm late seeing this post b/c I switched jobs and lost my RSS feed. It was a splendid party. I hope I will be invited back someday but I'm not sure, so I'm glad this post exists as a memento of that day. When I was told to take off my shoes I refused for a good hour or so. I then got THE LOOK, which I had hitherto not experienced from such a sweet person as Susan. Susan's mom said she washed off her soles to be allowed to wear her shoes in the house. I threatened to put my shoes on the table after I took them off (bonus points for me, because my mother-in-law is superstitious and shoes-on-table is apparently a bad, bad thing in Superstitiousville). My rigid Calvinist upbringing tempts me toward childish rebelliousness.
Sasha said…
All that and BOOKS TOO?? Can I join YOUR book club?
Susan said…
Hey, I hate washing floors. I have mostly overcome, hidden or transmuted my ocd tnedencies, but I hate the thought of dog poo, loogies and other such delicacies being tracked around my inner sanctum. I also understand resisting being told what to do. And I know that feet or socks can be yucky too, but this is one of my transmutations. What I haven't overcome is that I would have to wash the floors if people wore shoes in the house and I hate washing floors. So I am not going to tell you what to do. I will trust you to humour my idiosyncrasies because you love me.

I'm reading the Sisters Brothers. It is interesting and funny and sad. Beautiful and horrific also.

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