Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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So last night some ancient step-relatives were in town and coming to dinner, and God bless 'em, I have a hard enough time conquering social anxiety long enough to socialize with my own ancient relatives, so The Lovely Emily and I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again (well, first time for her). The movie was exponentially improved by hitting a Publix a block away first and buying candy to smuggle in; if you think Veruca's big scene is good, you should try it with whole hazelnuts in Lindt milk chocolate.

Then we went to dinner, and ended up at the Macaroni Grill. Now, it had been several years since I had eaten there, but the last time involved an oppressively bland cheese pasta dish and violent illness brought on by a "public jug" of Chianti. This time was a lot better--chicken capellini pomodoro and Venetian lemonade out on the patio in a cool rainy breeze. (Apparently "Venetian" is a codeword for "rum." We poured some of it onto the parking lot for our missing comrade, The Amazing McRachel.) The only problem was that they took approximately three years to bring out Em's calamari, mostly because they just forgot about her, so of course my food was slightly cold by the time we got around to eating. But the manager came out and waived the price of her meal and then a tiny little brown bird hopped up on the chair next to me and started digging through my purse. I am not making this up. It sat on the back of the chair for a good half hour and just got on with its chillaxation. I don't know.

So then we walk across the Summit to the Barnes and Noble, previously the scene of the Midnight Harry Potter Stampede, and hang out there for a while. The unspoken agenda is, "Let's hang out until the ancients have gone home." There also turned out to be a bargain-bin sale, so I walked off with The Left Hand of Darkness (I've never read any LeGuin, but I figure, for $1.99 in hardback, I can't afford not to start), a collection of American ghost stories for possible Black Ribbon research, and a book on classical warfare, because I'm a sucker for swords. Total: seven dollars and something. I come from a family where, let's say, a good gift is a good gift, but a good gift that you got at a spectacular sale is exponentially more awesome, so I was pleased with myself on several levels.

And then I got home, and the ancients were still there.

I'm sure they're lovely people. I just--you know. So silence is of the essence (seriously, I actually tiptoed up the lawn), but now I'm at the front door, and I've got three barkative dogs somewhere in the house on the other side of that door, a big jingly keyring and a bag of books. Also, I might be slightly tipsy, there's no telling. The books looked up at me and said, "Leave us here! Take the sherpas and go on without us! Save yourself!" And I said, "Noooooo! I WANT TO READ ABOUT CLASSICAL WARFARE!" And then I had to duck away from the window, because I think I accidentally said that out loud. So I hold the glass door open with my hip and turrrrrrrrrrrn the key in the lock. So far so good. At this point I actually opened the door three millimeters and took the keys out before I pushed on the door. That's how slick I was. And then I dropped the keys in my pocket jingle jingle and ROWROWROWROWROWRRRRRR!


Here's the best part: the only person who can see the front door from the den is my mother, sitting in a recliner facing the doorway. It was her suggestion that I find something to do tonight and get out of the house. So I'm doing my best to sneak in, and we all know that the dogs bark at anything--cats, pedestrians, light breezes--so what does she say? "Oh, I bet they're just barking at the neighbors' dog"? "Oh, we never even know what they're barking at"? No, she says, "Hiiiiii!" WOMAN!

I'll be real honest with you, I just pretended like she was crazy and I was a ghost or something and just kept creeping right on up the stairs like she hadn't said anything.

So this morning she shakes me out of bed and hisses, "I made BACON!" I'm... happy for you? Well, it turns out that an entirely different set of step-relatives just also happens to be in town. Oh, and they're coming over for lunch, and if I want sustenance before I go back into hiding, I'd better get it now. So I did, and that's where I've been all day: upstairs, pretending to clean. Some more. Again.


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Tags: books, movies
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