Let’s break down my Thanksgiving day by day, okay? Okay.
Wednesday: Flew into San Jose and was speedily conveyed to the ABL, where there were many bonhomous companions to greet and belated birthday presents to give and political moaning to do. Much happy anticipation of good times to come. And then it was time to go to bed because I was tired and I love bed.
Thursday: After going to Thanksgiving chapel and singing some Thanksgiving carols we loaded up the van and trucked out to the Palo Alto Whole Foods, which was much less of a nightmare situation than I’d anticipated. We bought picnic food and two different types of eggnog for research purposes (both had pictures of cows on them and apparently some people wanted to know what the difference between cow-endorsed varieties of egg nog was). We headed to the lovely Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland for our picnic. This is something we started doing in college and which I haven’t done for at least five years and is possibly the least stressful way to do Thanksgiving that has ever been invented. This cemetery was gorgeous and had lots of old headstones and a wide array of mausoleums, not to mention a columbarium. Also it had what we thought must be a gangsta-style memorial service which was very sad. That was the only funeral-type activity going on at this cemetery, but there were many more people than I’d thought would be there, just walking around. We ate our delicious picnic and walked around and took some pictures…my camera crapped out, of course, so I can’t show any of them to you, but be secure in the knowledge that some were taken…and headed back home where we all got into our pajamas for what would be the first time of many during the weekend. I made Anna watch the Netflix I’d brought. She was very patient through it all. We got up and stretched and maybe had some dinner or something and then got right back into the bed in the upstairs Party Zone (because that’s a great thing about their house: beds everywhere, and rooms designated as Party Zones) to watch this Firefly thing they’d been going on and on about. I was dubious at first but ended up liking it very much, which was good for me because we watched the whole series over the weekend.
My fianc鳠Dave and Chrysa came over and we all did the traditional Thanksgiving Hot Tub which is always nice, and I got to have some mashed potatoes. That is the only downside to doing a Thanksgiving picnic as opposed to a sit down dinner: it’s very hard to have mashed potatoes on a picnic. Don’t ask me why, it just is. Fortunately Dave stepped into the breach and brought me some and I think I may have even yelled something like “Mama wants taters!” to encourage him to bring them in from the car. Dave is a forbearing man. He brought me my taters.
And then I think after the mashed potatoes and the hot tub and some Firefly we all went to bed. After taking down all the Thanksgiving ornaments, of course.
Friday Friday was a very special day because I was going to be a big girl and take public transportation (“It’s like being in Europe!”) all by myself into San Francisco and meet up with the lovely and gorgeous Mo. She and her friend Tim picked me up in her watermelon-colored car and took me immediately to eat crepes. She also got a very exciting citron presse, which I guess is basically lemonade that you mix up yourself with lemon juice and sugar syrup and water. It was pretty fun to see her try to get the mix right, and pretty fun to eat crepes, but mostly it was just plain good to see this woman I admire and adore so so much. Because you know what we did after lunch? We went to a Pirate Store. Wrap your minds around that one, folks. This pirate store was certainly the best pirate store I’ve ever been to, and I began to wonder what the hell is wrong with Seattle, that it has, to my knowledge, no pirate store whatsoever. No pirate stores at all. I am sorry to report that I violated the letter if not the spirit of Buy Nothing Day by purchasing a couple of eye patches at the pirate store, but I salved my conscience by reflecting that surely the originators of the aforementioned Buy Nothing Day were not including “pirate eye patches from the pirate store” in their wholesale condemnation of consumer culture. Right? Of course they weren’t.
Anyway, the end of my afternoon with Mo came all too soon after another errand and I was forced to declare my love for her from the backseat of her car as she kindly dropped me off so that I could meet my dear friend Katherine. I only got to hang out with Kat for a little while but with a friend like Kat a little while is all you need to remind you of how lucky you are to have a friend like her. We walked around the art museum for a bit and then sat around a coffee shop a bit and then it was time for her to drop me off at the scariest BART stop ever. We pulled up and I was all DON’T LEAVE ME HERE TO DIE, KAT, but she was heartless and I was brave and I made it back to Sunnyvale in time for some takeout sushi and to get ready for a rather ill-advised venture into going out.
Here’s the thing with me: I never want to go out. Oh, sure, I say I do, and I might even make a semi-cogent argument as to all the reasons I want to go out, and why it would be good to go out, and why going out is fun. Don’t believe me. What I really want to do is get dressed up in a complicated costume, have some pictures taken of me and my friends in their similarly complicated costumes, then take off my complicated costume, put my pajamas back on, and watch a movie and have some nice ice cream. I never ever ever want to go out, when going out involves high cover charges and awful music and pretentious people and tight shoes.
So when John was all like, “Hey, let’s go to this gothy thing with the very amusing name of Spanksgiving!” my first thought was not “Don’t fall for it, Chiara!” but instead “Ah! Costumes! Brilliant! Ideal!” And to be fair, that part was great. Not that I have any pictures to show for it, but I got all dolled up in a vinyl dress and two pairs of fishnet stockings and I thought I looked pretty cute. So did Anna. So did Rob and John, who took a full hour longer than we did to get ready. We were hanging around going “Come onnnnnnnnnnnn” and they’d yell back from the bathroom “I’m putting on my eyeliner, okay?” and we would laugh. Finally we got in the car, went to the ATM, and headed out.
I don’t exactly know what I was expecting from this whole thing. Maybe some good eye candy and fun music and a pleasant awareness of being completely out of my element. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask, right? What I got instead was the worst music ever and a completely empty dance floor…which is totally my kryptonite, by the way; if I’m going to grace you with my stylin’ dance moves there had better be a lot of people already out there. So as to shield me from prying eyes, you understand. But yeah, bad music, total annoying people, hardly any of whom were as cute as we were, and no dancing. We sat around looking at other people for a while and then my three companions had the radical idea that they would start the dancing, which made me freeze up completely and begin to whimper. I volunteered instead to hold the coats and sat in a dark corner, bemoaning my fate and wondering how soon I could go home and get back into my pajamas. Fortunately the answer to that question was “Pretty soon” and I was back on the waterbed in my comfy pants watching Firefly again within a few hours. Anna and I clung together in the backseat on the way home (because when you are with two tall boys who are each wearing four-inch platform boots, you automatically get the backseat) and promised each other we would never go out again, never never never again.
Also, I would be remiss, in relating these adventures, if I didn’t mention that Rob reports he had a very enjoyable experience at this event and that he felt that the dancing was fine indeed. Whatever, Rob.
Saturday You know that feeling you have right now, where you’re all like “It’s only SATURDAY? How long is this going to take?” I had the same feeling except I was like “Yay! A whole nother weekend!” So I think we had pancakes for breakfast and then Anna did a pregnancy photo shoot of Andy and Stacy that involved, for some reason, their dressing up like Byzantine pashas and lounging around on pillows. I don’t question Anna’s artistic vision, I just go with it. I contributed my turban-tying skills and also my skill of sitting on the couch going “Hey! Anna, they should look down. Or they should look up. Anna, hey, Anna, you know what else they should do? Huh? Huh?” When Andy and Stacy got in the car to go back to Corvallis there was nothing for it than to get back into the vicinity of the waterbed and watch some more Firefly. For several hours. Like five hours, maybe. Anna kept elbowing me with her fiery sharp elbows of death and pain, but otherwise it was greatly luxurious. We staggered out of the house at one point to go to dinner but that was an aberration; we knew that we belonged in a dark room watching TV in our pajamas, singing the Firefly theme song with no regard for tune or key, enjoying a delicious plate of cheese.
Sunday I woke up and got packed and Anna made breakfast and I hugged everyone goodbye and thanked them for a wonderful, wonderful weekend and got in the van and was dropped off at the airport and went up to the counter to check in and was very surprised to hear that in fact I’d made my reservations to go home on the previous day, i.e. the day when I only left the house for two hours. I was also surprised to learn that there was no way for me to get back to Seattle that day and that I’d have to wait until the next to go home. I made a series of embarrassing phone calls to my work and to the person who was supposed to pick me up at the airport and to Anna, who had just returned home when she got my sheepish message: “Uh, yeah. Um. Um. Um I’m at the airport and I was supposed to leave yesterday so I can’t leave until tomorrow and I don’t want to sleep at the airport okay so please please please please pick me up please please don’t leave me here forever please please please.” She was very gracious about the whole thing and she came and got me and people back at the house were very nice about not going “Ha! Dork.” when I came back in with my bags and everything. Some people were there to play board games but Anna and I went upstairs to read books and listen to music and organize pictures and take naps and then it was time to go to a matinee of Kinsey which was excellent and which engendered some really interesting conversation over Thai food afterward and which made me want to know more about the Kinsey Report and everything connected with it.
And what did we do when we got home? Well, we all flopped down and watched some more TV, of course, because I don’t know about you but Eddie Izzard is pretty much my dream come true. And then everyone had to go to bed because of their day jobs, except me who can’t, apparently, work a calendar and wasn’t going to be able to show up for my day job.
Monday I woke up and took a shower and packed my bag (again) and had breakfast with Shannon and talked about boys and then Dave came to take me to the airport and miraculously I was booked on the flight and I got on the plane and sat for two hours and then got off the plane and came home and went to the store and decided that a hot bath, another movie, and an early bedtime are the ways to commemorate a very nearly perfect weekend. I am never doing another stressful holiday ever again, now that I know that it is possible to have a very nearly perfect weekend instead.