Between there, and stopping at the Credit Union in Cary for some cash, my odometer flipped to:
I met Joe at Auto Masters in Cary, where he dropped off his car to have an oil change and his tires rotated.
While that was being taken care of, we went to Panera Bread, which was pretty much around the corner and down the street. <singing>Down on the corner, out in the street.</singing>
Between 1:00 and 1:30, I drove to the American & European Massage Center off Falls of Neuse Road, where, much to my chagrin, I found hours in the window that said: Saturdays 9:00AM - 3:00PM, but another sign, on the door, that said, "Closed." Annoying.
At home, I created a gift certificate, with the dimensions of a dollar bill, for a free one-hour massage.
I met Joe at Flex at about 6:45, gave him the homemade gift certificate to slip in his "money card," and we proceeded to 42nd Street for Steve's graduation celebration dinner.
A party of 22. Let's see if I can recreate the guest list: Steve, Stephen (Steve's boyfriend), Hayden and Debra (Steve's brother and his wife), Steve's mom, Steve's Aunt Marie, Michelle (Debra and Hayden's daughter), Sylvia and Phil (Steve's sister and her husband), Spencer (Sylvia and Phil's son), Billy and Jean (Steve's friends from Wilmington), Sue and Tom (Steve's friends from Raleigh), Brian and Michelle (friends), Jean (another one, also a friend), two co-workers and one of their husbands, me and Joe.
Joe and I, and as it turned out, everyone, loved our waitress. She kept us sated with Coronas and Bourbon and Diets. Between the time orders were taken and the salads were served, Steve opened his cards and gifts.
He got some nice things. I got him the Wicked soundtrack, a sparkling silver and bejeweled tiara that said on it, in pink, "Princess Grad," and Joe and I gave him the gift certificate for the free one-hour massage.
Dinner was delicious. Hushpuppies, and appetizer orders consisting of pita bread tips with a crab dip were strategically placed on the very, very, long table for 22.
I had the Broiled Seafood Platter, which consisted of haddock, shrimp, and scallops. It came with a delicious salad, and a choice of three or four different kinds of potatoes. I chose their "famous" cheese baked potato. It was all yum.
I got to sit next to Spencer, who is 16 years old, going on 30, and a staunch republican, in spite of his light-in-the-loafers uncle. He alluded to one of his heroes, George Bush, more times than I cared to hear. That would be once.
After dinner, Joe and I had an interesting conversation about the Catholic Church, and a little bit about religion in general, with Stephen.
At one point during dinner, I used the restroom. Picture it. Sicily. 2006. Along one wall in the restroom, from left to right are: a urinal, another urinal, a stall, another stall.
At the top of the wall, with the first line of big, block, black letters about an inch from the ceiling, it said:
Over urinal one: Two Beers or More Urinal
Over urinal two: Express Urinal
Over stall one: We aim to have the cleanest restrooms in Raleigh. Your aim would be appreciated.
Over stall two: Don't be like pop; think about sis. Put up the seat, or wipe if you miss.
That last one is not verbatim, but it's the gist.
Being the frequent flyer points whore that I am, I asked Steve if he was going to pay this dinner off on his next credit card statement.
"Yes, I have the money in the bank for it. Did you want the points? You can charge it on your card, and I'll give you a check."
The bill was $611, and he added a $125 tip. Sweet. 736 points.
After dinner, I changed clothes in the parking lot, while Joe, Steve, and Stephen were still inside conferring about the rest-of-the-evening plans. They decided to just go to Flex, which they did immediately, and we preceded to get shit-faced the rest of the evening -- celebrating Steve's milestone.
Stephen actually didn't get shit-faced, as he was driving Steve home, but he did have a few beers.
I drank enough that I messed up a few of the dances, two of which I "recovered from on the next start point," one of which I just abandoned. I'm thinking the two Goldschlager shots and the Bourbon & Peach Jello shot contributed to the situation. Not to mention the four bourbon and diets at 42nd Street, and four or five more at dancing.
As far as I know at least, no one threw up.