We walked out together, and I transferred the goods to his car with him, and he was off to meet Jennifer, who desperately needed a prescription filled, and which was going to be filled using one of the CVS gift cards donated by my work colleagues. Hugh's Love Wins Ministry tweet about it:
I spent a couple of hours shopping for the holidays in Durham, with stops at C&H Cafeteria, The Carolina Theater, and Elmo's Diner.
Once home, I made up my clam dip to bring to Jen's party, which started at 7:00.
I called Jen on my way to her house and reaching her voice mail to which I said, "Jen, I'm going to be one of those obnoxious people who arrive right at the start time of the party, since I can only stay until 8:30. If you get this message in the next ten minutes, and you need anything that I can pick up on the way, call me back."
I arrived at 6:59 and I hung out on the porch looking into the kitchen window and lightly tapped on the window until Jen and her friend inside noticed me. I pointed to the clock on my cell phone indicating that it was 6:59 and I was waiting until 7:00 to ring the doorbell.
They let me in laughing and then Jen's friend said to Jen indicating me, "Is he the kind of friend that we could ask to run and get some ice?"
I was happy to do it, and Jen said there was a Harris Teeter just up the road. I thought I knew where it was so didn't get any more specific directions than that. At the first intersection, where I thought it might be, I turned right only to find that it wasn't there. I went a little further up the road to see if maybe it was around the corner, and I ran into a roadblock of police tending to some kind of mishap and directing me to turn right into a small shopping center.
Doing so, I saw a place called Asian Market, and I thought two things: 1) I'm into diversity, and 2) I would imagine they sell bagged ice in there.
Entering, I was immediately conspicuous by my whiteness, and I asked a cashier who didn't have any customers at the moment if they sold ice. She frowned a little like she wasn't sure what I was asking for, and I clarified that I was looking to buy a bag of ice.
"Oh, if you buy something, we'll give you a bag of ice," she said and pointed me to the back left corner of the store. I was looking for one of those big coolers with bagged ice in the five-, ten-, or twenty-pound bags, but I couldn't see one, and I passed a guy loading a freezer of fish and said, "Is the ice back here?"
He pointed me deep into the fresh fish area, which got aromatic enough to put my olfactory senses on notice, and I saw cooler cases filled with whole and fillets of fish all spread out on crushed ice, and began to think, "Oh lord, they're going to scrape up that ice and give it to me."
I explained that I wanted some bagged ice for drinks and he pointed to a cooler full of loose crushed ice beside the fish cases, but I just couldn't help wonder if it was going to have a tinge of tuna taste to it.
"Do you know where the Harris Teeter is around here?" I asked.
Mercifully, he said, "Yes, it's right over there at the mall. You know where that is?"
"Yes," I said, and bowed out gracefully.
A quick in and out at Harris Teeter, and I zipped back to Jen's to find a lot more people there than when I'd left. Although I didn't stay long, I had fun talking with David and Laura Ladrie, Twanda, Sarah Noell and Tyler (who went to high school and college with Jen) and his wife Jackie.
Totally precariously and primarily at stop lights, I changed from a sweatshirt to a t-shirt, from long pants to shorts, from dark socks to white socks, and from loafers to tennis shoes all while driving from Cary to downtown. At least I wasn't texting.
Dancing was fun enough tonight. We had six or so dancers, the crowd grew as the night carried on, and we danced right up until 10:30.
The "double theme" night turned into a single, as "Dru Bruin"—another one of those calendar types—was snowed in in New York and wasn't able to get here. Thank god.
That left just the "Underwear Night" theme, in which the bartenders participated because they had to, and I think only one other person in the bar, Ronnie, who would walk around there buck naked if it wasn't illegal.
Oh well, at least the drinks are cheap there.