Robert joined me afterwards, in the beautiful weather, and we ate at King's Sandwich Shop on their picnic tables. I had their most, most most delicious chicken sausage sandwich.
Back home, I should have gone to the gym, but I napped instead. Napping, the next best thing to exercising.
I arrived at Brio Tuscan Grille in Crabtree at about 6:30, where I purchased a gift card to give to Ben 30 minutes later at his 50th birthday dinner in that very restaurant. Earlier in the afternoon, when thinking about a good place for a gift card, I thought, "I wonder what restaurants he likes," and then it dawned on me that, "D'oh. Since he chose Brio's for his 50th birthday party dinner, he probably likes that place."
From there, I walked into the mall in search of the Hallmark store, and where I just marveled at how many people actually shop in malls regularly. This is my first time in a mall in 2011, and it wouldn't be unusual if it were the last time, with the possible exception of around the Christmas holidays if I'm in search of something that can't possibly be purchased anywhere else.
I can't imagine the odds against this happening, but while there I saw someone I work with. He was too far away to say hello, not that I probably would have if he wasn't. Let's just say it's someone in customer service that doesn't understand customer service—and leave it at that. He was running around people trying to get nowhere fast.
I found the Hallmark store, in which a small "party buffet" was set up of crackers and pretzels and hummus and veggies, and the two women working there invited me to partake of some. "What's the occasion?" I asked.
"March Madness," one of them responded, and then the other one asked, "May we help you find something?"
"Yes. A 50th birthday card for a guy, please."
She took me right to them and I grabbed the second one I read.
At the counter, the one ringing me up said, "That was quick!"
"I'm a very targeted shopper," I replied. And then added, "Okay if I use that counter space over there just to write out this card? I'm also a just-in-time shopper, and I'm on my way to the party in which I have to present it."
After giving me permission, the one retorted, "Typical man," and I chose not to get into the ways that I most certainly am not a typical man, one being that I'd probably do her husband if he were hot. But I digress...
I took out my purple Planet Fitness pen and wrote to Ben: "Welcome to the club, Eunice! Happy 50th!"
I thought there was going to be six people at this "intimate" dinner, but there turned out to be twelve—11 gay men and one fag hag, which I mean in the most endearing way. Our large party was seated way in the back of the huge restaurant, which is evidently the place where large parties, which tend to be associated with some occasion, are seated.
After there a little while, the table behind us, which also had at least 12 people at it, broke into Happy Birthday, and that whole back section—including our party—sang along, mumbling the guest of honor's name, which we didn't know, when it got to that part.
About 10 minutes later, we broke into song, too, for Ben, and when it got close to where you insert the birthday person's name, I turned to that big table next to us and said "It's Ben!" and they rang in right on time with it. And thanked me afterwards for providing his name. Fun folks.
When our waitress, Mandy, brought the checks, she held one out toward Jodi and said, "Here you go, ma'am," to which I retorted, "Oh, you're going to have to be a little more specific than that with this crowd."
I paid my tab as soon as I received it, as I had hoped to be out to Sarah's by 8:30 and it was after 9:30 by that time. I arrived there at right around 10:00, and after having a few bite-sized pieces of some most delicious banana bread, I drank a cup of tea to let the leaves set.
We played a game of Apples to Apples, which Sarah introduced as a "judging" game, because for each round someone gets to be the judge of which word of those played, best matches the category card for that round.
In the course of the evening, Sarah admitted that she has noticed that she puts a "y" at the end of, or between, more words than she realized. This awareness of the letter "y" stemmed from a Kaffee Klatsch conversation once in which she said, "I don't like the word "hubby," because it rhymes with "panty." And she had heretofore noted that she hates the word "panty."
And during the Apples to Apples game, she made an allusion to someone being the "judgy-judge" and that made us laugh.
At about 10:45, I noted that I was supposed to meet a friend downtown at 11:00, and everyone was kind enough to take a quick break in the game to let Sarah's sister, Katie, read my tea leaves. It was all about serpents, and ended with the soundbite, "If there's a juicy morsel for the taking, the Loch Ness Monster can get it."
On the way out, when someone was joking about Sarah being "judging," I retorted, "She puts the 'y' in 'judge.'"
I got to Flex at around 11:45, and I hung out with Glenn. The theme was "Fraternity Night" there, and other than just saying there was some interesting eye candy about, I have no comment. :-)
After a while, we went over to Legends, where we both get in free, and we had a couple of drinks before calling it a night. Always a fun time hanging out with Glenn.