Friday, November 30, 2012

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams....

Previously on...

Janine opened the door to the bathroom, "I'm leaving you some fresh towels and one of my robes you can wear when you are done showering. I'm getting a glass of wine, did you want one or did you just want me to wring a glass out of your dress?"

"Very very funny! I will take the wine, thank you. Be out soon."

Lori had been at the anniversary party of her ex-boyfriend Zach's parents. Janine had wanted to come along but the invitation was Lori only, no plus one, so she had been stuck waiting to hear all about it when Lori was finished for the evening. The original plan had been to meet for drinks after the event but Lori sent her a text earlier asking if she could just come over and said Janine would understand why when she got there. Fifteen minutes ago she had opened her door to find her friend Lori looking like a drowned rat and reeking of champagne. "I'll tell you all about it as soon as I get cleaned up. Can I borrow some sweats or something and your shower?" Since then Janine had cleaned up the trail of booze from her front door to her bathroom and gotten ready to hear what was bound to be a doozy of a story. 

Lori came out of the bathroom drying her hair. She took one look at the smile on her friend's face and just started laughing. "If it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't believe it!"

"Okay, details, details."

Lori settled down on the couch ready to tell Janine about her evening.  Where to even begin on what had to be one of the weirdest nights of her life?

"Okay, so you know I was debating even going and especially when I found out the invitation was just for me and I couldn't even bring a support friend I had my doubts. But Trish and Al have been so good to me and I know they really did want me there and...."

"...and you couldn't let Cassie think that hiding your invitation was okay."

"Well, yes, that too." Lori had to admit that not going would have been a much easier decision to make if it hadn't been for Cassie trying to prevent her from going. She knew that was childish, but it didn't change that's how she felt.

"So I got there and I planned on not staying too long. Just long enough to be respectful of Trish and Al and give them my best wishes, maybe hear a toast or two and then I was going to make my exit. So I am talking to Trish and she is gesturing at someone frantically but trying to hide it from me, like she doesn't want to be obvious that she is doing it. And over walks this guy that looks sort of familiar but I can't really place him. And she tells me, 'Lori, you remember Sam don't you? Sam is my friend Adrianne's son, I believe you met once at the lake house. He's recently moved back to the city.'"


"Yes! The reason why my invitation wasn't a plus one was because Trish had plans to fix me up with her friend's son! The mother of my ex-boyfriend is trying to fix me up with the son of her friend at her anniversary party! She sent Sam to go get us both a drink and leans in to tell me all about Sam's good points. He has a good job, he comes from a good family, he doesn't want to get married right now. I couldn't believe it! My mouth must have been hanging open because then she says to me, 'It's been six months, Lori, just because you and Zach didn't work out doesn't mean I don't want you to be happy. And as soon as Zach sees the light with that girl I will find someone for him to be happy with as well. You are going to be part of my family forever, even if it's not by being married to my son.' Which was so sweet to say, and so weird to hear!"

"She really is a lovely woman. But really? Fixing you up without warning you?"

"Which is what I said and then she pointed out that if I knew it was a fix up I wouldn't have come, which is true. And being the mom she is she told me that Sam didn't know anything about the set up and that I needed to be polite and not take it out on him. And then she left me there with him as soon as he got back with the drinks."

"Oh how awkward."

"You would think so right? But it turns out he is really funny and nice and she was right we totally hit it off. And it helped that he admitted right away that he knew it was a fix-up and that it was a little odd to him that Trish would try and set him up with Zach's ex-girlfriend but that he remembered me from the lake house visit and decided it might not be that weird after all."


"Yeah, I know, it was pure flattery but it worked. So anyway, as we were talking Zach and Cassie arrive. Zach went over to hug his mother and while he was doing that Cassie notices me there. The look on her face went from pleasant to pissed back to pleasant in 3.5 seconds. If you hadn't been looking you would have missed it completely. Sam leans over to me and says, 'I'm going to go out on a limb and say she's not your biggest fan.' I had to laugh. So they come over to us to say hello."

"Oh no."

"Oh yes. Zach and Sam are friends and have been for years, so it's the whole, Hey buddy, didn't know you were in town we should get together and do manly adventure things and let me introduce you to my girlfriend Cassie. Which made her beam at me instead of looking at Sam so she missed his hand for the handshake and ended up sort of poking him in the stomach."

"Oh my god! Seriously? How funny is that?"

"Well I thought so, but apparently she did not. I got the death glare when I laughed at Sam's exaggerated Ooof! And Zach who hadn't been looking at Sam and Cassie's missed handshake had no idea what was going on at all. He just knew it wasn't going well so he made his excuses and took Cassie off to meet more people at the party. Which was then Al's cue to come check on Sam and me."

"Poor Al."

"Yep, poor guy. You know he had no idea that Trish was going to try and set Sam and I up and that the awkwardness between Trish and Cassie and Cassie and me was just almost too much for him. So anyway he comes over and shakes Sam's hand and gives me a hug and a kiss and asks how we are and all of that. Then Cassie practically drags Sam back over to see him and goes in for a hug of her own from Al. Which would have been fine if he had been paying attention instead of turning to look for Trish so Cassie's hug ended up looking like a lunge."

Janine tried not to laugh but there was nothing else really to do. "Oh gosh, it just gets worse for her doesn't it?"

"Oh yes, and here is the part that sealed her night I am sure. After she missed the lunge/hug attempt and before she and Zach could walk away his Aunt Doris came over to say hello. Now apparently Aunt Doris hadn't been informed when Zach and I split. So she starts in on how lovely it is to see us and what a great couple we are and how wonderful it is for us to see the example his parents have set for a long healthy relationship, then she turns to Sam and asks him to introduce his date, pointing at Cassie."

"She didn't!"

"She did. And Zach was too stunned to say anything so Sam introduced her to Cassie! Then she wandered back off to visit with the rest of the crowd!"

"Zach didn't clarify that Cassie was his date not you? Oh that's not going to go well for him."

"Not at all. Cassie stormed off in a huff, Sam apologized to Zach but said he felt like someone should say something to Doris. Zach apologized to Sam for putting him in that spot, told me it was nice to see me and then ran after Cassie to try and smooth things over. Which I thought he had, because a few minutes later they were back in the ballroom and she looked pacified."

"I take it she wasn't really?"

"No, not really. Every time I looked up it seemed like she was glaring at me. So I decided that I had had enough oddness for the evening and I had made a long enough appearance to be respectful of Trish and Al. Also it seemed like I needed to get out of there if there were any shot of Zach and Cassie having a good time. So I went to Trish and Al to make my goodbyes and tell them congratulations and all of that good stuff.  Sam offered to get me my coat from coat check so I went and waited in the hallway for him. So while I am out there I am watching them set up the ballroom next to Trish and Al's party for a wedding reception. I thought it was a really nice thing to have a new marriage being celebrated next to a marriage of 40 Years so I was smiling to myself. That's when Cassie walked up."

"Here were go."

"Oh yes, she was smiling but it was one of those painted on grins that almost looked painful. I said, 'Cassie, you look lovely tonight. I hope you are enjoying the party.' I was trying to be nice and think What Would Trish Do? And she drops her smile and tells me that she knows I showed up to try and make her look foolish. And that she knows Zach and I went for coffee and that I am trying to steal him back. I told her that I was glad she knew we went for coffee and that it wasn't really a big deal and that I wasn't trying to win him back at all. That I was at the party because Trish had invited me. And then she messed up. She told me that she knew I had crashed because there was no way I got an invitation."

"Uh oh."

"Yep. So then I look at her and ask why she would think that. My invitation had been delayed, but I had received it in time. I described it to her. The design, the RSVP card and asked again why she was so sure I hadn't gotten one. Did she think it had gotten lost with a little help? That's when she realized she was busted. I looked at her and said, 'He didn't tell you he found it did he? Tucked up under the couch cushion? And the funny thing is, Cassie, if you had let him mail it in the first place I probably wouldn't have come.' That's when she lost her freaking mind. She pushed me!"


"Oh yeah, pushed me and I lost my balance and fell right in to the champagne fountain they were wheeling in to the wedding reception."

Janine burst out laughing. "Oh my gosh, sorry, I just...oh my gosh I can so picture it!"

Lori laughed as well. "It was like slow motion. She pushed me I stepped back and stepped on one of the caterer's feet and then lost my balance completely and fell right in to the fountain.  Knocked it right over. Champagne went everywhere, I was soaked, the floor was soaked. And you know what? It's wasn't a stack of glasses like you would think, they are all stuck together with like glue or something. It's a giant plastic piece. I never knew that."

"Only you would notice things like that after you had been shoved in to a fountain!"

"I know, I know but that was kind of cool. And what was I going to do at that point shove her back and end up in a soap opera cat fight? Anyway Sam saw the whole thing. He had come back out with my coat and saw her shove  me and came over to help me up. He looked at her and said, 'Go back to the party, Cassie. And you should probably figure out what you are telling Zach since at least three ladies over there by the restroom saw everything and the gossip should be all over the ballroom in just a few minutes.' Then he asked the caterer if they had any extra towels I could use and walked me out to my car and put the towels down on my seat so I didn't soak my car and asked me if I wanted to go get dinner next week."

"After all of that?"

"After all of that. And that's how I came to be on your doorstep soaked in champagne. Cheers!" Lori held her glass out to Janine.

"Cheers to the best party story I've ever heard!"

Just then Lori's phone started to ring. She looked down at the caller ID and switched it to silent. "It's Zach. I need to finish drinking this glass and maybe a few more before I take that call."

"Maybe tomorrow."

"Maybe. Or Monday at the latest."

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