Summer: It ain't over 'til I say it's over

In my ongoing quest to suck all the marrow out of summer, I scheduled a bunch of stuff again this weekend. You see, in our neck of the woods, winter is long - far longer than any reasonable person would deem necessary. Sub-zero temperatures, snow piled up to my cooch, frozen car door locks . . . these days are not too terribly far away. So yeah, I schedule the hell out of summer and make no apologies for it.

Early Saturday morning, I headed to church to help out at a rummage sale fundraiser. Each room within the fellowship was filled with a different product type: clothing, books, bake sale, electronics, and so forth. I somehow ended up working in the children's toy room. It wasn't long before I was engaged in a full-scale covert operation: namely, hiding stuff that I wanted to buy for my kid. I collected games, stickers, and other paraphernalia in a corner and then guarded my pile with a ferocity only a mother could muster.

After my shift at the rummage sale was over, I picked up A and P and we hit the county fair. Our tickets gave us access to all the rides at the fair; not having to deal with a pocketful of tickets was nice. P won her a couple of trinkets at the hit-the-balloon-with-a-dart game. He somehow paid $15.00, hit every shot, and still walked away with only about fifty cents worth in prizes. A ran up to a couple of random strangers and exclaimed, "Father winned this for me!" After a few hours we were sticky (well, SHE was sticky), hot, and all faired out.

After the fair, I picked up my friend Jennifer and we headed to a girls' night out, about two hours away. We had made plans to stay overnight at our friend Becky's house, with another friend named Jennifer. I think about half my friends are named Jennifer. Of these two, I dubbed one "The Nice Jennifer" and the other one . . . well, "The Other Jennifer." The four of us met up with three other friends downtown and we had dinner at an Italian restaurant. The food wasn't as good as I'd hoped/expected, but it was certainly better than anything I'd manage to prepare at home. We probably would've stayed at our table longer, lingering over wine and such, but the hostess seated us in the attic, where the temperature was approximately equivalent to the temperature at which I re-heat food in my oven at home.

After dinner, we headed to a local bar downtown that is known for making fabulous martinis. I am not a martini drinker, so I drank some sort of fruity libation instead. It was supposed to be a raspberry-flavored variation on Lynchburg Lemonade. It didn't taste like lemonade at all, but I dug it nonetheless. After that, Becky suggested a nearby piano bar. It wasn't the quiet jazz-heavy type, but rather the loud sing-along-to-anthemic-radio-hits type. At first she couldn't remember which block it was on, so we walked several blocks to the tune of "I'm sure it's right around this corner" while I took her name in vain. For reasons that escape me now, I was wearing 3 1/2-inch (I measured them to be sure) wedge heels.

The piano bar turned out to be a lot of fun. My middle sister would have liked it, as there were several opportunities to belt out Journey songs during the course of the night. I was hoarse when I woke up this morning. We stood near the bar (farther from the piano) and mangled various lyrics as we went along. We started to notice that the corner next to us was occupied by some, um, interesting patrons. Eventually we dubbed it the "creepy couple corner." First up were two gentleman who were separated by some three decades. The younger half of the duo was impeccably dressed in a suit and bow tie. He was exceedingly polite, even offering the Nice Jennifer his bar stool. His date wore Bermuda shorts and markedly grey hair. We came to the conclusion that they met on Craigslist.

The second couple to occupy the corner (after the first pair left), consisted of a thin, scantily-clad, tattooed chick who was sporting long hair and high heels. Her date was a smiling but shapeless sort of entity in a white suit. The dark-haired, white-suited half of the twosome wore glasses and rocked a Zac Efron 'do. They proceeded to grope each other and carry on an (apparently) in-depth, intimate conversation . . . did I mention we were in a piano sing-along-bar?

It wasn't that these were same-sex couples (we had one such couple in our group, after all), but the fact that they were just . . . creepy. Speaking of creepy, later in the evening a person dressed as a bear came through the bar.

I went to bed at around 1:15, which is pretty late for me. Oh, did I tell you that I was the oldest one of the group that went out last night? Yeah, learning that little bit of trivia made me feel all warm and fuzzy.


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