Z and I may have reached a new threshold of familiarity this week while I was spending a lengthy Thanksgiving holiday with him. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow I found myself in his bathroom with only one Sheryl Crowe approved square of toilet tissue when what I needed was something more along the lines of 43 squares. For space saving reasons, the “loo paper” is kept in a kitchen cabinet, which is thru the living room where the blinds were up. So I put my pride aside, stuck my head out the bathroom door, and sent a distress signal to Z, who rescued me.
It was a visit of firsts. Though I make no bones about how much I hate theatre (philistine that I am) and though just two weeks ago I called Z begging him to figure out a way for me to escape the second half of “Wicked”, Z and I decided to go see a play in a little theatre near his apartment. I was convinced because it was written by the Alan Ball, who created “Six Feet Under” and also because it was about bridesmaids, a topic about which I am an expert, having served my time in the bridesmaid corp on no less than four overly floral tours of duty.
If we were in New York, we would have been so far off Broadway we would have been in New Jersey. We scoped out the place before the show to figure out how long it would take us to get there before the curtain went up. “If there IS a curtain,” I said to Z. And then he joked about how we’d probably be sitting on folding chairs. Sure enough, when we arrived, we were ushered into a big room with no curtain and we found our place on two of the thirty folding chairs. Over head, we could hear the cast of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” racing around in the other “theatre.” At this point, my heart was racing. What if this was some sort of avant garde production wherein audience participation would be required. We could hardly escape during the performance without hurting someone’s feelings. I was ready to bolt, but then the lights came down and the not curtain went up, and the play began.
It was instantly engaging. The casting was nicely done (not a lot of “arm acting”) and the dialogue was good. The first half zipped by, though I warned Z at intermission that the second half was going to stink. It just felt like it was probably going to suddenly get really preachy, and sure enough, by the time it was over, a bevy of social issues had been covered including drug abuse, sexual abuse, homosexuality, evangelical intolerance, and bad parenting. Since half of it was good, we decided it was not a failed experiment, though Z concluded that his favorite part of the whole evening had been intermission, when the ticket taker arrived with a little wheeled cabinet that had refreshment for sale. (He bought me a Coke.) I doubt if that’s what Alan Ball or the director had in mind.
Other firsts: my first Thanksgiving with Z. The two Thanksgivings he lived in my hometown were frought with angst for me. For both of them, a gaggle of his female friends from St. Paul were in town visiting, which meant I did not get to see him. I was in love with him, he was oblivious, and I admit I was sure he was sleeping with at least one, possibly all of those girls, and I HATED them, particularly during the second visit when I made the ill-advised choice to go to Meijer on a day when I had not washed my hair or put on make-up and was wearing relaxi pants to accommodate my turkey-filled stomach. And of course he was there with these temptresses who were dressed and had clean hair and looked smug and satisfied. Yes, I really hated them that day. (For the record, I’ve met half of them since, and they are lovely people and the hatred has been rescinded.)
Aside from getting homesick the night before because you cannot buy a box mix of gingerbread in all of King County, it was a perfect Thanksgiving. We ate with friends of Z’s, in what seemed to be a real Norman Rockwell celebration, at their beautiful home in Everett overlooking Puget Sound. The turkey was free-range, hormone free, and my sugar crème pie was not too burned to serve. The company was good. I even met the now 21 year old version of the two year old who made Z swear he never wanted to kids. She was charming.
The next morning, I went to my first ever Macy’s (post) Thanksgiving Day parade and also my first ever parade with a man. Z knew I wanted to see it, so set the alarm and insisted we go, though my inclination was to sleep in. It was a treat. Instead of giant balloon floats like we would have seen the day before in Manhattan, the floats were made of tiny balloons. We behaved like a couple of kids, elbowing our way to the front, snatching candy as it was thrown to the crowd, and clapping. (Extra loud claps for the Scottie dog float.)
And another first, while Z was putting money in the parking meter for Groovy Grey, our rental car du jour, a woman came up to him and asked if I was pregnant. Since I was sitting in the car and was only visible from the steering wheel up, I assume she wasn’t offering commentary on this year’s turkey-filled stomach, but I was still indignant the rest of the day, hrmmphing periodically. Z kept insisting that she was a mental case, but then I started wondering if perhaps she was one of those people who appears on the surface to be mental but is really gifted with the second sight, so I spent the rest of the week trying to determine if I was nauseous from too much food at the Cheesecake Factory or if it was something else.
(It was the cheesecake. And the fried macaroni. And the queso dip.)
Seattle has itself gussied up for the holidays, and it’s been fun to see the lights and what appears to be a giant version of the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree at Westlake Center. And though my natural inclination is to feel a little blue because I won’t BE with Z at Christmas in Seattle, Zimbabwe, or anywhere else, he’s starting to wear off on me so I’m looking on the bright side. If the U.S. had Thanksgiving when Canada does, the decorations wouldn’t be up yet and I couldn’t pretend I’m also getting to have my first ever Christmas with him too.