Friday night I was off with the happy hour group. Met at Timmy Nolan’s down the way between Burbank and Toluca Lake. I stayed with snakebite blacks mostly. Liza’s brother Stew showed up, and with usual machismo dared all to share an Irish car bomb with him; a three quarter glass of Guinness beer complete with shot of Irish whiskey mixed with Bailey’s. And of course I am that woman with truck balls, so joined in the show.
Visited with Liza and Beth, Beth who is just barely thirty but quite bright. The owner of this social meetup, Bruce, is a misfit. The type I believe was talked into joining, and in his case paying the monthly bill, for a meetup to get him out of his mother’s house and into the world of other adults. Bruce is quite bright on paper. A top ten university grad, well read and traveled complete with arrogance as he feels he knows most everything. Yet he lives at home with his rich mother, has his own “business” and travels for a month out of every year.
He and other host Heather make up our trio of hosts for our group. Heather does most of the posting of events, but rarely calls to warn an establishment that we are descending on them on a Friday night in droves of ten to sixty depending. As she has been on teacher detention, she posts many events, which something to look forward to, especially on those Friday nights after a grueling workweek. My roll in the group is as the meet and greeter. Of the three of us, I am the only one who gets up and greets old and new comers and introduces everyone around; the part that makes a meetup something you want to come back to.
Bruce’s number one fault is that he lacks initiative to get rid of the bad apples. The former social group I belonged to had a woman leader who was excellent at repelling the gross men who should never be let out of the house, the ones who can’t keep their hands off of the ladies.
One too many snakebites but a fun night. Saturday Bruce arranged a tour of a local airport celebrating its 85th anniversary. In our blazing heat wave it was an event to skip. After, we all headed to the local South African pub.
Since before I was a married lady, both hubby and I made many regular friends through the original social group. Recently separated Liza and her brother Bruce have decided to join me on many of my outings since their marriages dissolved. On fb I seem to always be off having a good time. My grandmother calls this type of crowd your Friday night friends. We have our few close friends, like Heather who came to help me set up my classroom, took me to the mechanics, or helps watch my dogs.
Then there is Liza. Liza who I have known for twenty four years and was all but obsolete during her married years accept as a phone friend, who has resurfaced pysically in her new phase in life. She was never a giver, and is still not. I love her as I have known her for so long, but could do with out her dour face sitting across from me at a fun social event, and whispering to her brother in a foreign language about things only they have in common. I am not a fan of taggers on when they are just bringing the mood downwards with their troubles, troubles we are out forgetting about as we lighten the mood by being ofthe world.
The next day Bruce invited just hubby, myself and Heather to his place for a barbecue. The three of us went to Brad’s first, a quiet intellectual programmer who we enjoy knowing. As a bachelor, Brad has a lovely craftsman’s home to the east of Los Angeles; built in the twenties or before, a spacious lot with an enormous kitchen and wonderful wrap around porch, Asian and vegetable gardens. Every inch of his home was covered in a layer of felt-like dust and shmootz. It was as if he forgot he was having guests over as everything was out, including nose trimming scissors, tooth brush covered in a thin layer of slime, and the layers of dust, not forgetting the pungent smell of one cat that wafted through his home.
As an area for eating was not set up, I suggested we sit on the lovely porch and enjoy the breeze a wrap around porch gets. The foods he provided were all fresh, and we had a very peaceful afternoon looking at his friend’s endless pictures of vacations gone by.
My close trio left after hours of visiting and munching, although the others at this party were off to an evening barbecue joint. We three visited Bruce’s abode, of which his sister had not been invited into for the past two years. The Armenian barbecued food there was very tasty, even if Liza did sit and whisper in a foreign language to a friend there she’d known since a young age.
Finally on Labor day, Liza texted me to see if I wanted to go out to the outlets. Thrilled when she finally considers to invite me out, as I have kept her in the loop despite her endless unavailable married years, I accepted. This gave hubby Will a chance to get caught up on his game of thrones. Beth, and Heather also joined.
Upon all meeting at Heather’s house, the scene quickly reverted to one I was familiar with in high school, where the other girls had the great ideabut suddenly came up with reasons why they couldn’t drive. I volunteered to drive out to Ventura county.
Heather had not been to the outlets, and was so excited upon seeing Charolette Russe that she tumbled out towards it from my car, unable to wait until we had parked.
The other three of us went to Liza’s favorite Black and White storewhere it turned out, the employees were pointedly unhappy to be laboring on this Labor Day. I poked around and saw how expensive everything was, and how misleading the “for sale” signs were. I made my way out to beloved Aldo where I bought a lovely pair of soft lace up flat soled boots, complete with charcoal coloured rhinestones on the outer ankle side sprinkled on to match the suede material.
Purchase in hand, I took it to my trunk and headed back to Black and White. Beth was finished, so we made our way over to The Loft but got distracted by Tommy Bahamas. I allowed myself to buy a bright teal button down silk shirt here as I have to wear a button down most days in this heat so I can quickly remove it when I am in my car after working.
Finally, Liza completed her purchases. Her shopping was something new in her world too, as she almost never spent money on herself while married; not on material goods, not on going out for food with her friends. Liberation looks nice on her.
Meanwhile, Heather had been amusing herself by purchasing a few pairs of inexpensive tiny white shorts, which only she can wear with her long, thing legs. Then she headed into the outlet’s Neiman Marcus to laugh at the fifty-percent reduced thousand dollar items.
On our way back to my vehicle she remarked as she will, out loud, “I don’t know why anyone would shop at the Black and White store”; mind you, the other two had bags filled with hundreds of dollar of items from there. “I looked around, saw how pricey it was, and it was all old lady things”, said in a whine.
To calm the unthoughtful remark, I joked that come her wine party I’d send out notices to all attendees to wear only black and white clothing. This broke the sting of her remark. I love Heather, because she does say ridiculous things like this not considering how rude it is.
Having our shopping itch satisfied, the one where I was just going to hang with the girls andnot buy a thing, we piled in my Saturn and drove to the nearest bar and grill before heading home to show each other our finds. A lovely weekend all in all.