These are some of the things I love, and to be able to enjoy all of them in one setting is a great experience. We got to do this over the weekend.
I became close friends with a girl in college I met senior year, second semester. We got along so great that one night, after an evening of many beers at Molly's, which just so happens to be the place Hubby and I met, Close Friend and I decided since we had become so close in such a short amount of time, we should cement our friendship with a prick of a needle and the co-mingling of blood from our fingertips.
A couple years later, we both admitted to each other that it was a stupid thing to do--I didn't know Close Friend for very long; she hadn't known me very long--what if either of us had shared the AIDS virus! (This is waaaaay back in '91, when AIDS was a headliner in many newscasts, magazines and papers; where we donated blood not in the hopes of saving lives, but in the hopes we wouldn't receive a phone call from the Red Cross telling us our blood was tainted with the AIDS virus.)
Anyhow, friendship was further cemented when CF met Boyfriend-Turned-Husband and My Hubby, CF, Boyfriend-Turned-Husband found out the four of us really enjoyed one another, intellectually and socially. It has been a funny experience being great friends with CF and BTH of CF because more often than not, BTH and I bond over many of life's similarities, while Hubby and CF have fantastic debates on politics, marriage, child-rearing, jobs. See, CF is a very successful career woman, and BTH is an admirable, awesome SAHD. (For those of you not familiar with the abbreviation, it is Stay-At-Home-Dad.)
But, BTH is not just
defined as a SAHD, just as I am not just
a SAHM. Hubby is not just
the family breadwinner, and CF is certainly not just
their family's breadwinner. Everyone in every avenue of life is so much more than the one thing that defines us, don't you think? I mean, if you took a look at your life, your personality, who you are and what you do, couldn't you come up with a list of 50+ words to describe the You that you are?
My point of this whole post, aside from sharing the evening of enjoying friends, wine, food, music, etc. is that SAHD is also an incredible chef. Incredible.
So, it's always a treat to be invited into their home because we know we will not only get to spend some time with great friends whom we have a terrific past with, but we will also be very well-fed.
I took pictures. They do not do the food we devoured justice.
Since Close Friend's family lives over an hour away, the kids and I drove to their house as soon as school was out. Since Hubby and CF both work in the city, they grabbed a six-pack at the station, got onto the train together, drank, talked, and crack-berried out during the hour-twenty commute to Close Friend's family home.
SAHD and I walked to the train with the five kids, he and I holding hands, pretending to be the parents of all five kids, laughing as their neighbors looked on confused.
The kids got along great, Hubby was already sporting a buzz when he and CF got off the train, and we all hugged one another, the kids jumping up and down, excited to see their working parents. The air was crisp and windy, the kids' cheeks flushed from running and the chill, but then again, so were Hubby's cheeks, due to the Miller Lites.
Chef Ron, as I will now refer to him throughout the post, went all out. He makes these heavenly rolls that I cannot even properly describe. They are golden and perfectly round, with a butter and salted gloss on top. Diva the Non-Carnivore ate eight of these rolls. No lie. This is when CF suggested that maybe a woman's desire for carbohydrates is something just in our genetic make-up, and emerges at a stunningly young age. I have to agree.
CR made homemade guacamole, oven-roasted turkey mini sandwiches with quince paste, onion, cheese and some amazing sauce, then he grilled them with real butter until they were golden brown and all melty. (My mouth continues to water as I type this!)
We had pork marinated in a chipotle BBQ sauce (I think it was?) with poblano peppers, roasted garlic rice, homemade chocolate chip cookies...
And I found a new wine. I've always been a Pinot Grigio drinker, and am usually not fond of the oaky flavor of Chardonnay. But we've discovered some wines that are "unoaked", meaning they are not fermented in the oak barrel, but in a process where a stainless steel bin is used in the wine-making. Then, the wines are not corked, but a screw-cap is applied. Really. And this is not your Riunite on Ice So Nice Peach and Raspberry flavored we got drunk on in high school. No, this is real good wine. If you're looking for a new one, try Tin Roof Chardonnay.
It's light, clean and about eight bucks a bottle. There's also a stainless steel wine called Jale I've had but have not seen it in stores. Has anyone tried?
So, along with the excellent company, obedient children, laughter, food, and wine, we also listened to some fun music including that poppy song about the Doorbell Ringing, Can Ya Hear It by White Stripes, but after a few glasses of wine, I decided to refer to them as White Snake. Also listened to the Garden State CD, some Moby, Peter Gabriel, Lucinda, Coldplay, PJ Harvey... Just fun and good, and most of all, we had such a relaxing night, just sitting, talking, laughing... and I love listening to Hubby and CF debate things such as if downtown Naperville is really a 'city' versus downtown Chicago, and we talked about our beliefs in God, how we are raising our children and exposing them to our culture... yada yada yada, pour me some more wine.
Early bedtime for us ladies, but CR and Hubby stayed up later and practically-almost-but-not-quite finished off a bottle of Jim Beam. In the a.m., CR was at it again, and he made all of this for breakfast! Like I said, the pictures show no justice, but my gut certainly appreciated the six or seven 12 ounces each almost cinnamon rolls I ate,
along with the frittata,
and scrumptious bites of homemade waffles and bacon. Uh, and yes, I am now wearing jammy pants with elastic!
For the book reference to the title of this post, CF lent me a book, The End of Alice
. I am only on page 49, and the best way to describe this book is to say it has beautifully-written words about a very taboo kind of life, a sickening plot, but I am mesmerized as I read the phrases dotting this horror, love, suspense, in-the-mind-of-a-psychotic-person novel. Gee, does that make you want to rush right out and read it? You will be repulsively engrossed in the words and the plot of this story. That I promise you. You may not like it, but it will engross you. All this from pages 1 -49.
As for my agent search--more rejections; there are still some agents out there, either making decisions or trying to decide the nice way to let me down, or maybe my partial has been designated to the bottom of the bottomless pit that is the Agent Slush Pile. I don't know, but right now it's not bothering me, and I will focus on the next novel, tentatively titled Undoing It.
Up for tomorrow--Jennifer Weiner will enthrall me for the third time of me meeting her, where I will listen to her talk of her books, her success, her daughter, and the life of a famous best-selling author. And where I will probably get very nervous and sweaty, and say something really stupid like reminding her that I'm like that chick in Misery, but I'm not planning on kidnapping her and hobbling her, I just want her to be my best friend and have her agent represent me. Is that too much to request?
And on Monday, I am venturing into the city to go to a fiction event where four chick-lit authors will be reading from their latest novels, and we will be drinking wine together. Could it get any better? I guess it could--I could be one of the authors in the spotlight reading from a book I have written. Yes, that would definitely be better! But for now, I'll take what I can get, and learn from these women I so long to be like!