Guess Who's Coming
to Dinner?

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HATE HATE HATE DEATH!  I see you running.  Come
back here so I can eat you!  Just as soon as my mom
puts me down!

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Special love box!

The following people are the
coolest.  For varying reasons.

My
AB don't mess around,
because she loves me so, and
this I know fo sho.

Coleen knows what's cooler than
cool--ICE COLD!

Lauren don't want to hear me,
she just wants to DANCE.

Allison don't want to meet your
DADdy.

Hannah Beth just wants you in
her CADdy.

Amy don't want to meet your
MOMma.

And Miss
Sarah B. is shaking it
like a polaroid picture RIGHT
NOW.

So y’all.  There have been a lot of exciting things.  And some things that
suck.   Let’s get the suckage out of the way first, shall we?  

First order of business: if you have emailed me and I haven’t written you
back and you think I must be some tremendous bitch, please do not think
such things about me.  I mean...well.  I
am sort of a bitch.  But not because
of my inability to email.  I am pretty good about that.  But I am NOT good
about it when my fucking computer decides to catch FIRE.  No, really.  No,
REALLY.  There was smoke, followed by screaming.   And somehow, as it
died its drama queen/diva, “look at ME!” death, it decided to delete about
200 messages out of my in-folder.  Bye!  

So write me again.  If you want. Unless you hate me now.

But that’s all of the suckage.  In other better news, y’all!  I had a dinner
party!  My first ever dinner party in my new house! Woo!

Now, you are saying.  Why did you have a dinner party? Are you a
masochist crazy person?  Well,
no, I reply.  It was because Coleen came
into Atlanta and stayed at my house, and I decided it would be fun to have
a dinner party for her, and so that we could all hang out with
Allison and
Chris and
Hannah and El Dukay and two of our hot male friends, those
being Dig and Timmy T.  That is why.

Which is not to say that I wasn’t somewhat...concerned.  I mean, deep
down, I knew we’d have fun.  How could we not have fun?  But it was the
first dinner party.  At my new house.  Of which I am unreasonably proud.  
So I wanted everything to be perfect.  

Which, frankly, was just not going to happen.  Starting early in the week, I
began preparing myself, and others, for what would transpire.

“We are going to pretend that there is a door in that bathroom,” I informed
people. “We are going to imagine one there.”

“Okay,” they said.

“We are also going to pretend that I know how to cook,” I continued. “And
that I have serving pieces.  PRETEND I HAVE SERVING PIECES.”

“Fine,” they replied.

Don’t you think they sound a little testy?  They were.  

Anyway.  El Dukay and Timmy T and I were all in the car a few days before
the party, and the two of them were talking while I was making a mental list
of things I would need to buy for the party
(pork tenderloin, alcohol, band
aids...)
.  They were just chatting, and I wasn’t paying attention (napkins,
butter, cyanide)
, until I heard Timmy say, “Yeah, Saturday night is going to
be awesome!  We’re going to have an amazing time.”

At which point I whipped around in the car, all “Mom” all of a sudden, and
pointed my finger at him.  

“You are NOT doing anything fun on Saturday night,” I informed him icily.
“YOU are going to be at my dinner party that night.”

“Er,” he said.  “I was...I
was talking about the dinner party.  Idiot.”

At which point I realized that I was perhaps taking the dinner party just a
tad too seriously.

So I relaxed considerably, which was a good thing, because it turns out
that if you are willing to play the pretend game, your dinner party can go
smoothly as well!  Watch.  I’ll show you how.

“Y’all pretend the icemaker has been hooked up and that you don’t have
to get your ice out of a plastic bag,” I told people.

“Okay,” they agreed.

“Pretend there is not a hole in the floor right here. Where I haven’t put a
vent cover on yet,” I went on.

“Fine!” they replied.

“But actually, do not forget that there is a hole in the floor right here.  I  
don’t want you falling in and suing me.”

“FINE!  GOD!  FINE!”

Coleen got into town on Friday night, and Hannah, El Dukay and his friend
Thunder and I all took her out to some clubs.  In her first hour at my home,
poor Coleen was given a crash course on my fabulous Southern
hospitality.

“Eee,” I said.  “Know what?  I think we are not going to have time for
dinner.  We’ve got to be at this party at a bar at 8, but we’re supposed to
be at Hannah’s at 7, and there will be no time for the getting of food.  And
we are supposed to be walking out the door in eleven seconds.”

“Hmm,” said Coleen.

“Hmm, “ said I, opening the refrigerator.

When you have eleven seconds and you are looking inside my fridge,
your options are limited.  So I really shouldn’t be judged for the fact that
my houseguest’s first meal in my lovely new home was:

One microwaved hot dog
One bun.

“Pretend I remembered to buy ketchup,” I said.

El Dukay picked us up to go to Hannah’s and was approximately ninety
years late.  When he pulled up into my driveway, hate rays were shooting
from my eyes like crazy ass laser beams.

“You.  Are.  Late.” I informed him.  Coleen sat in the backseat, fidgeting.

“I.  Got.  Here.  As fast.  As I COULD.”  He replied.

“Hi, I’m Coleen,” Coleen said, in a small voice.

Next we argued about directions.

“Where are you going?” I asked him, as we sped past the street I thought
we were supposed to be taking.

“BABY.”  El Dukay said.  “I am avoiding the traffic.  We will intersect that
street again IN A MINUTE.”

“Okay, just...just remember, it’s Peachtree, okay?  Not Piedmont.  They’re
similar, with the “Pee” sound.  And the both having buildings on them,
and...”

“BABY.  I KNOW.”

“Fine,” I snapped. “You just know EVERYTHING.”

Coleen sat in the backseat and stared at her hands.  I turned around.

“We’re not usually like this,” I told her.  “We usually get along just fine.   
We’re just running late because El Dukay here didn’t pick us up until
tomorrow.  But soon we are going to a VIP party!  Right, baby?”

“Right,” El Dukay agreed.

“And we’ll be sitting in a roped section in our own little area like rock stars,”
I told her.

“Um.  Wrong,” El Dukay disagreed.  “It is a VIP only party.  Nobody who is
not a VIP can get in.”

“So we...so no roped section?” I said.  In horror.  Like I cannot go to a bar
unless I am separated from the public by a velvet rope.  Not the public!  
The public smells!

“No roped sections tonight,” El Dukay told us.  

So I pouted.  Coleen played with her hands some more.  But fortunately,
we then arrived at Hannah’s gorgeous condo.  And y’all.  Gasp!  
Gorgeous!  Full-length windows, and wonderful old architectural elements,
and the best location, and beautiful furniture.  And we [I] were [was] all
jealous and perhaps we [I] tried to steal things.  Like, for example, her
sweet little puppy Montego.  Who is so much more well behaved than our
[my] dogs that it is not even damned funny.

When you come to the door in Hannah’s house, this is what Montego says
to you:

Hello!  I am Montego.  Welcome to my home.  I am excited, but restrained.  
Would you like a tour?  Or some good wine? I recently learned how to
pour.

When you come to the door in my house, this is what my dogs say to you:

AAAHHHH PEOPLE PERSON AT THE DOOR BITE BITE I WILL BITE YOU
THERE WILL BE BLOOD OH I HATE YOU HATE HATE HATE AND
POSSIBLY I WILL PEE GRRR HATE!

Do you see how that is different?

Anyway.  We went out.  We had a good time.  We danced, and ate fried
foods, and danced, and drank, and drank, and drank.  And Coleen drunk
dialed both
AB and Amy, and quite probably left them messages
containing the phrase “Good CHRIST get me out of this heathen place
where there is a hole in the floor and I am served microwaved hotdogs.”

And then we all went home and went to bed.  And slept until the next day,
which was the Day of the Dinner Party.  Dun dun DUN!

I got up early (ten is EARLY when you have been up drinking until almost
then) and began preparations.  Coleen went shopping with Allison and
Hannah and T; I went shopping, too.  At my parents’ house.  I took a list
and everything.

I consulted the list.  “Fresh flowers,” I read.  I wandered into my parents’
front hall.  There was a beautiful arrangement on the entry table.  I looked
both ways and grabbed it.  “Check,” I said.

“Eggs,” I said.  I headed into the kitchen. (Did I mention that I brought a
cooler?  I brought a cooler.)  “Check.  Parsley flakes?  Check.  La la la.  
Shopping is easy.”

About this time my mother walked in.  Hi mom!  I was just...borrowing some
things.  Forever.

“Pretend...you do not see me?”  I tried.

But my mother takes her dinner parties very, very seriously.  VERY
seriously.  So she helped me to gather the ingredients (“Honey, I do not
just have six pounds of pork tenderloin lying around.  You’re going to have
to go to the store.”  “But!  Maybe, in the closet?  Under something?”  “NO.”)

So Mom hooked me up, plus she cooked me her very special potato thing
that will clog all of your arteries with one bite.  (No, I will not give you the
recipe.  But I will tell you that it involves one QUART of heavy whipping
cream.  That is RIGHT.  That shit is rich.  Like the Donald!)

So I went back home, and I putzed around and cleaned things, and dusted
them, and rubbed the pork (ew!) and marinated the apples and whipped
up the artichoke dip.  And then, I looked at the clock and realized that my
guests would be arriving in four seconds.  And I was not so much...
showered.  But the house looked nice!

So I bolted upstairs, encouraging Coleen to help herself to anything,
including microwave hot dogs (perhaps I fed the poor child another
microwave hot dog that afternoon.  I’m SORRY.) and alcohol, and the
phone rang every nine seconds, and mostly it was El Dukay saying things
like, “Gin!  What if they drink gin I DON’T THINK WE HAVE ANY GIN,” to
which I would reply, “YOU MUST GO AND BUY GIN DEAR LORD WE
MUST HAVE GIN OR THE PARTY WILL BE RUINED!”  

I was still soaking wet and without makeup when the first guest arrived (not
counting Coleen, who was already there, seeing as she was staying in a
guest room.  Y’all already picked up on that, right?).  It was Dig, and bless
his heart.  He’s so cute.  And he comes in and he’s small-talking with
Coleen, and I come whirling downstairs like a banshee screaming
“HELLO!  PRETEND I AM DRESSED!  MAKE YOURSELF A DRINK!  I’VE
JUST GOT TO FINISH WITH THE DRYING AND THE DRESSING!  MEET
COLEEN!  Y’ALL HAVE FUN!”

I went back upstairs and got dressed at twelve hundred miles an hour, as
Dig cleaned the grill. I got downstairs at the same time that El Dukay
arrived, bearing gin (THANK GOD) and tiki torches; next, Timmy showed
up, and then Hannah, and Allison and Chris.  The par-tay had started.

And, y’all!  You know how you like all of these people, but you don’t know
what is going to happen when you take all of these people and smush
them all together and force them to eat pork?  And maybe they won’t get
along and there will be fighting and someone will pull out someone else’s
hair extensions?  That totally did not happen!  Everyone got along just
swimmingly, and the menfolk all went outside and made grunting noises by
the grill, and poked at the pork and brushed it with the delicious orange-
dijon glaze I made that smelled very good even if it did resemble vomit.  

“Pretend this glaze doesn’t look like vomit,” I told everyone.

And the ladies all stayed inside, except but for when we were outside
smoking, and we stayed very close to the Parmesan artichoke dip,
because y’all, that was some good shit, right there.

And before you knew it and after only the first four bottles of wine, dinner
was ready!  We played a creative game with chairs (total seats at my
dining room table: 6.  Total guests at party: 8) and another creative game
with knives (total guests at party: 8.  Total knives in my set: 7, plus one
that has gone missing.  Where are you, knife?).  And then we were all
settled, and we began to eat the following:

6 POUNDS of pork tenderloin in a honey-dijon vomit looking glaze, and
served with grilled buttered apples.
Waldorf salad
Potato heart attack thing with the cream
Rolls

Hi.  Call me Martha, bitches.  How do you like me NOW?

And we started eating, and it was good!  No, like it was
good.  It was!  And
we all complimented the guys who had done the brushing and the cooking
of the meat.  And we complimented my mother, who was not there, but who
had made the potato heart attack thing.  And we complimented me on...
well.  The wine?  Cause in retrospect, y’all...I didn’t really make much of
the dinner myself.  I made the
salad. I heated the rolls.  But that’s     
about...it.  

Hee.  How did that happen, exactly, that I became so peripherally involved
with the feeding of my guests?  I must have dinner parties more often.  
People come to my house and cook for me!  This is the sort of thing I like.

Anyway.  All was going well, when all of a sudden, beautiful Allison, who
you could not rattle for all the world, says, very calmly, “Y’all, the table’s on
fire.”

Well.  It wasn’t, exactly.  But the rolls were!  Or more specifically, the
basket containing the rolls, which also contained a little towel to keep them
warm, had come a wee bit too close to the flame from one of the pretty
candles I had put on there for “ambiance,” a word which here means “to
create fire and mayhem at the dinner party, except fortunately my guests
are smart, and Timmy and Chris were able to extinguish the blaze very
quickly because they were not sitting with their head in their hands wailing
'the table is on FIRE' like some people who may be me."

Anyway.  “Y’all pretend the rolls didn’t just catch fire,” I told everyone.

And we went back to eating.  When we were finished, we all filed into the
kitchen, where I refused to do dishes, and El Dukay showed his mad skillz
by:

1.  Doing card tricks.  The boy is from the devil.  I don’t know how he does
it, but it is fucking
wrong.  At one point, Dig fled, shrieking, from the house.

2.  Making chocolate martinis for dessert.  With Magic Shell.  Magic Shell is
a miracle substance, and I will cut you if you disagree.

People! If you do not feel like making a cake or buying a fancy dessert?  
Find a boyfriend who knows how to make chocolate martinis and serve
them as dessert.  Maybe it was a cop out!  Maybe it was yet another
aspect of this meal that I had nothing to do with!   But damn, I love those
chocolate martinis.  If serving them is wrong, I don't want to be right.

And then we all talked.  We sat in the den, and El Dukay put on some
music, and Chris and Timmy and Dig and El Dukay all started talking
about bands and concerts, and the girls sat there nodding wisely and not
really knowing what was being discussed (or was that just me?  Hi.  That
was probably just me, wasn’t it?) and then there was more drinking, and
seat shuffling, and the eventual decision that smoking in the house is both
FINE and ENCOURAGED, and then we all made out.

Hee.  See what happens when you stop paying attention?  I lie.  Y’all, I
know this is long.  Too bad!  FOCUS!

Anyway.  We sat there, and we talked, and we talked, and we talked.  And
drank.  And drank and drank and drank.  And Allison tells the most
wonderful stories, and Hannah had us all doubled over laughing when she
described being in the backseat when Allison and Chris are in the front,
arguing about directions (“That certainly has never happened to me and
El Dukay in the history of human events, including yesterday and in front
of Coleen,” I announced).  And Dig got tired, and went upstairs and went
to bed.  And lovely Timmy got tired, and went home.  And El Dukay got
tired and went upstairs and went to bed.  But in a different bed from Dig.  
(It wasn’t
that kind  of party.)

And was it around this time that I decided that the dogs needed to meet
my guests?  I don’t remember.  It may have been earlier.  Anyway, at some
point, I freed the army of dogs from their bedroom, where they had been
remarkably good for the evening.   Initially, I had decided not to inflict the
dogs on the guests, fearing bloodshed and urine.  But as I realized how
late it was getting, I knew they needed to be let OUT.  So I did.

Remember how I said that my dogs are hateful little beasts?  They are.  
They are evil little bastard creatures.  Hate hate hate.  That is all they do,
all day long.  They hate you, and they hate that you are in my house, and
they hate your FEET, and they hate your family.  Get out of their sight!  
They hate you!

Unless they already know you.  Then they LOVE!  Then there should be
KISSING!  Glorious, open-mouthed, lovely lovely KISSING!  And Tasha will
stand up and show you her boobs!  And o!  Let us listen to Celine Dion
and Peter Paul and Mary, and celebrate this Wondrous LOVE!

Well.  I released the hounds.  And at first, they came in, snarling
“hatehatehate” and growling and barking.  And then...then they saw
Allison.  And their little brown eyes widened. (Well.  Gimmme’s eyes are
pink.  Whatever.)  And they fell silent.  And they did jump upon the sofa
and approach Allison, with an almost religous reverence.  And lo, they did
all converge upon her lap at the same moment, and there was much
kissing!  And love!  And Allison did handle the whole thing very politely,
yea, even as her corneas were being licked by a confused dog who could
not find her mouth, on account of there being three other dogs there
already, and yea, one dog did stray upward and kiss her inside the
nostrils, and may have licked her brain.

And I just stared at this, dumbfounded.  “How do they not hate you?”  was
all I could say.  I did not say the other words I could have said at this
instance.  Other words like, for example, “Here.  Let me remove those
dogs.  Starting with the one that is now lodged inside your bra.”  I was too
stunned to react!  And also, too drunk!  Poor Al.  

“Al, pretend there is not a dog in your bra,” I offered.

Coleen got dressed, and at 4:30 in the morning (did you know that there
was a four thirty in the
morning?  I am usually only familiar with the late-
afternoon version.  But there is one, because I saw it),  Coleen left to go to
the airport, and Hannah and Allison and Chris all headed home.  And I
stumbled up the stairs to find El Dukay, who had been sleeping (wuss!) for
HOURS.  

The next morning, Dig knocked on my bedroom door to tell us he was
leaving.  I didn’t even get up.  Or move.  But some time later, Dukay and I
both awoke with a start.  

“Shh!” El Dukay said.  “Someone’s downstairs!  We didn’t lock the door
after Dig left!  Someone’s in the house!”

I listened.  Sure enough, I heard something.  Sounded like...water
running?  And...dishes?

“Someone has broken in, and is doing the dishes,” I announced.  “I say we
let them stay forever.  They can have the silver.”

And y’all, how sweet is this?  Sweet Dig had come back to my house and
had done ALL THE DISHES.  And moved all the furniture back to where it
lived, and wiped down the tables, and EVERYTHING.   There was nothing
left to do!  Done!  Finished!

Sigh.  I have the best friends in the world. All my concerns?  Unfounded.  
All my panic?  Unwarranted.  All my friends?  Un...sucky.   It  was the best
dinner party in the world.  Awesome food, good wine, and wonderful,
wonderful company.  Sparkling conversation!  Creative people!  In all, the
perfect party!  

Now all we have to do?  Is pretend that it was because of me.

My GOD, is there any gin?
DO I HAVE GIN?

Old Dogs

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