This was the unplanned, unrehearsed, off-the-cuff response I gave to a friend who asked me if I'd like to go see The Color Purple. She said, "Okay," and kind of laughed. Then she thanked me for my honesty. A few weeks later, I asked how the musical was and told her I was really sorry about my response. It even took me by surprise. I'm not a huge fan of Oprah and I know I shouldn't say that in case I ever publish my book in which case I am a gigantic fan of Oprah's and would be honored to be a guest on her show prior to her Favorite Things episode where she will gladly give away free copies of my book to an audience full of women who will be so overcome with joy and gladness that they fall into the aisles and genuflect at her feet which won't phase her because she's already used to people doing that but my book gift will make it all the more special. Anyhoo...
My friend said, "Oh, it was great. And I got three more responses just like yours after that." Whoa. So it wasn't just me. Awe. Some.
The lesson to be learned here, children, is that I said 'no' when I didn't want to do something. Not "sure" and then stressed about how much I didn't want to do it for days until that evening came and I laid on the bed crying wishing I could somehow get out of it only to have my mom stand at the door and tell me how my date is on his way and that she didn't spend all that time sewing my prom dress for me to stay at home because I didn't like my date anymore. Wait. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Oprah. No. Wait....
Well, I've clearly got a lot to learn about other things, too. Like promising to do something without really thinking it through first. Wednesday morning I had an appointment at 9 a.m. to have the certified car seat fireman correctly install baby's new chariot. After I left I thought was I supposed to tip him? I mean, I know it's a service they offer, but I'm so wrapped up in people being completely and utterly socially inept where tipping is concerned that I got all cloudy and disoriented. I dialed the number of the fire department and found myself telling Adam, The Car Seat Whisperer, that I would like to treat them to lunch on Friday.
This leads me to my first question: Why do I talk with my mouth? What don't I ever shuttup? That's two questions. What's my freaking problem? Three questions.
So, tomorrow is D-Day. Delivery Day. Only, when I called to see how much it would be to order pizzas from my favorite pizza place, they informed me the fire house is out of their delivery range. I panicked. Noooo! But you have the best pizza!!! Kid said, "Okay. We'll do it." Oh? Really? That was easy. Let's try this. It's for the firemen, as a kind gesture. "Okay. $75." Holy mother of God. I've gone without dairy for so long that I've completely forgotten that pizzas are like...not free. Holy shit. $75? I told him that was a little steep. How about cheese pizzas? Two cheese and three pepperoni? "Okay. $55." What? Argh. "Will you be there to sign the credit card slip?" Erm...no. Alright. This is clearly not the way to go. And by the way, Okay? Your pizza isn't that good. I was just being nice.
On to the next idea. Coneys! Yes. Skyline! Firemen love Skyline. I saw them eating them in the commercial. Though...I'm pretty sure it was a commercial for Gold Star. Maybe not. No. It was definitely Skyline. I know it wasn't Dixie Chili. That's the place that makes you puke thirty-six times in four hours all over the brand new carpet your parents just had installed in your bedroom and when you tell your mom you need to go to the hospital and she tells you to 'Get ready' and you say you are ready and then she says 'You must be sick' and then you're catheterized in one hospital and moved to Children's where you refuse to stay because you hate hospitals and the nurse tells your mom she doesn't advise your leaving but she can't force you to stay and then the nurse tells you you can keep the Care Bear she gave you as long as you don't tell anyone and you inform her that you're freaking fifteen years old and her secret will remain unspoken inside those hospital walls. Forty coneys: $63.60 + tax. Next.
Pulled-pork sammiches from the famous Montgomery Inn...famous? Anything thought of as "famous" won't be cheap. Place call to fire department. How many firemen will be there at lunch time tomorrow? Eleven?!? Eleven sammiches: $93.50 + tax. It's for the firemen. It's a kind gesture. "Oh? You didn't say firemen. They could eat two a piece." Moving on.
Dude. Eleven firemen? I was thinking five, tops. Eleven? Nothing ever happens in Ft. Mitchell. Eleven? Crap. Okay. How about White Castles? What guy doesn't love White Castles? They have those huge boxes of burgers. How much could that cost? I think the lady said $36 and some change for thirty burgers. May I ask you another question? "Yes?" How many burgers does the average man order when he comes in by himself? Ten? Six? "(muffled laughter) Yes. Somewhere between six and ten." I'm trying to do something nice for some firemen. Great. Thirty in one box. Ten per fireman. What the hell!!! Come on people! Work with me!!!! Someone needs to just give this shit away! Hasn't anyone heard of CHAIR. IT. TEA??? Jaysus. Where are the damned Charitable Person Discounts? Now that I think of it...I know what White Castles does to my insides. I don't know if it does it to anyone else, but leave it to me to buy them on the ONE day there actually is an emergency in Ft. Mitchell and the firemen can't come because they're all in the bathroom curled up in the fetal position. I don't want that on my conscience.
So I caught a couple of friends online. We instant messaged back and forth forever and decided maybe something homemade would be better. Sandwiches. Cheap. Bologna? I cannot show up there with bologna. Salami? Lettuce? Banana peppers? Cheese? All good. Then you have to buy mayo, mustard. Chips. Bread. Maybe a bundt cake for dessert?
Bundt cake? What the hell? They're firemen not flaming drag queens. No guy wants a cake in the shape of a freaking flower. Ugh. I cannot take it!
Meatloaf? Crimeny. I'd have to make at least three. Chili? It's freaking 90 degrees. Though I do make a damn good chili (Thank you, mom.) and my grandmother taught me when it's hot outside you should eat something hot because it will cool you off and she was right. Ask my cousin, Theresa. Alas, it's a no-go. I don't have a pot big enough for the appetite of eleven men, and they'd certainly want seconds.
Finally, I settled on store-bought lasagna. Two of those huge things. A bag of bread sticks. And Reese Cups or cookies or something. Actually, I didn't settle. My friend suggested it. And since I now have a client when they should be getting their lunch, and baby's is already fast asleep dreaming of being the queen of her daycare, my dear friend offered to go buy the lasagna, etc., heat it for me tomorrow morning, leave her work and deliver the food herself. Now that's a good friend. She is hot and single. I told her to get a date or seven while she's there. Maybe she will meet a hot fireman. They're all hot, right? I've seen the calendars. They're smokin' hot (pun intended). Perhaps she'll meet someone and all this madness will have been for a good reason.
And now I'm going to drive myself crazy coming up with a way to thank her. I'm thinking PB&J with the crusts peeled off. (inside joke)
edit: A friend offered to get the pizzas for the firemen so our poor friend wouldn't have to do something so ridiculous. I honestly don't know how my poor friend got dragged into this fiasco in the first place. Oh yeah. I did that. Anyway, massages all-around for everyone involved. Five alarm situation extinguished.
Someone please remind me charity starts at home. Mom? Are you there?