Sleep until 12:30pm and it feels wonderful. This has to be my turnaround day. I can feel it. Saturday is the one day Mike and I both have off together. We’re usually always on opposite schedules – first when he was working at the aquarium during the day and I was at the paper at night. I’d come over after work around 12:30am and he’d be asleep, then he would wake me up around 7am to say bye. In Hoboken, he was working Monday-Friday as an audio-video technician at Sanofi-Aventis and I was working nights at the Turtle Club with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. We always try to make use of our one or two days a week. Today, there will definitely be some movie watching and having dinner together. Pretty standard.
I make my way downstairs. Mike and Troy are watching Boardwalk Empire. I park myself at the computer with a cup of tea and write. Troy gets an enormous package from his Mom. He asks me to go through it because there’s a Christmas present in there that he doesn’t want to see. Take out the present and a bunch of Sam Adams pint glasses he asked her to send, and what’s left is a college care package full of Ramen and macaroni and cheese. It’s sad how excited we all get about a new flavor of Ramen that we haven’t had here yet – oriental.
Mark is coming today to collect our rent. We need our final month’s rent by January 1, so I need money fast. Mark looks like a hippie in a business suit with long gray hair and glasses. He’s straight forward and to the point, and friendly and scary at the same time. He talks to us about the roaches and sort of gives the impression that it’s not a big deal and they’ll go away. I don’t really appreciate that. He knows we didn’t take everything out when the exterminator came and announces it like we were keeping it a secret. “Next time they come you just have to take everything out, it should only take 15 minutes.” I have to cut him off. “No. It will not take 15 minutes. It took the guys over an hour to just what they did. Not only that, we had to be out of the apartment for four hours, and then when I came back I had to clean everything and wash all the dishes BEFORE putting everything back. And it’s a lot. So basically, it was my whole day. (Obviously, I don’t say all this to him. I usually only say a third of what I really want to say out loud.)
Mark leaves and the three of us settle in to watch We Need to Talk about Kevin. I really shouldn’t admit this, since the movie hasn’t been released yet, and I’m sorry for not paying to go see it. But not really. Tilda Swinton is getting a lot of buzz for this movie. It’s pretty messed up. So we’re watching this one scene, and Swinton’s character is sitting at her office desk after hours. No one else is there, except this out-of-focus janitor vacuuming in the background. I sit up to get a better look at him; he looks like someone I know. I’m squinting when they cut to a close-up of his face and I scream. He was my teacher! At Monmouth! Rich Rella! That is awesome. Rich Rella taught one of my theater classes and the class was boring but he was awesome. I send him a message on fb after the movie. Excuse me Mr. Richard Rella, we need to talk about Kevin. I’m so clever.
During the movie, the doorbell rings, which by now usually means a package for Lindsay. Hehe. It is! But this one is from Brian and Gina McGuire! This is unexpected. Brian is my cousin on my Dad’s side. I haven’t seen him and Gina and their three boys since Aunt Jody’s memorial. Gina has been following my blog and recently set up the meeting with me and Erica. The package is Christma-fied with red and green writing. I love it already. Inside is a red gift bag with green tissue paper. I excitedly add it to the pile under the tree.
After a quick shower (except I never take quick showers), I work on my Christmas cards. I ordered some in the mail but they haven’t arrived yet. Until then, I’ll get all the postage ready. Hopefully they get here soon so people can actually receive them by Christmas.
Troy bought a lot of pasta, so we decide to make pasta for dinner. I’m in charge of the Stetson garlic bread. It’s a trademark by now. My Dad used to always make it for our field hockey dinners in high school. We had “team dinners” before so many big games. We probably had five team dinners a season. It was great. Everyone was always assigned to bring something: drinks, plates, napkins, dessert. The Stetsons always brought the garlic bread. I’ve added my own twist to it – I add red pepper flakes. Because I put them on everything. Mike and I open a bottle of wine and Troy sips on some Chivas Regal on the rocks. We have a family dinner while watching another movie – Friends with Kids (also not released yet), starring Adam Scott and basically the whole cast from Bridesmaids. It’s very enjoyable.
After the movie I finish up writing some Christmas cards. Troy continues watching TV while Mike is passed out on the couch. I pull MY pillow out from under his head and take the pale blue blanket off him. Come on Mike, time for bed. “No!” Yes, come on. “OK.” He gets up and stumbles to the bed and literally face plants into his pillow. I hate him for being able to fall asleep so fast. We’re in bed by 12. Good thing, because I have to be up to work a double tomorrow.