Two packages today. My laptop from Mom. I’ve been sharing Mike’s mac with him forever so my laptop hasn’t gotten much use – figured I’d leave it home. But Mike has been borrowing Troy’s laptop for his internship and it’s been really inconvenient. Now that it’s here I’m glad. When Mike is home I don’t have to worry about sharing computer time with him. Sad how important the computer is these days. Still love to write by hand but realistically, there’s too many things I need access to on the internet.
Second package is from the girls – a sort of late Christmas gift. Michele got me a really cute ornament and I already can’t wait to put it on my tree next year. There’s an awesome Vera Bradley notebook, too. Such perfect timing. I’ve almost filled my most recent notebook and was about to go out for a new one. Glad I don’t have to and hello, it’s Vera Bradley: it’s super cute. There’s the Arbor Records Christmas CD which I can’t wait to listen to…next year. I just can’t listen to Christmas music after Christmas. I want to see Arthur Christmas so bad but I won’t watch it until next year. Then there’s a blank DVD that says ‘Girls’ Weekend’ on it. Figure it’s pictures and put it aside to watch one night.
I worked all weekend and am so excited to have off tonight and to spend it at Tara and Rich’s place. Tara asked me last week if I would stay over tonight – Rich is going to San Diego for work and she doesn’t want to be alone in the house. Can’t say I blame her. Obviously, I’ll stay over. I love going to her house. She emailed yesterday and said plans changed and Rich would be back late, but I should still come over. In which case Mike should, too, and we can hang out until Rich gets home.
So Mike drives straight there after work and Tara picks me up on her way because my place is so close to her work. On the way, Mike texts that he’s close and I tell him to just go in (no locks, remember). As soon as I get in Tara’s car we’re non-stop chatting. I tell her how I just text my friend, Ryan, that James Marsden said hello. Ryan text me back, “Seriously? You’re working with him, that’s awesome!” Oh, Ryan. You’re so sweet. I wish. Tara has been reaching out to people to possibly help Mike with some work. “Honestly, I’m really not worried about you guys. Mike is going to be fine.” She says this with such confidence. I feel assured. Tara’s been here for three years. She knows what it’s like and what it takes to be out here. She wouldn’t say it if she didn’t mean it, so it just feels good to hear it. She then tells me the latest update that Rich didn’t have to go to San Diego at all. In fact, he’s home right now. I guess Mike met him there, because he didn’t text me back, and once you enter Topanga Canyon, say goodbye to phone service.
We enter the house and Rich and Mike are sitting in front of the TV with a spread of crackers and hummus on the table. There are no plates or anything. Just boxes of every chip or cracker they have and a container of hummus in the middle. Rich makes a joke of his host-ing skills, like Mike or I care in the least. I’m hungry, give me a wheat thin.
Whenver I’m with them it seems like we talk about nothing and everything. We all lose track of time when Tara asks Rich to start cooking. He goes outside to the grill and Tara heads to the kitchen. Tara asks if there is anything we don’t like. I say nothing. Mike hesitates, then, “Mushrooms.” Tara starts laughing. I walk in the kitchen and see she’s just cut up a full plate of mushrooms. Mike insists that it’s fine. It’s not like he can’t eat them; he just doesn’t prefer them. Pretty ridiculous timing, though.
The four of us sit at the table with our red wine and Tara serves up this amazing Chinese-inspired dish – I guess – of grilled chicken with vegetables over sticky rice and this delicious spicy ginger dressing. It’s so good. I don’t remember what we talk about, but it’s damn good conversation. We all get a little weird. Tara breaks open a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. I tell her she should save it for a special occasion. She argues, basically, that it doesn’t make a difference.
We head outside and drink champagne, staring up at the starry sky as we tell each other stories, all the while Rich is taking cool pictures of the scene. Tara is in hysterics when she learns about Mike’s small hands. They measure them up, then they do their feet. It’s quite funny. Mike wouldn’t do it unless he knew Tara’s hands would be smaller than his, but she does have small hands and feet – they’re pretty close, though. I laugh hard, and a lot.
We finally go to bed in one of their guest rooms. It’s a tempur-pedic mattress and I pass right out. So comfy.