I need the car today, so I drop Mike off at his internship. It’s really sunny out, but our sunglasses aren’t in the car – we share a chincy pair of Phillies sunglasses. Kevin ordered a ton of them to sell at Phillies tailgates last year – $5 a pop. Of course, he wouldn’t let us pay for them. I guess Mike forgot his in NJ, so we just share them. “If I’m going to live in California, I really need to get a nice pair of sunglasses.” I mentally add it to the long list of things I need/want.
Head to Santa Monica in the afternoon – found a bike on Craigslist that I want to check out. I really need a bike. I can walk to work – it only takes 18 minutes – but riding a bike would be nice. I actually bring my mace with me today. I haven’t tested it out yet, and have a fear that if I finally decide to use it I’ll spray it in my own face instead of the person coming at me. I pull up to the house. The street seems nice enough, but as I near the door I get nervous. Some guy can just open the door, pull me in, and kill me. I’m about to dial 9-1-1 in my phone – just precautionary – when the door opens. A scary, scrawny white kid answers the door without saying anything. I mean, I’m not randomly showing up, this is exactly when I was told to come. Behind him three black dudes sit on a couch, and now the four of them are just staring at me. I say hi, he says hi, and that’s it. Ummm, bike? Someone off to the right who I can’t really see stands up. “Oh yea, come on back.” Jesus, guy, you could have answered the door if you were expecting me. I walk past scrawny kid and three black guys when one of them breaks the silence. “Welcome to our humble abode!” OK, they’re cool. Well thank you. It reeks of weed. These guys are just playing video games, having a good time. Out back I check out Jake’s bike. He lets me take it for a spin. I like it. It’s a blue and silver hybrid, so not a road bike but not a mountain bike – somewhere in between. It rides nice. I like it, but I’m not completely in love with it. I want to love the bike I get. This is only the first bike I’ve looked at, so I get Jake’s number and tell him we’ll be in touch.
Back at the apartment, there’s a knock on the door. Furniture already? No, it’s a small package from Lyndsey Vallone. She told me to expect something soon. She works at Tiffany’s, so I figure it’s something from there. I almost hope it’s not jewelry, just because I don’t need it even though I’m sure it will be something really nice. But the box is too big for jewelry. My mind immediately goes to a vase or something for the kitchen. That would be nice. There’s a note inside. “I hear it gets pretty sunny out there.” I gasp. You have got to be kidding me. Open it up and inside are a sweet pair of black sunglasses. Too awesome! I’m so stoked. Basic, black sunglasses. The most I’ve ever spent on sunglasses is 60 bucks, so I know I’m going to have to take good care of these. I immediately text Lyndsey. These are perfect! I feel so cool, haha. “Just don’t be a douche and wear them at night.”
Lyndsey and I have been friends since the sixth grade. She’s definitely my craziest friend. I disagree with her on a regular basis and we always fought growing up. She would always tell her mom on me and Mrs. Vallone would tell me to be nicer to her. She’s probably my only friend who I defend even when I don’t agree with her. Lyndsey is just Lyndsey. We always have fun, though, and she is completely loyal. We can say anything to each other. I hate her for her honesty sometimes, but usually she’s right. We disappear out of each other’s lives a lot but when it really matters, Lyndsey’s there.
I guess my most vivid memory with Lyndsey is the first time we got caught drinking. She and Lauren Cavicchia were my best friends at the time, and we went to a party at Nick Ballistreri’s house. The first thing I had was a little amaretto and orange juice, then we took shots of whiskey and chased it by sticking our mouths under the kitchen sink and chugging water. Classy. Mrs. Vallone picked us up and we were all drunk. I don’t know why we thought she wouldn’t be able to smell it – but she did, and she was pissed. First stop Cavich’s house. Mrs. Vallone marched right up to the door with Lauren and told her parents. I was so scared. We were going to my house next. This could not happen. She followed me to my door. I told her my parents were sleeping and if she could just not do it right now. “OK, Lindsay, but I’m calling them first thing in the morning.” Ugh. Sarah was still awake, or I woke her. Sarah I don’t know what to do, I’m not even drunk! I’m fine! I was hammered. I think Sarah was annoyed by me. “Just go to sleep, Lindsay.”
The next morning is Saturday. I’m dizzy when I finally come to, and I can hear my Mom leaving with the twins – soccer tournament or something. She’ll be gone all day. Oh no! That means I have to tell Dad. I’d much rather tell Mom. I stumble down the stairs, feeling an urgency to tell my Dad before Mrs. Vallone calls. He’s got to hear it from me before her. This is going to be weird. He’s sitting in the chair by the window, reading the paper. I sit in the chair next to him. Dad…I need to tell you something. He lowers the paper down, curious, definitely not knowing what I’m about to hit him with. I don’t remember how I said it, but I started by immediately defending myself. Mrs. Vallone is going to call and I wanted to tell you first, but I would have told you anyway! Dad tries to conceal a smirk. Is he getting a kick out of this? “So you were drinking?” What exactly did you drink?” Amaretto and orange juice. That’s it. I’ve never been a good liar, but half-truths I could do. “OK, well I’m going to have to talk to your mother about this.” He always said that. Mrs. Vallone never called. She had a change of heart the next morning and decided to let it go. Lyndsey yelled at me for confessing, like I should have known her Mom wouldn’t call. We talked about it the next time I was at her house. “Well I’m glad you told your parents. I knew you would.” Lyndsey probably rolled her eyes, telling me I’m an idiot. My parents grounded me for the weekend. But the next time I got caught, it was a month. I got a lot of homework done that month.
Tonight, Mike and I go out to dinner – our first date since we’ve been to California. We’ve both been craving sushi, so we find a place in Marina Del Rey. Our waitress gets our drinks and then forgets about us. I don’t mean she was busy and took a long time; she actually completely forgets us. I drink my glass of wine before we finally wave someone down to take our order. I hate when I go out and service sucks. The guy who takes care of us after that is very nice and apologetic, and the food is delicious, so we still leave a 20% tip. Any time a server isn’t good Mike starts subtracting the tip. “Down to 15%” I get it, but sometimes I still feel bad.
*LCD Sound System