Finally, I get to sleep in. Mike does not. He’s working at Auction Hunters today and left super early. It hasn’t been very warm this week but we’ve been lucky with the sun because it was supposed to rain the past three days and it didn’t. Today, it’s thundering and pouring. It’s crazy how loud and frequent the thunder comes. I call Mom just to let her know how everything is going with the Manfre’s. She tells me it’s beautiful at home. What is going on?
I have work at 5pm, and it’s just a crappy day, and I REALLY need to write, so I turn down an afternoon movie with the Manfre’s. I’ll see them tonight at Lilly’s.
Walking to work turns into running to work because it starts pouring. Really could use a raincoat but who would have thought I’d need one in California? At around 7pm the Manfre’s stroll in and sit at the bar. I think it will be a slow night because of the weather, and I hope I’m right so I can just hang out with them. Sometimes making money means very little to me.
They’ve already been to two other bars on Abbot Kinney and I think Maria and Mrs. are feeling pretty good. How can I tell? Maria gets louder and Mrs. gets more talkative. One of the first things they want to know is where Tropez is. He’s not here yet, but he will be. They’re very excited to meet him. I actually haven’t seen him in two weeks because he’s been in France, so I’m a little excited myself. Corrinne is putting in an order in the computer behind me. This is Corrinne. Maria recognizes this name. “Hi Corrinne!” Corrinne seems a little startled. “I feel like I know you!” I’ve told Corrinne about my blog but I don’t think she really gets it. I remind her that I’ve written about her. “Good things, I hope.” Yes, Corrinne, only good things.
The Manfre’s order a bunch of food to share. I put in my opinions here and there and hope they like everything. After the appetizers come out, Tropez finally arrives. He’s away from the bar talking to someone. I let them know he’s here. They all turn and look to see where he is, and he heads in our direction. Maria and Mrs. can’t help themselves. “TROPEZZZZ!!!!” It’s as if they planned it. I’m sort of cringing, wondering how Tropez will react, but he doesn’t miss a beat. “Hello, so good to see you again.” They put their arms around him. Oh, goodness. “We love you! You know you’re famous?” “Of course I am, you didn’t know?” He is unbelievable. He still doesn’t know who they are, so I introduce them as Mike’s family. “Who’s Mike? You mean Jake?” The Manfre’s are confused by this and I can’t really explain it, but Tropez calls Mike Jake. Apparently, he looks like a Jake. Tropez continues to entertain the group and I must say, he’s already lived up to every expectation. If any friends come out to visit, I know meeting Tropez will be on everyone’s itinerary.
More food is served and they love everything. I keep the drinks coming and Tropez tells me to get them a round on the house. Well thanks, Tropez. They order some desserts to share and he takes them off the bill. The Manfre’s are loving him more and more. Can’t say I blame them.
Finally Troy and Jason arrive. The restaurant has definitely filled up by now. Nothing crazy, but there are plenty of guests in the place when I hear a piercing scream. “TROYYYYY!” It’s loud and long and can only come from one person – Maria. Everyone turns and stares at her. Mr. and John have the same embarrassed look on their faces as they tell Maria to shut up. Mandy tells me later there was a little girl standing close by who now looks scared of Maria. She really is so loud. Shortly after that, Mike shows up from a long day of work. He has a couple drinks and orders a burger. I actually recommend it so he’ll get it because I’m hungry and want to eat some of it.
And just like that, it’s time for John and Mandy to leave to catch their flight. I always get sad when people leave. I get one last picture of the group and at the last second Tropez’s head pops up into the shot. Good timing, Tropez. I give them hugs goodbye and tell them I’ll see them soon when I come home. Mr. and Mike drive them to the airport, leaving the other four at the bar to talk and hang out, and of course, drink. Actually, Mrs. has moved on to water.
About an hour later Mr. and Mike get back and basically close the bar (we only stay open until 11). I was only thinking they’d stop by for a drink, so I’m glad they kept me company all night and had dinner and had a good time. Everyone leaves until it’s just Mike. He waits for me to finish up so he can drive me home. I tell him he can leave and I can walk but he stays. I’m glad when I get in the car and don’t have to walk. Mike is dead and has to get up for another early day tomorrow. I’m dead, too, and have to get up for another early day of drinking tomorrow. Tough life.