It’s nice to be back in California and back to a (somewhat) regular schedule. I catch up with Tara on gchat and we agree, we need to get together soon. Her wedding is Memorial Day weekend, and we’ve made a decision to not drink the month before her big day. She’s obviously doing it for wedding reasons, and I’m doing it because I’ve just been drinking so much lately and if she does it with me, maybe I’ll be more motivated. We are allowed two days of drinking. I try to change it three but Tara gives me a firm no. So one month before starts this Friday, giving me three days until then, so you can guess what I do on those three nights.
Colette is visiting her friend Lisa this weekend, which is awesome, except I’m working every night she’s here. Actually, that’s good, because she can visit me at Lilly’s and I won’t be able to drink. This is good. Friday afternoon I get a text from Tropez: “Hi Lindsay. Too slow tonight, unfortunately you don’t work. See you tomorrow at 6:30.” This sucks, because I just got back from an expensive visit home and I need money, but I’m excited because now I can hang out with Colette and her friends. As soon as I realize this, I know I’m going to drink tonight. Shit. I immediately text Tara, first to see if she can meet us tonight and second to ask if it’s OK that we start tomorrow. Seriously. I’m going to do it this time. Nothing else is happening in May – not until Memorial Day weekend – so I’ll be fine.
It’s a clear, sunny day, so I head to the beach. Upon my arrival home, one of the first things Dad said to me was, “Shouldn’t you be tanner?” Cool, thanks Dad. To be fair, the weather really hasn’t been that great lately. But today the sun is hot and the breeze is cool. Colette and I continue to text back and forth. They’re heading to Santa Monica and they can pick me up. I wasn’t expecting to hang out with them until tonight, but yea, I’m down. My beach time is cut short, because I have to go back to shower and get ready and make the place look somewhat presentable. I’m a little chilly, anyway.
They’re at my door before I have time to dry my hair or put on make-up. And I would have liked to clean up more. Colette, Lisa, and Kristen walk in and I give them all hugs. (Lisa and Kristen went to college with Colette, and we hung out a couple years ago in Vegas for Colette’s bachelorette party.) This is very unlike me to have a day so unplanned. Not even just that; it’s that I thought I knew my plans and that I was working tonight. It’s OK. It’s fine. It’s a good change. I finish getting ready, not sure if they wanted to leave right away and if I’m holding them up. They seem perfectly content, hanging out on my couch, chatting, and I conveniently had three Sam Adams Alpine Springs left in my fridge, so they all drink one while they snack on goldfish and beef jerky that Lisa brought in her magic bag of stuff.
It’s already 3pm as Lisa drives us to the Third Street promenade. I don’t even pay attention to where she’s going or what parking lot she should use. I relax, sitting in the backseat chatting with Colette. Lisa parks a little far from the promenade, but whatever, it’s a nice day to walk. Colette and Kristen want to shop. Lisa and I do not want to spend money – probably because we both live here. We stop in Mudra, where Maria and I both bought things last time we were here. Colette finds a dress and a tank top. We continue on into other stores. I browse for a bit, then hang out outside in the sun, people watching. We stop at Sonoma Wine Garden to share a bottle of chardonnay and some food, then head back out – more shopping. These girls don’t stop. It’s dark outside when we pass Express. Kristen and Colette HAVE to go in. OK, you guys go ahead, Lisa and I are going into Barney’s Beanery for a beer. Lisa and I get along really well. And she lives in California. We should be friends. I tell her so.
It’s been a fun afternoon that’s segued into the evening. We finally head back to my apartment, where Mike is waiting. I introduce him to the girls and we get back in the car to go to – Lilly’s! It’s Colette’s turn to meet Tropez! It’s a slow Friday night (Tropez was right) and there’s just enough room for us all to sit at the bar. Tropez doesn’t hang out with us as much as he did when the Manfre’s were here. Nonetheless, Colette giggles at most of what he says. Lisa rummages in her bag and pulls out glow sticks – well not sticks, the bracelet kind. “Do you want one?” Uh, yea! Mike is really weird. “Did you ever break these things open and put them in your mouth?” I just stare at him. “I used to do that.” He’s really not normal.
Tara had a dinner earlier, but she wanted to see Colette, so she, Rich, and Marcus make it to Lilly’s just as we’re getting ready to head to another bar. Yay! High school reunion! The eight of us walk over to The Other Room. I love that this is the name of the bar. Genius. Rich whispers to me. “You’re still coming tomorrow, right?” I suck at secrets, so I’m proud I haven’t messed this one up…yet. Yes! I’ll be there. (It’s a surprise wedding shower for Tara. Shhh.) I’m drunk by this point, like good drunk, which means I’m having a great time but I’m talking people’s ears off, and most likely repeating myself.
I do like The Other Room, but it’s always so crowded and near impossible to get up to the bar for an order. I ask a guy standing there if he would mind letting me order something. “What do you want? I’ll get it for you.” This would be fine if I was only ordering for myself, but Tara and I are ordering for the group. Umm, well it’s a big order. “It’s OK, go ahead.” OK, fine. I give him my credit card and he promises not to steal it. That wasn’t necessary to say so now I’m watching him. I don’t understand why he couldn’t just move. It’s like he reads my mind. “Sorry, I would have moved but my Mom is sitting at the bar and I didn’t want to leave her.” He leans out of the way and I see an older lady sitting at the bar. That is adorable. Seriously. He introduces himself as Matt. He looks like he’s out with his Mom and his girlfriend. All of a sudden he’s good looking. We all cheers and talk and get silly. I’m glad Mike and Colette are hanging out because they never really have before – I think they’re both surprised that they like each other.
We pretty much close the bar. Tomorrow is the beginning of no drinking. I swear.