Monday, August 14, 2006

How to have a quiet, relaxing weekend

Order in
I raced home from work on Friday night to whip up a dinner for six with a menu featuring macaroni and cheese out of a box spinach-raspberry salad; steamed carrots; garlic-feta-basil-stuffed chicken breasts; and my own take on peach melba with individual pudding-filled bundt cakes, fresh peaches and raspberries, vanilla-bean ice cream, and strawberry drizzle. And all I had to do was preheat the oven and peel back the foil to expose the tater tots!

Be a slug
I was up at the crack of dawn (or soon thereafter) on Saturday to begin Operation: Sell My Condo. In five years, I’ve managed to accumulate a lot of crap, which I neither want to haul to my new condo nor allow complete strangers to wander aimlessly through my house and see. So I instituted a strict Never Leave The House Without Something In My Hands To Throw In The Dumpster rule, and I started Saturday morning with a fingertips-to-armpits stack of old magazines—magazines I’d brought to Chicago from Iowa six years ago—that I used to think I’d get read. But they’re out of the house now, so I’ll thank you to keep your derisive laughter to yourselves.

Stay in bed all day
Then I ran a ton of errands. I got my every-three-week haircut. I took in my Sandals Of Pain to be resoled with something more cushy than the masonite they were made with. I picked up race packets for me and some friends for the half marathon the next day. I bought cool new sunglasses to replace the cool not-so-new ones I’d crushed to death in my backpack. And I returned a swimsuit. I had bought three saucy swimsuits last weekend for my January Atlantis cruise—I figured nobody would be selling them this winter so I should get them while they were actually available. The suits I already have are all $5 Target specials, which you do NOT want to wear on a gay cruise because everyone will talk. Besides, I wore them on the Atlantis cruise I took four years ago, and those bitchy queens keep track. Anyway, the clerk at the swimsuit emporium sold me one of my reject suits accidentally, so I had to take it back. And returning swimsuits is usually a no-no, but the clerk admitted screwing up, so the manager refunded my money, but only after quizzing me on whether I’d left any “funny business” in the suit. We looked in it together, and sure enough, I’d left Mary Cheney’s integrity in there. Which I see as more sad than funny, but this paragraph is getting long so I’m going to move on to the next topic.

Watch TV
A friend of mine from the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus has a daughter who got married on Saturday. He asked eight of us from the chorus to sing at her wedding on Saturday, and I’m so glad I agreed to do it. The wedding was on a huge boat docked permanently on the lakefront, and it provided a magical setting for what proved to be one of the most romantic, touching (and refreshingly casual) ceremonies I’ve ever attended. The groom was French, so the service was bilingual—so aside from a few French verbs I recognized here and there, I have no proof that the sisters and the cousins and the aunts who took to the microphone weren't reading the Antibes phone directory to us. But whatever they said was in French, so it was still delicious to listen to. And we got to sing some of our most beautiful songs for a very appreciative audience.

I met Romantic Date Guy for dinner afterward, and I told him the wedding had put me in an emotionally vulnerable state and he could probably take advantage of me and do something untoward like talking me into eloping that very night if he were of an unscrupulous nature. But he was a perfect gentleman, and the most decadent thing we did was share a slab of triple-chocolate cake for dessert. (OK, and we shared some impure thoughts involving our waiter’s very sexy tattoos. Which is one of the perks of being on a gay date: You can scope men together!) Then we took a walk in a nearby park and sat arm-in-arm on a bench where we enjoyed the evening with lots of smiles and contented sighing and other expressions of happiness. Please do not barf after reading this paragraph.

Sleep in
I got up at 5:00 to run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon Sunday morning. Well, technically I set my alarm for 5:00. I was actually wide awake around 2:00 for no useful reason, and I lay there for three hours trying to fall back asleep. On the plus side, I wasn’t late for the race. On the minus side, I ran the damn thing on about four hours’ sleep.

But it was a glorious morning, and the half marathon was a breeze to run. I had my phone on me, so I called my folks in Iowa somewhere in mile 5 just to huff and puff and say hi, which gave them a thrill. RDG showed up to cheer us on, as did Fearless Leader Mattthew’s friend Todd, so the two of them didn’t have to cheer us on alone. Then we all went for a nice breakfast, and I headed home to crash HARD.

Interestingly, marathon training makes my feet a full size bigger every summer. Stupidly, I had worn my winter dress shoes—the ones that fit me from January until I start running in May—to the wedding. Painfully, they gave me blisters the size of quarters on the backs of my heels, which made their presence unquestionably clear for the whole two hours and nine minutes I ran the race. Blurilly, I took a picture of them for you:

Scratch your butt and go back to bed
After my nap, I picked up RDG and we headed out for our second romantic date in as many nights, this time at Ravinia where we had a sumptuous picnic on the lawn and then watched Patti LuPone (who didn’t chew on her vowels as much as she has in the past) in Gypsy (which hasn’t traditionally been one of my favorite musicals, but RDG loves it and I was thrilled to see it with him and he kept thanking me for coming as though spending a delightful evening with him and then watching a Broadway show filled with Broadway talent was some sort of horrible lap-dance-from-Karl-Rove nightmare, which was all really cute). I’d (gasp!) never been to Ravinia for a real summer picnic event, and I have to say a big part of me was really glad I’d saved it to experience for the first time with RDG. Seriously.

You may now commence barfing.

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