A five-hour dinner

Still feeling lousy, I sold fish all day on Telegraph, and nothing happened worth writing about.

After that, I came home and checked my voice mail. My boss and friend Jay had called, and asked, "Want to go to dinner?"

Well, actually, no. I was blue and queasy and had no real appetite, but a free meal is free, and I figured maybe some sociability would do me good. What a fool I was.

So I called her and said yup, and when Jay got to the house she invited Judith to join us.

We three went to the Brick Hut, where I had a shallow bowl of vegetarian chili (★★★), while also nibbling on Judith's vegetarian sandwich (★★) and Jay's rather pricey vegetarian pizza with none too many veggies (★★★★, though).

After dinner, we loitered at the table while Jay read through the love-wanted ads in one of the local weeklies. She circled a few for calling back later, but mostly we laughed at the stale stupidity of most of the ads — walks on the beach and all that rot. 

There was one ad that was intriguing, though, titled "The Art of Kvetching" —

Chronically exhausted, cranky, menopausal inactivist, 47 (looks and feels much older) seeks cynical, pessimistic womyn for competitive complaining, rocky romance and, hopefully, a bitter break-up. I enjoy bad weather, poorly prepared meals, foul odors, messy homes, and other conditions that call for creative critiques. Dead-end job-holders, heavy smokers, and dog-haters are encouraged to respond.

When I lived in Seattle, I sometimes advertised myself in the personals. Always tried to be frank and clever, but I never wrote an ad as good as that one. Too bad it's under "women seeking women," or I might reply.

Jay read an ad from someone looking for a golden shower, and Judith said she's never understood how someone could pee long enough to let someone else rinse and lather and shampoo.

It should've been an enjoyable time, free dinner with two people I like, and it was, for a while. I've been feeling like a stale turd all week, though, and the chili didn't help. After eating I wanted to hurry home and go straight to bed, but Jay and Judith decided to make "a quick stop" at a mall.

We ended up at some shitty place called Headlines, which isn't about newspapers. It's a knickknack store, where Disney memorabilia is shelved next to condoms and lube, and the prices for everything are high as a stoned giraffe. Jay and Judith wandered the aisles for fifteen minutes, didn't buy anything, and I stood at the store's display of magnets with bare-boobied women on 'em.

When we left I was mostly already gone, feeling fevered on a cold drizzly night, and I didn't even notice that Jay wasn't driving me home. Instead we went to some chain drug store, Walgreens or Rite-Aid or Payless or some such — they're all the same.

Jay and Judith both grabbed baskets and went down different aisles, so I grabbed a basket too, and put a few dollars worth of ramen and cough drops and aspirin into it. 

And with that, my shopping was done, but Jay was looking at fabrics and Judith was mesmerized by hair clips, and half an hour later they were both looking at Ronco slicer/dicers...

They spent more than an hour in that very plastic place, while my head was filled with snot and stereotypical snide remarks about women who love to shop.

I wondered whether I knew the east bay bus system well enough to get myself home, but decided I didn't, so I paid for my groceries and waited in the car, where I fell asleep.

We'd left for dinner at a quarter to 6, and it was past 11 when I got home, tired and grumpy and clearly sick. If I'd known it would be a five-hour evening, I would've said no to dinner.

Kinda pissed off at them, and at me for going along, I collapsed into bed, and didn't write tonight's entry until tomorrow.

From Pathetic Life #21
Saturday, Feb. 24, 1996 

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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