Apr 26 2009

I was an escort for a day. Well, kinda.

"Klute", anyone?

"Klute", anyone?

Two of my favorite things in life: 1. executing a good ruse; and 2. helping out a friend in need. Combine the two in one — and an opportunity to wear my favorite dress — and I am in heaven. Sheer heaven.

The ruse: my dear friend “Doug” (not his real name) needed a date to a wedding. Not just any wedding, not just any date. In attendance at this wedding would be his ex, and the man for whom she left Doug. That sort of thing happens. But this is one of those “they were cheating for a while and even after Doug confronted them (for he was friends with the fellow), they still lied about it. Double whammy. So my job was to be 1. The hot date; 2. The date who would keep him from opening a can of whoop-ass on this other guy; 3. The date who would have his back should he no longer be able to suppress the urge to open a can of whoop-ass on this other guy.

How fun does that sound! My response: “Honey, I am gonna make your property value soar.”

The bride - a faerie in Middle Earth!

The bride - a faerie in Middle Earth!

The ceremony itself was short and sweet, and outdoors, surrounded by redwoods, I guess, what the hell do I know? Northern California really big trees. The couples’personal vows,¬† and comments by the bride’s uncle (who officiated) choked me up. The food was the best ever, as were the THREE cakes (lemon, red velvet, chocolate/hazelnut). Which nearly made up for the fact that there was NO BOOZE! That was probably a blessing in disguise, for otherwise maybe¬† things wouldn’t have gone so smoothly with Doug and his anger management. But seriously, what the… is this a new trend? This is Northern California, wine capital of the USA. Must I start packing my own?

My one challenge was when the bride did the traditional bouquet-toss. Doug leaned over and said “Do not let her catch it.” To which I said “Watch this.”

Can't touch this.

I got your bouquet, lady.

Taking my place among my fellow eligible gals, I extended one arm (my right, and I’m a southpaw) just as the bouquet of lilies or iris’ (I don’t know flowers — see photo to right) was coming down in front of her face, caught it, held it up triumphantly, and walked off. Mission #*$&@*% Accomplished!

But actually, the real excitement was the night before, in Carmel, CA. Where I’d have least expected to find it…

"sleepy" Carmel -- so many secrets...

Don't let the calm facade deceive you....

We arrived at Doug’s sister’s house @9pm in Carmel. Sleepy, idyllic Carmel, where one’s olfactories are overwhelmed with the fragrance of the ocean and orange and some flower the second you get out of the car. Ahhhhhhhhhhh….

Doug’s sister is not there, as she’s a doctor on call that night. But the brother-in-law, “Joe” (not his real name) is upstairs, with the younger of 2 sons — the autistic one. The seven-year-old son (the one with asberger syndrome), is in the living room watching tv with his adorable three-year-old sister. And now two houseguests. As if Joe doesn’t have enough on his hands on a Saturday night…

Also there is 14-year-old girl, on the phone, who ignores us upon entry. We later learn she’s the neighbor’s daughter. The family immigrated to the US six years ago. She was there to avoid her mother and unemployed father. Apparently, tensions run high next door. Mom threatened to smash a ceramic vase over the daughter’s head. Daughter hid her passport because “my mom is going to deport me.” Mom hid her passport because “she’s going to run away”. I’m not even going to deny you the fun of trying to guess what country they emigrated from. Besides, then someone would ultimately say I’m stereotyping, and far be it for me…

What upsets me most: the shitty copyediting!!!

What upsets me most: the shitty copyediting!!!

So Joe lets the girl hang out for a while to cool off. He offers her some advice, and convinces her to go home. He walks her there — and they both return 10 minutes later. With the police. Apparently, mom had called the cops and said she’d runaway. I thought someone had to be missing 24 hours for a response from police, but if you read the police blotter in Carmel (see photo at right), you’d understand that this is the equivelent of a bomb scare there. Eventually all was smoothed out and we were left to our our original plan of raiding their impossibly full pantry and eating every snack food item known to Trader Joe shoppers.

And I suddenly have a new appreciation of the fact that I have nothing but freedom and choices in my life. Freedom and choices aren’t everything, but they’re definitely not to be taken for granted.