Monday, March 05, 2007

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing...

Saturday was a very looonnngggg day.

I started the day by making my signature "killer salad." That took two hours. This was for the anniversary event Saturday night. The recipe, if you call it that, starts with six, count 'em, six heads of Hearts of Romaine lettuce (loosely chopped). Other ingredients include Belgian Endive, grape tomatoes, crushed walnuts, sliced mushrooms, mandarin orange slices, a package of grated mozzarella, a package of grated carrots, two small packages of raisins and a jar or so of Marie's Caesar Salad Dressing.

Mix well and pour into one of those disposable, aluminum, turkey roasting pans, cover tightly with aluminum foil in all directions, then submerge it into ANOTHER aluminum turkey roasting pan, the bottom of which has been lined with chopped ice.

This will keep it cool while it sits in the trunk for seven hours, while you attend a wedding.

I whisked it out to the car and ran back upstairs to pull myself together for the wedding. I showered, etc., and selected a nice, bland, dress-up outfit. By 11:30 I was on the road, aiming for a 1:00 p.m. start time, somewhere in a part of New Jersey I'd never been before.

Never, EVER, trust directions from Mapquest. Oh, it was scenic, alright. And probably the most direct route... involving wagon train trails.

I got to the church just in time... to park in the muddiest part of the parking lot. I delicately tip-toed (picture the Ballet-Dancing Hippos in "Fantasia") across the swamp to the church, which was some sort of a landmark dating back to 1830 or so. Upon entering the tiny church, which looked like it would seat about 150 on a good day, I spotted the gay section over against the far wall. I did my best disco-wave towards the tribe and they all disco-waved right back and I made it a point to walk, or should I say "flounce", down the straight aisle to the back of the church, then across and up the far aisle to my part of town. I knew 3/4's of the guys there, mostly because, like me, most of them were in recovery and belonged to one 12-Step group or another.

I assumed all the straight people there were either relatives, friends of the two grooms from work, or members of the same Unitarian Congregation (where we were currently parked) as my boys.

The service started late (fashionably so, of course..) and it was lovely. The two Unitarian ministers (and it was pretty clear what THEIR story was, as well) did a great job of unifying my friends and, 20 minutes or so later, it was over. We all lined up to congratulate the guys then got our driving instructions to the reception, which was being held in the giant house of some big, ol' lesbian member of the Congregation, who had a working horse farm about five miles away. The last mile of the drive was on unimproved (read "pot-holed") roadway and it was fun watching all the Lexus's trying to navigate them, without busting an axle. My Element had no problem at all with the terrain.

Notwithstanding the size of the house, it was jammed. Fortunately they'd put food on every level surface in the place so there was no need to "queue up" in order to chow down. I found a section of the living room wall lined with tall-backed club chairs which I, and several other members of my 12-Step group, promptly comandeered and renamed "Maiden Aunts Row." It reminded me of my childhood, when all my great aunts would sit together in a row against a wall and compare their gall-bladder removal scars with each others. They'd also get rip-roaring drunk and not be talking to each other by the end of the evening. But I digress. We all just sat there and sized up the cute straight boyz, which was easy enough because there weren't too many of them.

Along about 4:30 we all decided it was time to hit the road in order to get to Warrington, Pennsylvania in time to help set up for that event (and by now, I was already pooped!)

This is where Mapquest REALLY began to shine.

You might remember from your American history that George Washington and his troops marched down the Delaware on a cold Christmas night to attack the Hessians in Trenton.

I'm pretty sure he used the same road I drove down to get across the river into Pennsylvania on Saturday night. And it hasn't been improved any since then, either. Jeezis H. Keerist, it was a 1 and a half-lane mess. The so-called bridge across the Delaware at Frenchtown is about the width of an Amish buggy (it being Amish country and all), so imagine my surprise when I saw a big-assed SUV deciding to venture out in my direction from the Pennsylvania side, as I passed the halfway mark, heading the other way!

[to be continued]

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