At one point I went into the kitchen to throw away a random paper plate when I see Julia, peering into the sink, gagging quietly, eyes welled up with tears. Well, overnight the Wheat Thins apparently got all floppy and bloated because they absorbed the water in the sink. They became these gooey tan colored speckled squares and she was so grossed out by them. Yet she was trying to work up the courage to clean them out.
So I started laughing hysterically at her and told her I'd take care of it. While I'm scooping the mess, Vicks comes into the kitchen and just started yapping away. No matter what she said, all I could here in my head was, "One time, at band camp..."
After I was done, I went into the living room to move my trays around and put my plants back on them. While I moved one of the trays, I accidentally knocked over a practically full Corona bottle. (I forgot to mention that for some strange reason I kept losing my beers all night. I'd set them down and then not be able to find them. I had found one earlier in the bathroom. This one was 'found beer number two') It spilled all over my feet, which had Tevas on. Blech.
Everyone starts laughing, yet no one goes to help me clean it. So I go in the kitchen, get paper towels to wipe it up, when there's a knock at the door. It's Kaitlin's Mom.
I let her in, praying she can't smell my stinky Corona feet. Her Mom didn't know we'd have alcohol there. So she asked to use the restroom and Julia hisses, "Liz!" and points to the Corona bottle. She rushes over to get it out of view just ask Kaitlin's Mom comes back down the stairs.
I help Kaitlin outside with her bags, her mom thanks me for having her, tells me I have a beautiful home ("why, thank you..!" says I) and I tell her that Kaitlin's welcome here anytime, that I'm glad she was allowed to come and that she trusted me to ensure her safety. (insert sweet smile here)
Kaitlin drives off and we decide we're going to drive to the Arsenal Mall to get lunch.
I jump in my car to lead the way to the Arsenal Mall (aka- Sketchenal Mall). Vicks and Rebecca were going to have lunch, then go to NY, so they got in Rebecca's car. Then Bri, Julia, and Amanda brought up the rear. I was driving alone because I was going to show them how to get to the mall, then loop back and get a wrap from my favorite cafe which was a block away from there.
After I left them off and got my lunch, I returned and parked my car. Then I went up to the mall's Food Court and saw Julia and Vicks standing by a sandwich vendor's counter. I walked up to them, "Sup, ladies? Where's the rest of the bunch?"
"Bri and Amanda are out smoking, Rebecca's looking for a book," Julia answered.
"Oh yeah?" I asked. "What kind of book?"
"A journal, I think," Julia replied. "She wants us all to sign it."
"That's so cute," I smiled. Rebecca's a real sweetheart.
"Oh, yeah. I bought this journal once," Vicks began. "It has this really nice cover..."
I turned my head to look at her and nearly gasped. Her wire framed glasses were beyond crooked: they were bent and horribly lopsided. The left lens was at least an inch and a half higher than the right one and the right one was tilted down and slanted. How on earth did she not notice this?? If my glasses are even the teeniest bit off, I fiddle with them until they're rigtht again, or take then to the store where I bought them.
Vicks' sandwich wasn't ready, so Julia and I waited for her to finish her story, then went and sat down at a table. She didn't get anything to eat because she really wanted a bagel, but there were none to be found in the Sketchenal Mall. Mind you, you could get some scary looking Tandori chicken that could probably cause a cannibal to go vegan, but you can not get a bagel. I promised her that when we were done, I'd take her to find a bagel shop.
"Juila!" I said quiety, yet horrified. "What the hell is up with Victoria's glasses??"
"I dunno," she sighed. "Aren't they awful?"
"Why didn't you tell her?" I asked.
"No way! What if she doesn't mind them that way?"
"Well I do," I said. "She's going to have to walk 10 feet behind us at all times with those horrible things..."
Julia burst out laughing. Then she frowned. "Listen, Liz. There's something you should know..."
As I bit into my wrap, Julia informed me that Bri had been drinking since she woke up at 10:00 a.m. I looked at my watch. It was 2:15. Uh oh. Bri had brought a bar-sized bottle of vodka to the party that was 5/6ths full. By the time we went to bed, it was 3/4ths empty. And no one consumed it but her. That was fact. I knew this because everyone either had some kind of beer, rum and Coke, or After Shock with me at 2 different times. Bri's bottle of vodka was never moved from where she put it. (I was keeping an eye on my guests because I don't know everyone that well and wanted to make sure no one was going to get out of hand)
Julia told me it was just about empty by the time we left. I closed my eyes briefly. Inside I was seething for two reasongs: #1- Bri just drove a car with 2 of my friends in it, putting their lives in horrible danger. #2- Julia didn't do anything to stop her.
I wasn't angry with Julia per say because I know she has trouble with confrontation. But she knows full-well I don't. And she knows if she looks the other way, it's not going to change the situation.
"What are we going to do?" Julia asked.
"About what?" Vicks sat down at the table.
"Nothing." I answered. "We're talking about work stuff."
"Oh," Vicks said. "At my job, my boss, well, he's this guy..."
I looked at Victoria and interrupted her, "Vicks, I'm sorry. But what is up with your glasses?"
"Huh?" she asks.
"Your glasses. They're totally lopsided."
She takes them off to look at them. "Oh, they always get a little crooked."
"A little?" I asked. "No, sweetie, not just a little..."
I fiddled with her glasses and managed to bend them into a more normal looking shape. Soon after Bri and Amanda showed up Bri looked like hell. Despite sunglasses, her eyes looked droopy and glazed.
Rebecca showed up as we were all just about done with our food. We took turns signing her journal, then we walked out to say good-bye because she and Vicks were going to head to NY. After we hugged and wished each other well, Vicks and Rebecca drove off.
Bri and Amanda wanted frozen yogurt. Julia and I were going to hunt down a bagel shop. I decided that Bri was probably a functional alcoholic and could handle the one block to the ice cream store, then the other block to my place. The Sketchen Mall was not a place to confront her.
It was at this point that I remembered I still needed to pick up Liz's cats!!!! I looked at my watch. 4:00. I asked Julia is she'd mind helping me. I explained about Liz and the phenomenon about my not being allergic to her two kitties. She said she'd love to help out.
After we got Julia a bagel, I stopped for frozen yogurt of my own, and we returned to my house to watch Charlie's Angles, since Julia still hadn't seen the movie.
Right after it ended, Bri and Amanda came home. Bri came bursting through the door, loud and obnoxious. She started bouncing one of my random rubber playground balls around, kocking over stuff. Julia and Amanda both looked at me. This still wasn't the right time.
So I said, "Guys, me and Julia are going to pick up these two cats I have to watch for the next 8 days. Are you going to be okay while we're gone?"
"Yeah, sure," Amanda said. "We'll probably hang out on the playground."
Bri stumbled up the stairs to use the bathroom. Amanda went up with her and they both got in the bathroom and shut the door. I went upstairs as well to get Liz's keys out of my home office. While I was looking for them, I heard a loud bang from the bathroom, followed by giggling. I was reaching the end of my rope. I went to the bathroom door and banged on it.
"What the hell are you doing in there?" I demanded.
Silence. Then Amanda said, "We were standing on the bathtub to look at our stomachs in the mirror. Bri slipped."
"Knock it off!" I raised my voice a bit. "This is my home, not a fucking gym. I'm starting to feel like a baby-sitter." I stomped down the stairs to leave for the cats. Julia just looked at me as I entered the living room.
"Let's go," I said. Wordlessly she followed me out the door.
As we walked down the front walkway she pointed at a little cluster of water bottles that say next to a jacket. "See that blue bottle?"
I looked at the half-full Dasani water bottle she was pointing to. I knew exactly what she was going to tell me. "Lemme guess. That's not water." Her eyes looked so sad as she nodded her head. With one fell swoop I picked up the water bottle as I headed for the car. I opened the bottle up and took a sniff. Pee-Yew.
"What are you doing?" she asked me.
"Taking it with me."
"She's gonna freak."
"Yup." I pursed my lips. "She sure is."