I love it when a plan comes together. It’s not just one of the best lines from one of my favorite television shows as a kid, but a truism.
So when tickets for a football game between my favorite AFC team and my favorite NFC team went on sale, I quickly snapped one up. Then I arranged housing for myself. That went something like “um…hey…Petitedov…you are very pretty. And smart! Plus, you know I totally don’t think Republicans are the worst!”
Done and done.
All that happened over the summer, but as the date approached, I realized the game was happening over Halloween weekend. And I would be staying in Massachusetts!
“Hey, we should go to Salem on All Hallows Eve!”
“Ooh and we should get Angela to come! We can have a sleepover and make s’mores and draw mustaches on pictures of Vanessa Hudgens’ face! Oh and braid Peter’s hair!”
I was brimming with ideas culled from years and years of Sassy magazine.
Petitedov laughed and said she would run it by Angela.
A day later everything was set! Angela, Vince and Peter were in, but Peter did not want his hair braided.
Pshaw. Do I look like I care whether he *wants* his hair braided? We’re braiding it!
Pdov gave me the directions and I asked Peter if he wanted to meet me in Midtown or have me pick him up.
“I’m making cider, so I have to go back to my apartment to pick it up.”
“Okay, then I’ll come get you.”
I double park outside his building, he puts his duffel bag in the back seat and places the half gallon of cider on the floor mat in the back. I turn around to suggest that he hold the cider in his lap, when I noticed that the plastic cap is still vacuum sealed across the lid. Whoa! Peter takes his cider making really seriously!
“Wow. How’d you reseal the cap?”
“On the cider? How’d you reseal it like that?”
“That’s how it comes in the store,” he says staring at me LIKE I’M THE ONE WHO PRETENDED TO MAKE CIDER AT HOME!
“You said you were making cider!”
“No, I said I was *bringing* cider!”
“LIAR! CIDER FRAUD!”
I tried to come up with a combination of Cider and Fraud to call him:
This continued until we finally made it to the first long stretch of the directions Pdov had given me.
So, here’s the thing…never ever ever take directions from one Petit E. Dov. EVER.
She directed me to take M.C. Esher Expressway at the corner of Deserted Rd. Boulevard.
The road would twist and bend, inexplicably go from three lanes to one lane with NO warning. The highway was lined with gnarled up trees and thick gray fog AND I SWEAR I saw a tree eat a car right off the road!
RIGHT. OFF. THE. ROAD!
I heard the crunching. And the family screaming inside.
I had the Rangers game on the radio and so I turned it way up…but the signal cut out and all you could hear was howling and Vincent Price laughing.
I wanted to drive faster, but when I looked ahead, I would see cars disappearing into bright lights up ahead. No doubt victims of alien abduction.
Certain we were going to meet a terrible end, I pressed on…we finally emerged into the middle of civilization somewhere halfway through Connecticut.
It was easy driving from there and we arrived at Pdov’s place about an hour and a half later.
And by “place,” I mean MANSION.
Petitedov LIVES IN A MANSION. OF MANSIONING PROPORTIONS.
Angela and Vince were already there, so Petitedov showed me to my room and said she was going to open a box of wine for us. Yeah, I said box. Don’t judge. It’s delicious.
I put my stuff in my room, go across the hall to *MY PRIVATE BATHROOM* to wash my hands and when I came out I was in a whole other wing of the mansion and was totally lost for like 11 hours before I found my way back to the living room and the wine.
But find the living room and the wine, I did.
Angela had packed the wine the night before, so it was warm. Pdov did not have any ice in her fancy mansion, so she hands me this frozen beer mug. I made it work.
There will be a whole lot of pointing in these pictures. I do not know why. But I blame New Jersey. Or Philly. Or sock eating salamanders. Don’t ask.
Well, as you can see by the size of my second glass of wine, we didn’t do anything else that night, but go to bed.
I woke up bright and early the next morning cause, well, I didn’t really sleep.
Months ago, Pdov had been bragging about making some fancy Jewish dish for the high holidays and Angela and I demanded that it be made and brought to us. I decided that “Shakshuka” was too hard a word to say, so I called it “shakalaka” or “ramalamadingdong” or “M. Night Shyamalan” and finally “Shakira.”
So Pdov promised that we would have M Night Shyamalan for breakfast. The whole place totally smelled like waffles and bacon, so when I got up I was looking for waffles and bacon.
I didn’t find any:
“Do you want coffee, tea, orange juice”? asked our amazing up at the crack of dawn to cook M Night Shymalan hostess.
Shakira didn’t look like something sweet, so I opted for orange juice. (Tis a quirk, I can only drink coffee when eating sweet foods or no food.)
“Do you have any ice,” I asked…apparently having lost all recollection of having this precise conversation the night before.
“I tried…but all I got was an ice penis.”
What’s that now?
Evidently, fancy mansion people have these fancy ice cube trays that are more like water bottles with ice cube shaped indentations on the bottom. She filled it with water, left it in the freezer overnight and got this:
Our lovely hostess would not let him starve, so she made him a separate egg dish. She kept telling us that we should get started eating our shakiras. I listened. When she finally sat down for breakfast, my plate was squeaky clean.
Angela and Peter had waited.
“Don’t tell me you guys waited for me to start eating!”
“Well, most of us did,” Angela said all snitchingly.
“She TOLD US TO EAT! I DID WHAT I WAS TOLD!” #RUDE
“Well…eat eat,” Pdov commanded. And then 30 seconds later:
“So, how is it?”
“Mine’s cold,” Peter said with a straight face and we all started laughing.
After Shakira, we headed off to Salem in the freezing zero degree Massachusetts cold. We decided to take Pdov’s mom’s minivan. I called shotgun, but was overruled because Pdov and Peter have to hold hands as they drive. *sticks finger down throat*
Vince and Angela and I sat together in the back, until Angela tried to buckle in her seatbelt and discovered she didn’t have one.
We spent like ten minutes looking for it and we finally found one in the ceiling of the car, but it didn’t come all the way down.
Vince volunteered to switch seats with her.
“No, I don’t want you to go flying through the windshield.”
“Okay, let Peter sit back there.”
“I don’t want Peter to go flying through either. Let me drive!”
“No, I’ll go slow… we won’t get into an accident.”
“Arrgh. Fine. I’ll just die!”
The gang kept making fun of me for being on my Droid all the time.
“Will you put that damn thing down and enjoy the scenery?!”
“Why? She can just google “foliage in New England” on the Droid.
There was insane traffic on the way to Salem.
“WHAT THE HELL! I can’t believe all these vultures flocking to Salem on Halloween! It’s obscene! WOMEN DIED THERE!” says Stephane with absolutely no sense of self awareness whatsoever.
“But isn’t that what we’re doing?”
“No. We’re doing it ironically. They’re serious. And I don’t live here. Look at all those Massachusettses license plates!”
“Well, that one’s Rhode Island…”
“Bah. Same thing. They can go anytime! Why are they going today?! Jerks!”
We finally made it to town. We went to some witch musuem thing ranked number 3 on trip advisor. There was this scary monster thing which didn’t look scary until you get all cocky and are like “I’m gonna go take my picture with it,” and then you’re standing next to it and it’s looking at you and then you run off screaming. Hypothetically.
Next stop was lobster martinis at the lobster shanty. It was cold, so I was going to get a delicious lobster bisque.
One problem… Lobster Shanty no have lobster bisque. I KNOW, RIGHT? Who has a lobster martini, but NO LOBSTER BISQUE?!! #Racism
Okay, so what happens next is now the source of great debate, finger pointing and blame assigning.
I am fairly sure I said “Oh, it doesn’t matter if they don’t have bisque. I’m sure I can find something else to eat. I’m not picky. Plus, I am a mature and reasonable person who has totally outgrown temper tantrums.”
However, Petitedov was all “No! You came for lobster bisque, you will have lobster bisque!” So when the Lobster Shanty seating guy came by, we told him we would sit outside because we’re just having drinks. But then when all the tables around us were eating their delicious lobster macaroni and cheeses and Angela pointed out that the Lobster Shanty had been featured on the food network, we were all starving and wanted to get our full Lobster Shanty on!
But Vince and Peter didn’t want to eat outside because the food would get cold too quickly. But the wait to eat inside was now so long, it would run up against our dinner reservation — another place that was featured on the food network.
So…no Lobster Shanty for us. Which meant we endured an evening of Angela calling us the bastards who are one fourth equally responsible for her not getting to eat the sirloin tips at the Lobster Shanty…though, she did get her martini.
I never did get my bisque. Pdov took us to some weird soup place that puts jasmine *RICE* in lobster bisque (THE HELL?) So I settled for chicken noodle or something easy and not nasty. But to make it all up to us, Pdov took us out to this dairy farm that had awesome ice cream! It kicks Ted Drewes right in the face!
Okay, so after exhausting witches, failed lobster shanties and delicious milkshakes, we were supposed to take naps. But no. Angela convinces us, Jedi style, that what we really want to do is play “Scene It.”
I don’t know if any of you have played this game, but it’s a combo board/video game where you roll dice and answer questions on a card to advance around a board. Also, I’m pretty sure Angela invented it.
“I’m going to destroy all of you,” she said sweetly as she batted her eyes.
“Nothing. Just…you’re all going down and will probably have to call your mommies when I’m through with you.”
Sure enough, this chick is answering the questions before Peter can finish reading the cards. She’s like “Bullworth. 1997. Cameron Diaz. Wayne’s World. A lightning bolt shape.”
And me, Peter and Petitedov, who were a team, were all crying in the corner and begging her to stop.
Seriously, if Angela ever invites you to play a game of Scene It. Run. As fast as your little legs can carry you.
When we got to the dinner restaurant, they told us we had to wait for the people at our table to finish their coffee. This took about ten minutes. But Petitedov said we were lucky because usually the wait is much longer and you can only make reservations for five people or more. “So it’s a good thing you came, Stephane!”
Fifth wheel for the win.
Damn, I’m short.
Dinner was wonderful, but the portions were out of this world. The lobster ravioli could feed an army of fourteen really skinny soldiers. But still. FOURTEEN!
We had a lot of wine at dinner, which is the only explanation I have for why we decided to play some more Scene It. Though this time it was more of a freestyle, cooperative, please-Angela-don’t-hurt-us version of the game.
I went to church with Peter the next morning before breakfast. This was, without a doubt, the whitest congregation I have ever seen. AND I have gone to church in Poland. Mass was a bit weird, and the priest was skeeving me out with all his cryptic talk of needing to forgive people because everyone is a good person and a child of God. And then they had all these dumb announcements about some family committee thing and I was ready to be out. Plus, today was the big football game!
Pdov took us to a fancy brunch place. We ordered way more food than we could ever eat, but the awesome part was they had lattes and pancakes AND eggs. We put in our drink orders and JUST TO SPITE ME, Pdov made sure to tell the waitress “No ice.”
After breakfast (where I goaded Peter into finishing all the food on his plate even though he was clearly stuffed) I went off alone to my Patriots game.
I was dressed in my Riots gear and listened to the Jets game as traffic snaked toward the stadium. I have to admit that, although I don’t mind doing stuff by myself, I did miss having company for the game.
I ended up overshooting the stadium and having to beg this cop to let me make a U-turn into this weird parking lot at the end of Patriots way. He let me, but when it took like 9 minutes for me to get the car fully turned around WITHOUT running him over, I knew that I had sullied the reputation of women drivers and New York drivers, world over. #FAIL
I memorized my parking space and started the hike back to the stadium. I was two hours early so I went to the Patriots Hall of Fame museum. This place is EPIC!
They have an exhibit where you can try to hit the kick Viniatieri made to send New England to the Superbowl in ’01. You can huddle up with Tom Brady and the rest of the offense. They have a mock locker room! And you can try on a Patriots Superbowl ring!
Plus, they have these:
Someone tell CK and VinNay what those are. Grin.
With about an hour left till kickoff, I walked to my seat, which was in the middle of the very first row on the Patriots side. These are the best seats I have ever had at sporting event. I totally couldn’t believe it. Neither could security and they demanded to see proof that this was in fact my seat. #RUDE
I was ready to “racist” them, but as the game went on, I realized that everyone else in that section are season ticket holders who are at every home game and know the security staff by name.
Okay, but anyway and so here is the awesomest thing ever in the world that happened. So I’m sitting in the front row. I’m taking pictures of the guys at practice and suddenly I see Tom Brady. Well, I see the number 12 and the jersey, but I know who it is.
I’m taking pictures of him and he starts to walk toward me. I’m still taking pictures. HE KEEPS WALKING TOWARD ME!
OH. MY. GAWD. I take another picture, but he is still sauntering directly over to me, so I’m in full on “OH MY GOD! TOM BRADY HAS SPOTTED ME FROM THE FIELD AND IS COMING OVER TO TALK TO ME” MODE. I put the camera down, cause dude…I’m cool. I’m cool. He’s walking over. I wave. He takes his helmet off and smiles at me, he comes closer and then…BOOM disappears below the ground. That’s when I realize he wasn’t coming over to talk to me at all. The locker room entrance was at the base of where I was sitting.
BUT STILL! OMG TOM BRADY!!! I could have totally touched a lock of his hair! I coulda!! But I didnta.
I ended up sitting next to this weirdo lady in a half Patriots/half Vikings Jersey. The front was Randy Moss’ old jersey and it was sewn to the back of a Favre jersey. She said she was a Patriots fan, but that she loved Brett Favre. Everyone surrounding her wanted to murder her.
It was a great game, I froze my ass off, but we won. I ended up getting lost trying to find my car again, and then when I finally found it, I spent an hour sitting in the parking lot while the traffic cleared.
Still…did I mention how Tom Brady came over to talk to me?
Totally worth it.
I went back to Pdov’s place to finish up the leftover lobster ravioli and milkshake, collect the Cider Fraud and head home to New York City.
The weekend concluded and was judged to be the best slumber party ever. And Tom Brady judged the hottest quarterback ever.