It seems hard to believe that, just a month ago, I was sleeping fourteen hours a day in my childhood bedroom, craving Simply Raspberry lemonade and my DVR.
(Oh, and can I rant about how Cablevision can’t figure out how to provide me with access to 16 Patriots games during football season, despite the fact that I pay $250 a month for its stupid Gold package, but now they’ve pulled the Game Show Network from my programming unless I pay $8 a month to upgrade to some BS sports package?! I called and threatened the lady on the phone with canceling my service, but I think she could hear my voice cracking with panic at the mere thought. No? I can’t rant about that? Okay, back to the story.)
I stayed at my mom’s house for four or five days after my surgery. Then, hour five into a comedy central marathon, I just couldn’t take anymore. I put on my boots and walked the mile and a half home. I bought my lemonade at a store along the way. Of course, two days of couch surfing caught me up on my DVR and exhausted my blockbuster and Netflix movies. I was bored.
“Not me,” Vinnay texts back. “I’m planning an awesome superbowl party with nine courses and a million inch TV screen and lots of alcohol. It’s going to be the best Superbowl party ever!”
“Are the Patriots playing in it?”
“No! I said the BEST!”
“Aren’t you scared your dish might go out or something?”
“Pfft. This is Buffalo, snow storms don’t knock out our TV.”
So the needling torment continues with descriptions of the great wings and pizza and sandwiches and fancy sauce that I couldn’t have and ends with “and Astin is coming down for the Sabres/Leafs game!”
“Duuuudddee! Weren’t you JUST in Toronto going to a hockey game with Astin?!”
Last year, I e-mailed them BOTH and said “I wanna come to Toronto and see a hockey game. And collect my caramel cake!”
Astin was all “oh, Toronto’s full and we don’t have a hockey team.”
And Vinnay was all “I don’t have time to go to Canada. I have a wedding to go to every day.”
RAY-CIST! And sexist. And not the least bit Stephanist, which is the worst ist of all.
“Whaaat? You can come if you want. I mean, there’s going be a snow storm and you should probably rest from your surgery, but yeah, you’re *totally* invited.”
Well, let it not be said that I wasn’t going to strike a blow for equality of all black women Stephanes everywhere!
“I will meet you at the Buffalo airport at 6. Do. Not. Be. Late!”
He was totally late.
And he was sporting the evil Cartman beardstache:
Plus, he was wearing a Yankees jersey, smoking three cigarettes and eating peanut butter out of a jar.
“Why do you hate me?”
“Welcome to Buffalo.”
“I’m hungry, where are all the courses?!”
“That’s not till Sunday and we’re in a car.”
Vinnay lives with a vicious, giant attack dog. She sensed my weakened, starving condition and tried to eat my face right away.
I put my foot down and in no uncertain terms made it clear that I am a person, not food.
“You can eat her face later, River, when she’s sleeping.”
Dude. I kill you.
Okay, so on a lark I decided to order the volcano buffalo hot sauce wings…just cause…I’m tough!
We had to go out to pick them up because they only deliver to Canada now.
Buffalo is weird.
We picked up lemonade for me at the store. The wings were good, but I totally kicked that volcano sauce’s ass.
I laugh in the face of its so-called “heat.”
The bestest thing about visiting Vinny is that Buffalo has this awesome comedy show called Tosh.0 and I can watch it on the million inch TV screen all day, whilst eating my wings and drinking my…
“My friend’s gonna meet us at the Coz in ten minutes. Let’s go!”
“No. Outside. People. Socializing.”
I do not understand this language which you speak. Is that Navi or Vulcan or some other one of your nerd languages?
Against my will, I was marched out into the cold, harsh Buffalo night. Seriously, can I tell you how never I would leave my house if I lived there? I’d sit at a desk writing angry letters to government officials all day.
A few minutes later, we were at my favorite bar in the city, Cozumel. It’s my favorite because it’s always empty except for Vinnay and his friends, so I totally get credit for going out without the annoyance of having to deal with strangers!
Plus, I had an agenda.
“Oh, hey, I’m so and so.”
“Yeah, you’re Vinnay’s friend who went to Yale, right?”
“Uh huh…yeah, that’s me. More importantly, can you tell him to shave his face? Like right now? Say something about not being willing to be seen in public with him looking like that. I would do it, but he knows I don’t ever go out in public.”
She laughed. “Aww, I think it looks cute.”
“Ha! I told you the ladies love it.”
“You have just made a very powerless enemy, so and so.”
I spied a jukebox on the back wall of the bar.
Have I ever told you how much I love jukeboxes??? They’re like your ipod but you can play ’em out loud so everyone can hear! I used to go to diners with this girl I knew in high school, but she would never let me sit on the side with the jukebox, never give me money for the jukebox and never let the waitress give me change for the jukebox!
Of course, I had no cash on me, as I had been forcibly dragged from the apartment. I offered to pay for drinks with my credit card to be less of a deadbeat, but I was refused.
“Give me a dollar.”
He gave me one.
I went to the jukebox ready to play my favorite songs du jour. Alas:
$1… 1 song.
It took all I had not to go into a “in my day…” speech.
I requested Pink’s “Raise your glass.”
But when it ended I wanted to hear other songs.
“Give me $5.”
“So you can play more awful songs?!”
“Umm…no…I need it…to buy books. For school.”
I went back to the jukebox to just stare at it when I noticed it had a mastercard/visa logo!
I have a mastercard!!
“Suck it, Vinnay!”
And just to spite him I played Justin Bieber. Well, spite and cause Justin Bieber’s awesome.
Vinnay and his friends were doing shots at the bar and I was dancing around singing Beyonce.
“You have a terrible voice,” Vinnay says suddenly.
An hour later, he and the bartender are having one of those conversations people only have at three in the morning in a deserted bar after doing shots.
“Okay, but seriously, do you know why they have poor neighborhoods in New York City? Because they need people to work in McDonald’s.”
I felt two pairs of eyes on me.
“Hell are you looking at me for? I don’t work in McDonald’s! I’m unemployed!”
I moved away. When I returned, the conversation had turned to why he didn’t vaccinate his toddlers.
We went home shortly after that.
“Hey, can you get my burka out of my room? I’m cold.”
Yes. I have a burka! And a room!
“It’s not your room, it’s my office!”
“Oh, you’re just drunk. Gimmee my burka!”
The next day we had to run errands for the party, well, to be fair, I was given the option to go run errands or “stay with River” the face eating dog.
First stop: gourmet shop. I picked out cheeses.
Then we went to Wegmen’s which was supposedly so awesome Alec Baldwin’s mom won’t leave New Jersey. Meh. That store in Harlem with the walk-in freezer is WAY awesomer. Let me google… Fairway! Yum!
The best part of Wegmen’s was picking out fresh bread, but then finding packaged bread for less. So we hid the bags of fresh bread discreetly throughout the store. And by “We,” I mean…er…other people? Yes. We saw some other people doing that. We gave them hard, disapproving looks.
Astin was driving down from Toronto for the Sabres game that night, but texted to say he was running late. Then Vinnay’s phone died. It was snowing (as usual). Although, snow in Buffalo isn’t annoying like New York snow. It covers everything in a cozy white blanket and the whole town looks like a Christmas card! Plus, my mother doesn’t let me drive in the snow, so I never get to see it freshly fallen like that.) I think the wine errand took longer than it was supposed to, because instead of getting my promised “Gabriel’s Gate” lunch, I was getting a burrito from a taco drive through.
“Will we go to Gabriel’s Gate for dinner then?”
“I will take that as a yes.”
“Remind me to take the meat out of the freezer when we get back.”
“I will take that as a yes.”
We met Astin and Mark at The Coz before the game. Astin was not at all surprised to see me. When Vinnay’s phone died, I decided to text Astin just to find out his progress from Canadia — although I did it very covertly! Just, evidently, not covertly enough. Sneaky Canadians always two steps ahead. What’s that in meters?
Mark drove to the stadium. We parked in this lot and walked through four hundred feet of snow to the arena.
“DUDE! When I was up here in October, the arena was on this BLOCK! Why’d they move it over there??”
And then they laughed at me.
Vinnay has season tickets behind the dugout. Or something hockeyier. He and Astin sat there. Mark and I got last minute tickets from stubhub. We were in the “Colored” section. I could not look down for fear of falling.
Buffalo was wailing on Toronto throughout the first period. I was tweeting the game until Mark was all “stop tweeting and watch the game! This is why you think there’s a dugout in hockey!”
He served as my personal Dumbledore for the rest of the game telling me why people were cheering even though no one scored.
“My favorite sound is the puck hitting the goal post.”
“But then doesn’t that mean they missed?”
“Yes. But you know how close they got? Ping!”
The man loves his hockey.
He also promised he would bring his special wings for me at Vinnay’s party the next day.
“Cool! I think we’re all going to Gabriel’s Gate tonight!”
Mark looked away and whistled.
The Sabres destroyed the Raptors by a million touchdowns to 2 runs and all the Canadians in attendance were sad.
“Do we have to be nice and sympathetic to Astin?” Mark asked
After the game we’re walking back to the car, I am DYING. The snow mounds are just about thigh high on me. The guys kept having to wait for me to catch up. Finally, we get to the car and I’m all “Gabriel’s Gate!”
How did we end up in the Cozumel parking lot? HOOOWWWWW???
We’re all standing around the entrance waiting for the cool kids to finish their cigarettes when the snow started calling me. I balled up a fistful and threw it with alarming accuracy. It hit Vinnay right in the face.
“It was an accident! I was aiming for the guy behind you…You can’t prove it was me! Astin did it! You wouldn’t hit a girl!”
Oh, he so would.
We ended up in Coz again and this time it was packed!
I put $20 in the jukebox and drowned my sorrows in tap water.
Then I watched Astin bash the monkey. #noporno
Vinnay mercifully put me out of my misery at midnight and we all went home. As soon as Astin stepped through the door, River starts barking like a crazy person. Face eating vicious dog descriptions aside, I have never heard her so much as growl before! Now, she was finna bite Astin’s leg and chew on it for fun!
Vinnay scolds her: “River! Stop that!”
“Heey, not so fast! Maybe she’s warning us of the danger posed to our lives by Astin!”
No one has hair that perfect! It’s not human! He’s here to kill us!!!
“Good dog! Get the alien! Get him!”
But nooo…Astin pulls out a few links of sausage from his overnight bag and she’s all “Yum. You may take the humans.”
“Heeeeeyyy….what kind of attack dog are you? You try to eat the face of innocent human Americans, but you sell us out to the alien from Canada for meat?”
We spent the rest of the night “watching” Casino, which Astin has never seen (go on, gasp away) and playing poker.
The next morning, Vinnay was supposed to be up “early” to ready his apartment for the Superbowl party. By noon, Astin and I were still the only ones awake. I put on the Penguins game.
“Do you play hockey?”
“No. I don’t know how to skate.”
“Aren’t you Canadian?? How do you not know how to ice skate??”
“Aren’t you American? How do you not have a gun?”
“Huh. What?! Of course, I have a gun!”
(I don’t really have a gun, but I figured just in case Astin is an alien assassin, it’s best that he thinks I do.)
Vinnay finally emerged in the middle of the second period.
I left them to go shower. When I returned, the hockey game was gone and instead, cartoons were on.
“Let me get this straight…the girl leaves the room and Western New York/Canadian boys turn off hockey and put on cartoons?”
What is the sound of two giant beer cans crashing through the roof and crushing them both to death?
“Ugghhh…you didn’t remind me to take the meat out!”
“Oops. Quit glaring at me!”
Vinnay cleaned up a bit, but then we all went back to Wegman’s to pick up more things.
Like cake for Stephane.
Vinnay went looking for ice, but couldn’t find any.
“Just ask someone.”
“Nah, don’t worry about it.”
I followed him toward the other end of the store, but then I spotted an employee and asked her where the ice was.
She pointed me to the back of store.
So I went to get it.
And that’s the story of how Stephane got lost at Wegman’s on Superbowl Sunday. Also, I had left my cellphone charging on the kitchen counter, soo….
This store was packed, like four thousand people. I had NO idea where Vinnay was and no clue how to get back to his house. I had a vague idea of where he lived, but not exactly.
I looked for Astin, but it was like looking for a needle in a store full of white people.
Only children don’t get lost in stores! Our mothers have one job, keep an eye on us. I have no experience with this. I run through all of my best options and settle on walking back to the car. I’m going to leave that there. No one needs to know what other options I thought were equal to simply walking back to the car. *Whistles*
Vinnay was there. Totally not about to drive away and leave me because he had guests coming over in 2 hours!
“Stop glaring! I was getting ice!”
Vinnay’s friend Jeremy came over to help him cook stuff. I offered to help, but they declined. Or I thought about offering to help and then decided to drink wine and watch TV instead.
Photo Sharing – Video Sharing – Photo Printing
“VINNNNNAAAAYYYY. The TV is broken.”
“There’s no picture.”
“What did you DO?!” More glaring.
“This has never happened ever! I blame you!”
See, how Stephane always get blamed? Post racial America my ass!
He did some computery stuff, but nothing changed. I suggested he call the Dish people. This was apparently the dumbest idea ever. Instead…
He climbs out onto the roof himself to clear the snow off.
I poured myself another glass of wine.
Another one of his friends came early.
“Oh, hey. You’re the New York girl.”
“I like that! Yes, yes I am.”
And then I drank more wine and sorta remember waking up on the couch at the start of game surrounded by people. I was in a sitting position though, so I don’t think anyone noticed that I was asleep. It was fun. Everyone was rooting for the Packers and Jeremy starts taunting me:
“Aaron Rodgers is so great. He really is the best #12 QB. He’s even handsomer than Tom Brady.”
And then they were all talking about how happy they were when the Giants won Superbowl 42. “It was like Buffalo had won a Superbowl!”
Then Mark shows up to the party, sees me and goes “Oh no! I left your wings under the warmer at Cozumel.”
And I’m all “well, what are you doing here telling me about it, instead of walking stealthily back to your car, driving over there and getting them”?
I. Hate. Everybody.
Oh My gosh! Except for Vinnay’s youngest sister! First of all, she is as cute as a button, PLUS SHE HAS A BLACK FRIEND! Unlike her #races brother.
The three of us spent the whole second half of the game chatting, (she’s making me a mix CD of something called the Black Keys, which I pretended I had heard of cause I didn’t want her to think I wasn’t cool! ) And then we set about seeing how much white wine we could drink. A lot it turns out. In unrelated news, that night I totally had a nightmare that I was suffering from wine madness. It was so tragic! There was no cure. The doctors did that final, sad head shake thing. #nobueno
During the game, I didn’t want to get up because I would miss the commercials or the game, so I told Vinnay I wanted a sandwich and he was all “cool. Go get one.” And then I was sad and told twitter on him, so then he got me one. And then my friend on twitter was all “where did you find these boys who cook while you’re on the couch drinking wine and who bring you sandwiches during the game?”
And then I offered to sell them to her. Which is a transaction of dubious legality, but if you don’t tell, I won’t tell.
Obama ’12. Change you can spend after selling your white friends to your black friends.
Um…I feel like some other stuff happened…but now I don’t remember. Oh yeah, I totally made Vinnay watch Glee after the Superbowl and now he loves it and has joined Glee chat groups.
And he’s a fan on facebook.