The best-laid plans often go awry, which is what somehow happened with tomorrow's brunch, that accidentally kicked off today.
If I'd bothered to check my messages, I would've seen three in a row from my sailor in the middle of the night last night (who's now retiring and therefore says he gets a new name) that said, first, "I completely forgot about the brunch! I'm so sorry!" followed by "Wait...when is it? Maybe it's Sunday. Wow, that was close," followed by, "No wait, it's tomorrow. Wow, even closer," followed by... him pulling into the driveway this morning at the appointed hour, with a biggg bag of ice, exactly as directed, just on the wrong day.
I glanced across the porch swing to my BFF, Sooz, from my 30s (who's in town this weekend), and had a moment of panic. What is today anyway? I asked her, just as he walked up the sidewalk with an increasingly puzzled look on his face, that he said later probably conveyed something like, Boy-this-party-really-isn't-working-out. (It really didn't look like much of a "brunch" -- just some Starbucks cups and a few empty cans of Mountain Dew.)
sudden, and if you ask me, affected, aversion to dairy), I contented myself with a light dusting of homemade vanilla sugar (sigh).
Sooz then departed for her afternoon wine tasting with some friends, and he and I sat on the porch eating, drinking, and desultorily surveying the foot-traffic.
We were in the middle of a rigorous intellectual debate that included moral relativism, impulse control, and the merits of Ukrainian fat versus Italian fat... until the girl-next-door made the mistake of cutting through my front yard. "Hey, are you her neighbor?" he asked her politely, as I cringed visibly -- having just told him I go out of my way to never meet neighbors because it might not work out and then you're stuck living next to them. Which I'm sure is why he did it. (He knows I'd rather die than spontaneously meet strangers, not because I'm inherently unfriendly, but just because I'm painfully shy and socially backward. It didn't slow him down, and in fact, I think encouraged him, as if to say, "See! Look how easy this is.")
And I admit I have to admire his social fearlessness, which uncovered, over the next 20 minutes, the fact that her wedding photographers are friends of mine; her husband is European, with an excellent golf handicap; they met at law school out west (not one of the flashier Ivy Leagues, but one of the more subtle ones I knew to be highly regarded); she agrees with me about the distinctions defining good movies vs. entertaining movies; they're both avid fans of David and Amy Sedaris; they've been hoping to find some gays since they moved here from L.A., but haven't yet; and when I apologized for intruding on her Saturday, she admitted she shares my neighborly reticence-slash-phobias... so, before I even realized the words were out of my mouth, we were inviting them to brunch, and she was headed down the street to watch soccer at a friend's house.
She really was a delight, and despite living next door, I would never have met her any other way than the sailor, home from the sea, introducing us.
I told him as much, to which he responded, with mock dismay, "Man, I got the impression she isn't bringing anything tomorrow."