Chris was in the tasting room by himself and did some $1200+, and I was on the line by myself with the exception of one ticket, so I more or less did $800 by myself in the cafe. Pretty darn good day for both of us; Scott was happy, and I was swing dancing to Billy Joel. I was supposed to be a pumpkin at 6, but I stuck around till 7 helping Chris get cleaned up, because he had gone through all the glasses and all four glass racks were full, on top of all the normal closing stuff he needed to knock out. I hope I helped get him out at least half an hour earlier than he would have otherwise.
Karen’s husband had gone to the hospital the day of the mini fair in Good Hart, and as far as I know he’s doing fine, but she had paid some $400+ for tickets to some humane treatment of animals event thingy, and he couldn’t go with her of course, but wanted to her to go and have fun, and so she invited me along so that the ticket wouldn’t be wasted. God bless her heart. I do enjoy Karen’s company and I appreciated the invitation, but I do have to vent about some things…
The event was at the largest house in West Traverse Township, about three minutes from Pond Hill, and a good way’s down a private drive called Trillium Trail. When I got there, I was immediately uncomfortable. I was greeted by valet parking, and I was obligated to hand over my car. At least the attendants seemed down-to-earth-enough, but if ya’ll could’ve seen the cars… I have never been ashamed of our well-loved 1993 Subaru Legacy – it is as dear to me as the sandals which I got when I was 12, and which took me years after they stopped looking “respectable” to replace because I loved them so; they were the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever had in my life – but no one was driving a car older than 2006 at least, and I proceeded to show just how unprepared I was by changing out of my very casual sandals into my danskos, on the street right next to the car, before actually allowing the attendants to take it. Ugh. It’s hilarious now, but man…
I spotted Karen almost immediately and felt even more out of place; people were in clothes they’d wear to a wedding, and they probably thought it was casual. I’m sorry; they were all very nice to me, but… Well. I’ll get there. Fortunately our host was in jeans, and I saw two ladies wearing the sort of long, garishly-colored knit dresses you’d wear to the beach, with flip-flops, so maybe I wasn’t too far gone, and Karen said I looked perfect – black dress shirt, gold floor-length skirt, three-inch heels, sure – but a good number of ladies were wearing evening dresses, honestly. Oh, and then they started talking about their clothes… I threw out some very honest compliments, but would have been much happier to leave it at that; instead, I was subjected to how this and that piece of clothing had been on sale for just under $100 and it was such an amazing find. Maybe I would’ve been less put out if the particular piece of clothing in question was a top which draped very gracefully, but do you know how easy it is to sew a poncho-type top?
Of course, my favorite part was the food. It was a catered event, and all outdoors. The open bar was near the front doors of the house, and all the food was served out of the garage, which had such gorgeous polished tile floors, that I couldn’t help wondering cars ever actually saw the inside of that garage. Karen was having a glass of some California Chardonnay, and she highly recommended it, but I really do detest oaky Chardonnays, almost as much as I detest Sauvignon Blanc in general, so I went with the Pinot Noir, which was a very safe choice, and hurried off to look for some goodies. I felt a little better around the food, because all the chefs were in perfect white jackets and black pants, and Karen introduced me to one of the ladies whose husband had apparently owned one of the best restaurants in the area some years back. The sushi was just california roll, so I had a couple of pieces of that, and then there was some shrimp cocktail, but even though it looked delicious, it seemed that the messiest [white, why white??] napkins were drenched in the sauce, so forget that. I also opted to not attempt to crack lobster and crab and eat them while standing around attempting to balance my glass of wine in my other hand… and would you believe, all the desserts had nuts in them. Sorry, but shame on the pastry chef for not having a little sensitivity to one of the most common food allergies. In the end, I gorged myself on oysters (sorry, Sanjay, but I’m clearly not scared enough of Vibrio) and perch with remoulade.
Karen started me on a tour of the house, and that was where my real annoyance began. Not at Karen, mind, but just at what it reveals about lifestyles. This house could hold my house at least four times over, and Karen, who has done some designer stuffs with people of this status, knew where all the fixtures came from, and while I did enjoy looking at it all – forget IKEA; that house was eye candy galore, and I would’ve had fun looking over it all with Mommy and Mama – I couldn’t help being exasperated by the littlest things I learned, such as bathroom door handles being on sale for some ridiculous dollar amount in the hundreds. Please?! And a toilet seat, the cover paint of which was chipped, and Karen assured me that it was decorative. I almost snorted. It reminded me so much of Mike Foss’ post on paying $150 for ripped jeans. I would’ve enjoyed the house so much better if I hadn’t found out how much things cost. Ignorance really is bliss sometimes. I just don’t see how people can justify spending that kind of money on bathroom door handles and chipped-paint toilet seat covers. I lost count of bedrooms and bathrooms, and of course you wouldn’t find the same designer or theme from one room to another. Three kitchens, three bar areas, two gigantic den/living room areas, sitting rooms, parlors, a sauna, balconies left and right, ivory this and that, gongs, two jacuzzis, a hot tub, their own personal park with clearly defined trails and forest area, and so on, and so on, and so on. On the one hand, I enjoy looking at pretty things. On the other hand, it feels so wrong to be going through someone’s house [even if it is more like a museum-mansion than a house] when you’ve just met them and been introduced to them, like, ooo lookie what bathroom handles they have!
And no children running around!!! Because, guess what? We’re worried… about pitbulls.
Yes, the main event of tonight was meeting three pitbulls and hearing the heartrending background stories that led these precious lovely little canines to the door of the current owners.
Look. Animals shouldn’t be abused or put in a ring and goaded on to rip each other apart. I totally agree, ok? We’re stewards of God’s creation and we have a responsibility to make sure they’re not abused by people with incredibly twisted and evil tastes when it comes to entertainment. But the way these dogs were gushed over and the audacity of the entire event as a whole just got under my skin. That line from that Casting Crowns song was ringing in my head; “… we save the trees and kill the children…” Our speaker was talking so feelingly and so eloquently on how these dogs just needed to be given a chance to live, and that they deserved love and care and attention and a chance to be happy, and that we had a responsibility to make sure that these animals found loving homes, etc. etc. I got fidgety. There are human beings out there with souls that are treated just as badly and even worse than those pitbulls used as bait dogs in the ring.
And then someone else started talking about the awful history of pitbulls and how they were really bred to fight and to be abused, and how they therefore should not be allowed to breed [unless already in a loving home such as this one], blah blah blah, and I froze at the irony of it all… Population control, and we’re all just animals. Of course. Things were said about bloodline and pedigree, and perhaps it was a blessing that I was promptly distracted by a lady wearing those really pointy shoes that are open at the toe. I came to the conclusion that she must wear those shoes a lot and be very used to them, because her foot had somehow oriented itself such that a single orange-painted toenail stuck out at the opening, diamond-shaped, as if it was part of the shoe. So that’s how they’re supposed to be worn, I thought. Ouch…
Ok, enough rant. Great food, pretty house, truly love Karen lots, but not a cause I’d spend $400+ on while children are legally being slaughtered left and right.
Back at the cabin, no one was around. I met Kelly driving in as I was driving out and we headed over to Jill’s house armed with Cherry/Apple Hard Cider and Summer Shandy. On the way, we saw Chris out on his run, and slowed to wave. It was a little funny, but then it made me think of Unc, and the one time I attempted to go out for a run with him. Fail =)
Jill and Josie and Kelly and I had a nice comfortable bit of girl-time in the attic, on our laptops, drinking hard cider and watching a fashion challenge show; apparently the challenge was to make a dress out of candy, and for someone who a) doesn’t know a thing about fashion and doesn’t really care except to promote stylish and tasteful modesty, and b) generally detests reality shows, I have to say that two of those dresses were legitimately beautiful and very creative, and if they weren’t made out of candy, I really would wear them. So the TV didn’t torture me too badly for a change, and hey, you’ve got to appreciate the company of young ladies who know the value and sense of shopping at Goodwill after a night of hundred-dollar bathroom door handles. Sorry; I really can’t get over them tonight. I’ll stop. Heh.