You'll be sad to hear Marvin didn't wear plaid.
I hauled my arse all the way to Chapel Hill, and who knew Chapel Hill was so cute? Turns out it's where University of North Carolina is, so it's full of the quaint shops and hot college girls. I kept trying to point them out to Marvin and he kept missing them. He was never an elevator eyes type of guy.
I parked in a lot, and there was a line of 500 people waiting to pay at the auto pay thing. "What's going on?" I asked, irritated. Like, did the people at the front just not know how to use the machine and they were holding us all up? Because irritating. Am always looking for new opportunities to be irritated.
The man in front of me turned around. He looked sophisticated, but had some sort of can–a can!–of alcohol, open, at the ready. I mean, he was well-dressed, like he was on his way to dinner. He sized me up. "Where are YOU headed?" he asked, standing too close.
You know how I am. "Well, I'm on my way to have dinner with my ex-husband," I said. "We get along just fine. Haven't seen him in about a year, and I'd like to not be late." If Can Man got any closer, he'd be my unborn child.
"You're not late till you get there," he said, and apparently Can Man was full of the wisdom. Or the canned liquor. Really, what man tries to be smooth with a can of open alcohol on the street? Say, Catch.
Eventually I gave up and decided if I get a ticket, I'd fight it, because no one could work the machine.
I walked to Tallula's, and there was Marvin.
When the waiter came, he explained he was new and someone would be tracking his every move, and what would we like to drink. Marvin got water. If only he'd have asked for a can of alcohol.
When the waiter brought our drinks and some EFFING DELISH BREAD, I asked, "So, how long you been working here?"
"And they still have someone tracking you? Well, you're doing great." You know how I am. I'm surprised I didn't tell him Marvin and I used to be married and we get along fine.
After he left, Marvin waited. "That was a whole 'nother guy," he grinned.
"Yes, that wasn't the guy who first came out." Marvin giggled–GIGGLED!–at my humiliation. See, that sums it up. Marvin loves to watch me suffer. He also reminded me of the time on our honeymoon when the bee attacked me and he "couldn't" help. "I had ice cream!" he reminded me.
Our EFFING DELISH food came, and as it did, there was a plunk on our table. PLUNK.
Then another one. PLUNK. A squirrel was right above us, dropping seeds or nuts or cannons or whatever on us. We could SEE him up there, the little fucker, giggling at us. "That be a diffrent wayter!" I heard him say.
When the meter maid came, Marvin dashed up and slept with her or something, and got me out of a ticket. I contemplated waiting for him to get back till I ate, but Miss Manners says if food is hot you don't have to wait. I decided to remind Marvin of this when he returned.
He ran back to the table to see me eating. "Miss Manners," he said, sitting down. It's so convenient when you've known someone for 30 years and lived with them for 16. You almost don't have to talk.
"Do I look depressed and haggard?" I asked Marvin. We didn't suddenly start eating in an open floor plan. I took this unsmiling selfie before I let, for the head of our department, who even though he's in New York working, managed to ask me how my blowout went. Maybe I tell too many people my everything. Anyway, I sent him this, because am certain he was not busy or anything.
"No, you look good," Marvin said, but then again Marvin fears me. I tried to get him to tell me the same things I always want to know: How many people has he slept with since we broke up. When did he start Doing the Deed. He'll never tell me, or he'll tell me such a stupid number I know it's not true. "You'll tell all your blog readers and it'll be published all over the world."
Well of course it would. I may have even emailed the head of my department about it.
So I still don't know.
After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I realized what a terrific person she was, and how much fun it was just knowing her. And I I thought of that old joke, y'know, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs."
I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know. They're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, but I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us need the eggs.
(That was only funny if you're obsessed with Annie Hall.)