I will be the first to admit that I'm a lot of things, but observant is not one of them. When Christmas rolls around, Neal doesn't have to bury jewelry in his jockstrap or tape a gift card to the underside of our lawn mower. He just hangs it from the dining room light fixture and calls it a day. I never see it. I've probably even bumped into or inadvertently moved a gift or two and it never registers. I can spot a crooked picture frame from 100 paces, but hang a diamond from a ceiling fan and somehow I will walk around it. For weeks.
This brings us to last night's festivities. Seeing as I swallowed a porcupine on New Year's Eve and was in no mood to ring in 2010 with anyone other than Sergeant Nyquil and his Merry Band of Naked Dreams, we canceled our Rockin' New Year's Eve Party (which, coincidentally, also involves a number of people who can't count backwards...especially after we start mixing drinks based solely on color...word to the wise: stay away from blue). Last night was our Rockin' New Year's Eve: Do-Over. Yes, I hung the Happy New Year's Eve banner outside and used the Happy New Year's Eve napkins. Save your judgment for Pat Robertson, I'm just a white girl trying to spread the cheer. So yesterday was a flurry of cleaning and cooking (I'm sorry, Kallay. I didn't use your fondue recipe and I tried to make it with shredded Kroger cheese and apple juice. It was the magna cum laude of culinary disasters. But my friends pink puffy heart me and raved about how good it was...even though it tasted like gooey, stringy ass) and I even did a spinning class (because raspberry-flavored vodka has about 1483 calories per ounce...never mind 12 ounces). Not once did I stop to look around. I just knew that there were 5 dips made with a variety of cheeses (sour, cream, off-brand shredded), the house was clean, the Wii was ready, and I was rockin' another Daisy & Elm original (made with furry, gray beads which my sister insists on referring to as hamster testes).
Not long after the party started, as I was mixing a yummy new concoction called Firefly and everyone was gathered in the kitchen, someone said, "Uh, Allyson...why is there a picture of you and Jeeves McArthur* on your bulletin board?" I almost knocked a perfectly innocent drink to the ground as I spun around.
"WHAT???" And there it was, in all of its 1994 glory. Me and Jeeves in front of my mother's fireplace on the night of basketball homecoming. It was the height of the broomstick skirt (what? You missed the broomstick skirt trend? You must have blinked...) and gold chain-link belts. And, apparently, Jeeves was bringing back the gray suit. Oh little shop of horrors, how in the HELL did that photo get THERE? On my wall, in my kitchen? During a party? My mother had gotten it from Jeeves' parents at the Christmas Eve service (small town = about 4 churches and if you're not southern baptist, then really just 1 church and there we all were...) and I assumed that Mom had kept it...silly, naive Allyson. I now realize that Mom had passed it on to Neal, who had stuck in his back pocket, anticipating a day and an opportunity just like this one. Everyone had a hearty hardy-har-har-har over it and I turned the exact same color as my cocktail. Et tu, Neal? I wondered which knife he had used to stab me in the back. I thought I used them all during the fondue prep. He must have used a dirty one. That bastard used a dirty knife to stab me in the back. Well, revenge is a bitch...a nasty, tranny bitch with an extra roll of duct tape.
This morning, after the vodka fog cleared and the whole incident resurfaced one thought at a time, like Vanna White and her vowels, I asked Neal about it. Well, maybe accused would be a more accurate word. I threatened retribution. I threatened public humiliation. Neal turned to me and said, "Public humiliation? Really? At least I didn't post it to my blog.** We're even. Game, set, match." And when you put it that way, I seem to have come out way, way ahead. Well played, Captain Miller...well played.
*Jeeves McArthur is obviously not his real name. I'm not in the business of slaying a man's reputation simply because he thought gray was the new silk.
**Yes, Mr. Wonderful has a blog. It's incredibly dry, with his discussion of digital antennas and internet speed. But if you're just dying to know...here ya go.