Last night California Jane called. I'd just gotten done with dinner - which mainly consisted of potato chips and two beers - which I ate while finally watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy and sobbing over the demise of everyone's relationships.
God, as I write that, I picture myself as a pot-bellied middle-aged man, sitting on the couch in boxers, one hand scratching my balls, the other in the bag of chips, glued to the TV, devastated because my sports team didn't win. I promise it wasn't like that.
But Jane was such a sunshine surprise. It was so great to talk to her. We caught up on everything - my parents, her parents, jobs, men, life.
She asked about the Director, and I told her about all that wine last week, and how suddenly I could barely see straight. And at the point where the teetering, weaving down the last block home, drunken blindness hit, I decided to call him. La la la la la.
I emailed him the next morning apologizing profusely. I was mortified. He said it was cute.
"Yeah, very cute to not be able to form complete sentences."
He said my sentences were fine. But I was very clearly having trouble getting up the stairs. Eeee.
When I told Jane this she said, "I've struggled up your treacherous stairs!"
I had seriously considered what might happen to me if she fell backwards on me up the stairs the night of Tony's wedding. She is little, but it would really have hurt.
So many things happened after we left Sequoia that night. So much alcohol happened. We went to some bar down by the waterfront that stays open very, very late. By the time we got there, Jane desperately needed food. And the kitchen was closed. Shots, however, shots were in abundance. Neither of us were even drinking by this point.
One of the guys, Tony's slightly sketchy bartender friend, called and ordered food from around the corner. And then we got kicked out for having food show up at the door. At this point it was ridiculously late anyway.
We hailed a cab, and we all got in - all except the bartender and his friend. Who sauntered down K Street with the food. The wedding party was staying in Rosslyn, so they told the driver we were going to VA.
I had visions of unwashed, un-teeth-brushed, stuck in Rosslyn hell. I jumped out and said, "No! I'm not crossing that bridge! I am not leaving DC!"
We all have our lines.
RJ and Jimmy got out. But Jane stood her ground. She turned to the driver and said, "I'm not moving. I don't know what they're doing; I don't know where I'm going. But I'm going somewhere. And you're taking me."
It was decided that Jane would come home with me. We all got back in the cab. And then Jane pointed and said, "They have the food! RJ, go get the food!"
And so dear RJ had to chase the guys down and recover the food. Then he and Jimmy cabbed back to my place with us and dropped us off.
At which point Jane and I struggled up the aforementioned Treacherous Stairs. Because they are replacing our elevator, which takes three months.
Jane made a beeline for the kitchen, and when I came back to the living room with sheets for the couch and PJs, she was at the sink, filling a glass with water. I thought this was great - hydration!
No. She was making sure that her bouquet got into water. You know, so that I'd have lovely roses and orchids for later. She is definitely her mother's daughter.
She then immediately face planted herself on my couch in her floor-length mocha frappuchino bridesmaid dress.
I started putting the bottom sheet on from the far end of the couch. Scooting her feet up to pull up the sheet. And rolling Jane as I made the bed under her.
At the same time, I was trying to help her out of her dress. Which proved to have lots of hidden hooks and zips. Jane had enough of a grip on what was going on to direct. So as I hit a hook in her dress with the zipper, she said, "Hook."
So it went. Shove, push, scoot up sheet, shove other direction, unhook, push, unzip, "Hook!" tuck, tuck, tuck sheet, "Another hook!" scoot, shove, "Another zip!" and unhook and so on and so forth. Until Jane was finally in PJs, asleep.
We laughed so hard at all of this. And then at the fact that her mother, who is a very dear friend of Betty's, now reads this blog, and because of the previous Jane post, has started sending her articles on binge drinking.
Much like she used to send her articles on the bleak job market during her senior year of college. In the same way that my dad used to send me articles on STD prevention. And personal safety. Accompanied by huge cans of mace and hand-held pepper spray. God love these people, our parents.
I don't have many old friends like Jane, but the few I have, I treasure. Our familiarity with each others' families and their quirks, the utter lack of having to explain any background or apologize for or rationalize anything, the ability to laugh back over the ridiculousness of our behavior without embarrassment, the even more important ability to laugh through the worst of it. . .I cannot even describe how valuable friends like Jane are.
I told her that in the comments my post about that night, another blogger said friends like her are comforting and safe, like a baby blanket. Which is a very nice way to describe it.
And then our friend Tony said, "Yeah, Jane, a baby blanket who will get you in a bar fight."
Heh. Pretty much.