It's really all in the preparation.
I wanted to wear jeans to the show and Kristi wanted to wear slacks. We discussed it on the phone before I left:
ME: But what about shoes? If we wear fancy pants (yes, I said fancy pants, and yes, I'm cool enough to pull it off) we'll have to wear fancy shoes.
KRISTI: Yes, I will wear heels.
ME: I'm frightened. And cold. So very cold. I see a light . . .
Now I have a pair of low black mules that are comfy for all-day wear (and, interestingly, I ended up wearing them both days I was there) but CHA can test the comfiness of the comfiest of footwear, so I did what any reasonable woman would do in such a situation . . .
I went shopping.
ME: Hey John, check out my new comfy shoes for the show!
JOHN: You bought a pair of bedazzled Mary Jane Sketchers?
ME: Yep, aren't they cute?
I feel the need to point out that my husband used two impressively chick-like words in the above conversation. One was "bedazzled" and the other was "Mary Jane". (And let's not spend any time nitpicking that Mary Jane is actually two words, 'kay?) On the scale of "chickiness" Mary Jane is questionable because of its more manly connotations, but "bedazzled" ranks right up there with "control-top" or "exfoliate".
And I point this out only because it illustrates, once again, that John is a man of mystery that I still need to figure out. I did buy him a juicer, by the way. It was Karl's favorite thing in the world until last Saturday . . .
. . .but I'm getting ahead of myself.
I neglected to tell a story about my trip to the Netherlands. John, my juice-making bedazzler-knowing man of many layers, was accused of not existing. That's right. I was chastised for not featuring more photos of John in my layouts and projects. *I* wasn't in very many layouts either, but apparently that's not of concern. Probably because I'm a toad . . .
. . . but I'm getting ahead of myself again.
It was Saturday night in Eindhoven. It was Saturday early-afternoon in Colorado. The kids were at my parents' house and John was enjoying a kid-free weekend. (We won't speculate as to whether he was also enjoying a wife-free weekend.)
ME: Hey! It sounds loud there - where are you?
JOHN: I'm in a bar.
ME: Oh yeah? What's the occasion?
JOHN: Just killing time before my tattoo appointment.
Three words: MAN.OF.MYSTERY
Actually, I wasn't surprised. He'd been talking about it for a while. Apparently having a tattoo on just one shoulder is very "unbalanced". Or something.
So in honor of my fine friends from the Netherlands who feel proof-of-husband is in order, I offer a photo of John and his balanced shoulder art:
Mmmm -mmmm! Is it hot in here or is it just him?
Kind of amazing that he married a toad, huh?
I don't always feel like a toad. Just when I'm around Kristi. She is drop-dead gorgeous with her big green eyes and her long flowing blond hair. Walking a show with Kristi is an exercise in invisibility. Embrace your inner toad. BE the wallflower.
You know that situation where you're talking to a man and he drops his eyes to check out your cleavage? And perhaps you say "Hey, buddy, eyes are up HERE!" or something? You know what I mean, right? In my case, not from experience, but I saw something like it on TV. Anyway, Kristi is the "cleavage" in that scenario. She turns heads.
And that is why Benihana is my new favorite restaurant!
We went Monday night, fresh on the heels of a booth conversation in which I could have stood there with my finger up my nose or my hair on fire or maybe an Aborigine could have come screaming around the corner and hit me in the forehead with a blow dart and even while I collapsed to the floor in a fiery snotty quivering pool of lifelessness the man would have continued talking:
MEBK (Man Enchanted By Kristi): And you have FOUR kids? Impossible!
But all was made right, as all things often are, at Benihana. Ken, Kristi's husband, met us there for dinner. It's a Japanese restaurant where you sit with other people and they twirl knives and cook the food right at your table. After some soup and a salad the table chef (a man, and this is important) came out and made some delicious fried rice. We all got a little bowl of rice and then, because there was leftover rice on the grill, the chef came around and put a scoop on each of our plates.
That's right! Out of 8 people, including 3 other women, Kristi was the only person skipped.
KRISTI: Hey! How come he didn't give me any extra rice?
ME: You're right! You're the only one who didn't get rice! Embrace your invisibility, toadface!
brrzzzzrrrrp (That's the Scrubs rewind sound)
I didn't actually say that, of course. What I actually said was:
ME: I think Ken paid the chef to ignore you. He wants me to feel better. Thanks, Ken!
KEN: I didn't pay the chef.
ME: Ix-nay on the onesty-hay - I was JOKING!
And then, while Kristi pouted and I gloated, Ken did a very sweet thing. He grabbed Kristi's bowl of rice and dumped a little bit on her plate.
Awwww. They're cute, those two.
Of course, it may have been cuter for him to offer some of his extra rice instead of just redistributing hers, but hey - it was a gesture.
But all my gloating came to a halt just a few minutes later, when the chef asked us how we wanted our meat cooked. He started with me. I had ordered Teriyaki Steak.
CHEF: How you want this cooked? Rare? Medium rare? Medium?
ME: Medium Well
He stared at me, but I met his gaze with confidence. I have a history, when dining with Ken and Kristi, of ordering things that end up being grossly undercooked for my comfort. I have come to believe that in the sushi-loving area of Southern California they think it's really hip for patrons to chase their food around the restaurant and stab it with a steak knife before eating it. Keeps them slim. Or something.
Begrudgingly accepting my freakish love of fully-cooked meat, he moved on to Kristi. Or, as I like to call her, RICELESS Kristi! Heh.
CHEF: How you want your fillet?
KRISTI: Medium Rare
CHEF: Thank goodness!!!
ME: Hey! I can HEAR you!
But he had moved on to Ken, who also gave an impressively bloody order, and I, once again, faded into obscurity.
Make that RICE-FILLED OBSCURITY! High five!
Now I know you want to hear about what Karl loves more than John's juicer, but this post is too long already. You might also want to hear some particulars about the show itself, but, again, I'm making you wait. Otherwise I would have titled the post "The CHA Diary".
Logic, so good at the logic!
RKQOTD (Emma: (eating her dinner the first night after I came back from Holland) Mom, I think you're a little bit better cook than Dad. Karl: I think she's A LOT better cook than Dad!)