My baby sister Susanna and her husband Matt just left my apartment, heading up the highway to the airport. They arrived from Colorado Springs last Thursday, and this is Monday, so -- carry the one -- they have been here for five days. Really a very nice long visit, and I should not be sad, I should be dancing around enjoying the peaceful emptiness of my rooms. But I am. Sad, I mean. Just as I am always sad when I drive away from Mom and Dad's, or when Ruthie gets back on the train. These people are members of my family, and especially Ruth and Susanna, are people that can I count on, no matter what, to love me. If I am spotty, or clumsy, or badly dressed or fat. This past weekend,(por ejemplo) I was having some sort of allergy, and my right eye was swollen, bright pink and watering. I looked like a girl with Down's Syndrome that I knew when I was small. But no one avoided looking at me, or mentioned my off-putting ugliness, or anything.
Wait a minute, I don't mean to imply that Mom and Dad will NOT love me if I am fat or spotty, since obviously they will. Which is what I meant to imply. OBVIOUSLY they will, so it doesn't count. Although I do love them both dearly, they are my parents, and they will love me, even if I waddle up to their door at five hundred pounds.
But! In spite of my blueness, let's talk about this visit. First of all, though, I need to go and start a load of towels, since we whipped through them this past weekend. Back in a minute...
Okay, back. Towels whushing back and forth, back and forth. Where was I? Matt and Susanna arrived on Thursday morning, and I was so very glad to see them, especially my dear Suzette-Suzanne, but also my brother-in-law Matt, who is not only one of the best guys I have ever met, but my son Joe's hero, and my baby sister's husband. So you see. We hung around the apartment and exclaimed with affection at one another for a bit, and then ensconced them in my (very clean, ahem) bedroom, and drove off in their cute little rental to buy a hat or two. It seems that Matt's favorite brand of hat manufacturers has a branch in Northwest, so over the Fremont bridge we went, and spent several hours wandering up and down NW 23rd, which used to be my absolute home. If I ever need to leave this apartment, I will be heading back there to Myrtle's house. It was a sunny day, with a bright blue sky, and we all bought sunglasses at Urban Outfitters, and looked in many shop windows, and bought a total of four hats, (one for Susanna) and had brunch at Bertie Lou's in Sellwood, where I made Susanna pass out. Bad Beth!
Then home again, where Joe and his girlfriend Catt joined us, and visited with us until it was time to make our way to Gino's in Sellwood for dinner with Mickey and Billy. And THAT was a good time, let me tell you. Matt and Billy at one end of the table talking away nineteen to the dozen, Susanna and Mickey earnestly conversing across them, and me and the kids at the other end. Lovely.
The next morning we had breakfast at Sully's, and packed up the car and headed off to Ocean Park. The drive took a little longer than usual, mostly because Matt is not a speeder like me, at least in country he has never driven through before. But we arrived shortly after lunch time to happy laughter and chatter from Mom and Dad, who love Susanna best of all their children, since she was their last, and their only experience of an only child. She and they made the trips to and from Mexico together, and they experienced at last what it was to have a child who sneaked out of the house at night, and openly defied them on a regular basis. Thus they love her best, which does not bother me in the least. I fully understand it, and if it were not for Ruthie, my best and dearest friend, I would love Susanna best, too.
Our stay there was one hundred per cent delightful, in spite of my wretched eye, and I enjoyed it. We spent three days and two nights, and came home yesterday afternoon. Ate dinner at the Ram's Head, which Matt really enjoyed, and then came home and visited and chatted and talked until midnight.
And then today, this morning before their flight left, we drove over to Northwest again and ate breakfast at Besaw's (where I had not been for some ten years)and which was very enjoyable, with excellent coffee and very good brioche French toast. We then went to Pioneer Place, where Matt and Susanna took me to the AT&T store, and put me on their family plan, and bought me a cell phone.
You heard me! I now have my very own cell phone, which cost them nothing, since the rebate being offered more than covered the cost of it, and the monthly fee for unlimited texting and a lot of talk will be ten dollars a month. Ten dollars! A month. Wow.
I have been playing with it all morning, although now it is charging overnight. I have texted Susanna, and taken two pictures, and entered Mickey's phone number in the Contacts list. I am joining the modern world!
I am really very, very pleased. Really. Very.