Part Two! Here's part one if you missed it.
We weaved in and out, searching for people I knew. I bumped directly into Dr. Murphy and dripped wine over my hands.
"Oh, hi!" I exclaimed. "I was just looking for you." We'd find each other sooner or later, we were both about to head somewhere else. I for more food. But the only thing I would find would be some kind of pastry filled with creamy mushrooms and something else some time later. I told Matthew he would need to drive to Mcdonald's later. (EDIT: It didn't happen, by the time we got back to the hotel and I was checked in, we just wanted to chill before dinner)
I found Dr. Murphy again, who was chatting with a small group of graduates. Matt and I hung out and waited patiently, I kept drinking my wine and keeping an eye out for tasty apps. I was thoroughly trying to hold it together, as I was nearly done with my wine and having only one appetizer in my system. I was trying to be normal....Normal for me, at least, which is what some people are when they are buzzed.
She turned to me and said hi. We hugged again, and talked, about work, the ceremony, Matthew being teased in her class, the California trip. We gossiped. Dr. Murphy is another one of my favorite teachers. She was one of the teachers on the Cali trip, and my teacher for History in my 9th term. She's nice, young, smart and a morning person, so we always got on pretty well, even when I was stupid and forgot to do readings. But I don't like to say one teacher is a favorite over another, or in what order of favorite. Because I have this unreasonable thought that they would feel badly if I said I liked one teacher over another.
Or at least, I would feel badly about saying I don't like a teacher or they aren't my favorite for one reason or another. Because the cool teachers, like Dr. Jay and Dr. Murphy are well liked, but the tougher teachers, like Professor Raider or Dr. Flynn are possibly not as popular. I like all four of those teachers, but would just feel badly if any teacher knew I may not like them as much as the popular teachers.
Anyway, Matt's mother found us and we introduced her. As we talked, I wondered why it was that I seemed to get along very well with either people my parent's age (like Dr. Jay) or people slightly older than me (Like Dr. Murphy or my boss). It's really strange. (EDIT: Actually, it's not. This post made me realize why)
Pat brought us champagne, and Matt and I walked around. I made him clink glasses with me, and tried to get him to look more excited about graduating. We ran into his classmates and friends. So, two bites of food in me, and two glasses of alcohol in my system; I was hyper, chatty and edging on the edge of buzzed and about to fall off that cliff into the clumsy world of tipsy. But holding it together. Or so I thought. More than once I had to feel embarrassed and say "I'm sorry, too much champagne".
We finally decided to go. Paul and Jim were in the car. I, for no reason that I will never understand, admitted to Pat that the two glasses I had made me feel a little lightheaded, and that I was sorry.
We clambered into the van and left. I was talking INCESSANTLY! About graduation, and mine, and school and just talking, talking, talking, talking, talking. Paul finally asked if I had to be sedated when I was born, which shut me up pretty quick and made me feel pretty embarrassed. I guess i wasn't holding it together too well after all!
We had an hour to get ready for dinner at St. Andy's. Uneventful.
We arrived at school and walked through it to get to St. Andy's. I walked with his family as Matt needed to check out of his dorm. I took his dad to the baking building to take photos of the cakes in one of the classes, and I was dying to pop my head into a classroom or two and say hi to the chefs, but we were on a reservation, and I didn't want to bother them or keep his father waiting.
And thus began, "Dinner at St. Andy's." Oi. Vey. I felt very bad for our waiter. Right off, I felt we were being difficult. No one was paying attention to much of anything the waiter was saying. So I tried to be extra polite to him. Finally, they managed to order drinks and an App of the Thai BBQ Chicken pizza. I finally decided on a hard cider. Because I knew if I drank much more that night, I would sleep terribly.
Matt ordered a wine flight and everyone else got water. Jim and Pat decided to split the short ribs (even though she complained she didn't like brown rice, right in front of the waiter, and I told her brown rice was good for her, in the way you try to sound positive when a kid says something cranky about the food in front of a waiter), Paul got the BBQ pizza, Matt also ordered the short ribs and I settled on the buffalo burger, cooked medium to the waiter's recommendation.
It all finally tapered out. Pat took photos of all the food, I think Paul kept complaining that our waiter kept accidentally hitting his foot into his chair, and Matt and I debated if they were doing Russian or French service (Doing research, I am now discovering Matthew was correct. Write that down, Matt! You were right!).
It was just an odd night. The poor waiter kept needing to run back and forth in a slightly awkward fashion to refill their water and iced tea glasses and the way my party asked for more water made me slightly uncomfortable. They gave us a bread basket and flavored olive oil and butter, and instead of just requesting regular butter, they complained in a not polite quiet voice that they didn't like the avocado butter. And they asked for more olive oil in a way I found slightly impolite. But maybe I'm just way too uptight when it comes to dining out etiquette.
Our food came and we all dug in. Jim (or maybe Matt) commented loudly that Jim's portion was rather small. But the kitchen had split the order and plated them like they would a full order. So I was slightly embarrassed. I'm all about treating a server right, especially a poor college student working all night for no pay. My buffalo burger was delightfully pink. I am a fan of rare red meat. Pat acted shocked and asked if it was cooked all the way. I, being too hungry and into my burger to really care if it was FULLY cooked, promised it was. It was juicy, meaty and buffalo-y. The wheat bun was soft and grainy. Matt's ribs possibly could have done with another 20 minutes or so with cooking, but were otherwise tender and flavorful.
The pizza, that I didn't mention before, was just as good as before. Slightly spicy, good BBQ sauce, just enough cheese, and this time, featured diced tomatoillos instead of red onions.
Dinner as a whole was delicious, everyone liked whatever they ordered to one extent to another. Paul commented on how long we've been there, and how long the other dinners at the other restaurants took (all about two hours), I don't know if he was complaining, but I don't think any of them are used to these kinds of dining outings. I wasn't, until I came to school and ate on Stage. Now I know when you eat at the C.I.A, you can expect to be there upwards of and hour and a half. But it's a pleasant meal: you order drinks, at least two courses and eat and talk and generally just enjoy each other's company and the meal. I've learned when you go out to eat, to take your time and just enjoy being out.
I still felt bad for the waiter (I'm really glad a big tip was left. I would have left a $20 if they didn't tip him)<<<(At the school, there's an added 15% gratuity that goes to scholarships, anything above that goes to your server, a poor college student, who works long hours there for no pay, so anything at all is greatly appreciated). He seemed to be trying so hard to be serviceable and my party didn't seem to notice. I guess going to the CIA I've been taught to do that to and sort of expect that from a server, so I appreciated his kindness and efforts.
The student manager came by and gave us a comment card, which I filled with all sorts of positive things about the evening, and on the back, wrote "Thank you for putting up with my difficult party!" With my name, and the years in which I graduated (my compulsive need to establish dominance, I guess), and to show that I went here, and could recognize both a difficult party and good effort.
Matt told me they weren't being difficult, but I felt a need to at least acknowledge the fact that he was trying. He was a good server, and I just feel bad when the good servers get put on the wayside of those who just don't care anymore.
So, Jim was super nice and picked up the check, though I'm sure all of us would have been more than willing to split it anyway, because I had planned on doing that in the first place. They made fun of me for calling him "Mr. Good" Because I still didn't quite know him, and didn't feel right calling him Jim. Paul and Pat were different, because I've known Pat, and I didn't know Paul's last name.
Pat and Paul both ordered dessert, Matt and I split a pot of Ruby Slippers and we went back to the hotel, to pick at pie and get Matt's stuff together. If I didn't say so before, I brought three small pies with me to the graduation: a chocolate pecan bourbon (our signiture pie), a pecan butterscotch (my favorite) and a pear-apple-sour cherry crumb, because it's one of the pies I make myself. Everyone who tried them loved them, so I think I'll be shipping pecan pies to their house sooner or later.
I slept badly that night. I didn't like being on the first floor so close to the side entrance, so I was afraid and paranoid and couldn't sleep. I guess the three beverages I drank over the course of 6 hours had a big affect on me. Also, I was probably sad about Matt leaving, and about getting enough sleep for the ride home. I dozed all night and finally woke at 5:30, and woke Matt up- who'd also hadn't slept that well. We hung out, and watched TV before we decided to get Mcondald's and eat it in the room.
After scarfing down Mcdonald's (Sausage Egg McMuffins with hashbrowns, both of my items being dunked in Pancake Syrup). I had wanted a Sausage Biscuit, but didn't realize I'd ordered the wrong number. I was bummed, but tonight decided to get stuff to make that for myself on Sunday, as my parents are out of town), we hung out, both of us were tired from a poor nights' sleep and we got ourselves together for him to go.
I wasn't deeply depressed by Matt leaving, not in the sobbing "Don't leave me!!" sort of way. I was sad, but we'd been together so long I'm confident we'll be just fine. Half our relationship has been long distance, so we were accustomed to such things like letters, nights on the phone, and Yahoo Messenger. This was different. I knew sooner or later he'd be back again for good. (EDIT: When I got home and nighttime hit, I was pretty lonely)
But I was still sad. We said goodbye and they drove away. I went to my room and ended up dozing for about 15 minutes and mulled around for a bit before deciding to go myself.
I got Wendy's for lunch, scooping up large amount of BBQ sauce on each nugget and scarfing down french fries laden with ketchup AND BBQ sauce, and drove home. Which took forever, since I stopped for gas, and pulled over to eat my Wendy's (because it probably isn't a good idea to reach blindly for fast food on 84)
He just called and his plane landed and he's heading home. So, for now at least, we're apart, and it's going to suck. At school, if I missed him, I could come up for a Sunday. But now what? We'll just have to miss each other till we see each other again.
PS! This is my 50th post!!!! Woot.