I have finally returned to the City after a long and highly eventful (read: hotel bar) weekend in Cleveland. Because of last weeks events (i.e. suckiness), I should have seen this one coming, but the overriding optimist in me ignored such signs. My arrival into Cleveland was not greeted by my family, but rather a phone call saying that they were currently still out to dinner (thanks for waiting) and suggest that I take a shuttle to the hotel as opposed to them picking me up. I'm pissed at this point and would like to turn around and return to the City before even hitting baggage claim, but as it turns out I'm officially the last person in the airport at this point. Once I've retrieved my bag I make my way to where I am told the hotel shuttles line up for pick up. Only problem, I see no Radisson shuttle like I had been promised. The Cleveland Clinic driver informs me that one has to call the shuttle to arrange a pick up. F! I don't even know where the hotel is, let alone where I currently am. I quickly put in a call to my (by this point disowned) family. My brother assures me that someone named Herbert in a black van will be there shortly to pick me up. After about another 20 minutes (total elapsed time outside of baggage claim: 45 minutes) the chariot arrives. My concern is that this is a full size conversion van and not what I expected, so I quickly make my way to the passenger window and inquire if he is in fact "Herbert". The exact moment that name left my lips I was already aware that my brother not only was leaving me at the airport to fend for myself, but wanted to make me look like an ass in the process... he answered with a "huh?" There was no "Herbert". I boarded the shuttle with several flight attendants and a pilot who discussed Priests and their penchant for touching little boys the entire drive. I at one point overheard the driver telling the hotel that he had the flight crew and "some random lady" (i.e. me). Not pleased... and hungry!
Although I entered Cleveland in a huff, it quickly dissipated when conversations of my late dinner took place with my mother. I believe she suggested Bennigans all of twenty times, but I pushed thru to one of the other options located directly across the street from my hotel and traipsed over to my beloved Chili's (I'm still reeling over Times Square disposal of this establishment)!
The following morning I had agreed to play in a scramble at the local golf course. It is affirmative that I officially still suck at golf, although I did shoot one under by the first nine (including several balls that I teed off onto a neighboring course). My Mother thinks I'm ready for the professional circuit: "Representing Historic Butternut Ridge in North Olmstead Ohio"... The rest of the day I was subjected to wearing my golf ensemble all throughout the East Side of Cleveland and repeatedly watched as onlookers gawfed at my "goucho pants" as my sister-in-law kindly named them. I have never wanted so bad to be attired in something else and if there ever was any question as to whether or not I like boys or girls... let's just say the outfit (not to mention the golf), didn't make my case any easier!
My Mother (who was asked awkwardly earlier by an elderly Saks worker to identify whether she was a "Mrs." or a "Ms.") insisted that I use the navigation system in the car, which turned out to be a big mistake like I had projected. I know a fair amount of Cleveland and knew at least enough to be certain that "Dora the Explorer" (as my mother calls her navigator) was taking me on a scenic route. The others only agreed when it was visible that I had done a giant circle backtracking only to appear where I had originally told them I thought I should exit. After a day of shopping (and cursing my wide legged jams), we decided it was beyond time to head back to the West Side to prepare for dinner. I knew that the best way (fastest way) to return to the highway was to pass by my Ex-Boyfriends Mother's house, Dora didn't agree, and thus the democracy of Dora, my Mother, and Sister-in-law won out over me. Needless to say, once again I was correct, but no one else in the car fully committed to agreement until Dora had not only taken me through the ghetto where I blasted old school Snoop Dog out the windows and repeatedly hit the brakes to simulate hydraulics as to embarrass my mom (who by the way was still wearing her rather attractive golf visor), but off towards the airport and literally through the "Departure" drop. I am not kidding when I say the navigator suggested the only way I could return to the hotel was to go up past the Continental desk itself. It's possible my Mother wet her pants before we reached where the shuttles were and it's even more possible that Erica (my Sister-in-law) by this point was blowing steam out from her ears. Either way, I was amused.
Later that evening after a nice dinner of twin boiled lobster tails (and watching my mom steal my glass of wine everytime her friend/keeper, Ellen, left the table), we returned to the hotel and waited for the wedding rehearsal to finish and follow suit. Ellen, my Mom's friend (i.e. no authority), suggested that I had had enough to drink at dinner (read: 3 drinks in 3 hours) natch. Biscuit Head and I in turn, out of defiance and retaliation, charged the rest of the evenings drinks (including the wedding parties) to her room (sorry boutchya El-Train)! At one point, I noticed when I called the hotel bartender, Laureen (notice 2 e's), over that under her stunning blazer she was sporting a bonafied black see thru swimsuit (circa Perry Ellis 1984), this was backed up by Erica who all too quickly identified the make, model, and year.
I noticed the following day that as it turns out, middle America rather likes their sweat style capri's. I have a theory for this. I noticed while eating at Red Robin (home of the "bottomless fries") that not only was everyone in the place aggressively overweight (could it be the free refill on the taters perhaps), but every single last one had some sort of capri on, mostly of the sweat suit variety. This obviously is because of it's give. We had all been viciously commenting on the man whose duty it was to be the runner of the food and hoping that he didn't sweat in our food. Little did we know that the sloth would hold on to my meal last and proudly display it to me with the words "this is my latest obsession"! Disgusting!
Later this evening as we once again hit the ever popular hotel bar. My best friend Laureen was there, but this time was joined by her partner in crime, Jeaneene. At this point I have to assume that all North Olmstead names end in this "eene" sound. Let's just say that I am quite certain that Jeaneene and her zip up work vest are also a big fans of those sweat capri's, if not their biggest supporter! I took my usual/reserved seat at the bar. Needless to say, when you drop $100+ bones on someone elses room (which equals about as many drinks in Ohio), you get respect and constant attention from the barstaff. At one point I forgot my room number and Laureen quickly reminded me "Room 209" (appreciate it, Ellen)! It's always fun to be surrounded by classy people like myself. At one point I heard a gentleman tell Laureen "I'll take the green backs, you keep the coins". If I were Laureen I would have pounced (but then again, we've already established I wasn't even paying for my drinks!)
My brother's friends wedding (held at the local German Cultural Center, Donauschwaben's) went off without a hitch and had many small details that I found amusing, including a guy who while speaking to my brother (the connection unbeknowest to him) pointed to me and proclaimed "See that Blonde? I'm going to hit that shit all night long!" I believe he thought I was sending him mixed signals when he tracked me down and ripped off his jacket and shirt to show me his tatoo, "I got this in Egypt," he said, "but there are no archaeologists that know what it says!" "I sell ancient Egyptian antiquities," I told him, "I can tell you what it says, it says 'Get your money back!'" We did have a moment! They ended up having liquor left over I heard, which is shocking, but satisfying that it means they didn't even come close to the alcohol intake ingested at my brother's wedding. The Country Club stands by their statement that the Meyer-Sneed nuptials still hold the club record for liquor sold! Told you we loved the hootch, not that I'd remember!
All and all, I sumise that middle America is overpopulated with mostly overweight white trash and chain restaurants. But you won't hear me complaining. I could, with all certainty, find myself in a comfortable and most enjoyable rotation between Chili's, Red Robbin, and Bennigan's. I better go find my capri's!
(*also in a twist of blog irony, the infamous finder of Fang She's cat, Mrs. Snyder, was spotted at the wedding, along with every other teacher from Jones Middle School!)