So Tuesday morning Dad and I walked 2 miles to the Hertz rental place in Fulham to pick up the car. We got a minivan because it was the only thing they could give us with an automatic transmission. I know how to drive a stick (feel free to put any raunchy spin on that statement you desire), but I havn't done it in a long time (the metaphor remains sadly accurate) and I wasn't keen to re-lern with the gear shift in the wrong hand while driving on the wrong side of the street. So we picked up our minivan whilst the salesman rolled his eyes at the retarded American who insisted on a bleeding, namby-pamby automatic transmission that only nancy-men drive and headed off into the sunset.
Well, not really-- it was only half ten in the morning. But the whole thing was really rather uneventful. I didn't have any difficulty with the adjustment to the other side, and the sinage was so thorough and consistent along the motorways that navigation presented no obstacles. Mom was in the back seat white-knuckled the entire way to Manchester, but that was a fault with her nerves, not my driving. Basically, the whole thing was fine. There really isn't much of anything to tell.
We arrived at our B&B in Chorlton only a little later than expected (there was a backup on the M6), but I still had plenty of time to get ready for the evening. Call me Cinderella, Granpaw, I'm going to the ball! About a week earlier a casual conversation with a good friend of mine in the MU boat club revealed that the AU ball was being held that Tuesday at the Palace Hotel. I couldn't resist the chance to suprise him and the rest of the gang, so I emailed another friend of mine and asked her to procure me a ticket, which she did with admirable rapidity. Then I went shopping (see previous entry, "Shoegasm").
I gotta tell you, I looked stunning. When I get the photos back I'll see what I can do about posting one of them up here, because I am a firm believer that justified boasting is entirely acceptable. Before I arrived I had all these marvelous fantasies involving me standing on one side of the ballroom of the Palace with a drink in my hand and all the savior-faire James Bond in a finishing school, while my friend gallumphed his way into the room with startling grace (he's always the best-dressed man in any room), greets a few people, and makes his way to the bar. He orders a drink, and while the bar tender is filling his order, he looks about blandly, not expecting anything out of the ordinary. His gaze meanders over me, not consciously registering what it's seeing. (My friend believes I am at this instant, on another continent altogether.) He pauses, his head roates back the other way. He fixes on me (I don't move, but meet his eyes and lock them there), forgets his drink, and begins to approach me from across the room. His pace accelerates as he nears me, his kilt swinging. God he's sexy. I could huck up that kilt and straddle him then and there. He reaches me and embraces me. He doesn't ask me why I'm there; he doesn't care. I am there, and that's all that matters.
Well, it wasn't quite like that, but it was close. I did surprise him, pleasantly (thank god he hadn't brought a date), and his eyes nearly fell out of his sockets. Then I got pissed and danced like a demon til dawn. It was a great night, and I managed not to be completely hungover at my graduation the following day.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's exiting edition, "The Graduation that Didn't Completely Suck."