Saturday, August 05, 2006

Moving right along

5:05 pm, Friday. Text from the Pirate: What you doing?

5:06 pm. The reply: ?? You mean right now? I'm at work. Or do you mean tonite? No plans... y?

5:08 pm. Pirate: Are you ready to receive?

5:09 pm. Me: Your reply, sir, is enigmatical. Receive what?

5:12: Pirate: Why, my glorious person of course.

5:15: Me: I will be out of work in 15 mins, at which time I would honored and elated to receive your exalted company.

5:19: Pirate: I agree, you would be honoured unnecessarily but i shall deign to inflict you upon me. Standby to standby.

So he shows up at 6:30, lean, tanned, smiling. "This is a delightful surprise; I didnt expect to see you until tomorrow. I hope you like tuna noodle casserole," I told him, "becasue it's all i've got the fixings for."

"You needn't worry about dinner. I've taken care of everything."

An hour later we were sitting in a loud, crowded Italian restaurant around the corner from my flat. I'd walked passed it a million times but never went in, having dismissed it as an overpriced pizzaria. My god was i wrong. First of all, it's BYOB, which I love. There aren't nearly enough BYOB restaurants in the world. Secondly, the menu was fantastic. It's been a while since I had that much difficulty ordering on a menu. My osterich filet in marsala wine sauce was the best piece of meat I have ever eaten anywhere ever.

"This is a wonderful evening. Thank you so much; I love surprises! What's the occassion?"

"What are you doing on the weekend of the 19th/20th?"

"That's the weekend before I leave for the States for 2 weeks. Why?"

"I was wondering if you'd like to come home with me for the weekend and meet my family."


Question of the hour: WHAT DO I WEAR???

On another cheerful note I spent the afternoon blackberrying. Of course, it's been a couple years since I were blackberrying, and I made a crucial, tactical error: I neglected to wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Let's play Guess What's All Over CB's Arms And Legs!
a) scratches from blackberry thorns
b) stings from acres and acres of poison nettles surrounding aforementioned blackberry thorns
c) mosquito/horsefly bites

If you guessed "d" give yourself a gold star, Einstein.

But it was worth it, all the same. The berries are big and sweet and they explode on your tongue and bathe it in thick, purple juice. How wonderful to stand in the sunshine on a hot afternoon and pick wild berries! One in the basket, one in the mouth; two in the basket, one in the mouth. I piked 2.2 kilos of wild blackberries, y'all. 2.2 KILOS. I made about half of them into sauce to eat over icecream (they'll keep better in sauce form). Pudding tonight is fresh blackberries with double cream. I think I'll pick some more in a couple weeks to make into a pie to take to Mr and Mrs Pirate. That should go over well with the in-laws, don't you think?


First Nations said...

reading this is like sunshine!
go conservative. you can't go wrong with military parents if you wear a high neckline and a maidenly skirt.

the blackberries out here are ready too! sweet dusty blackberries, hot and fat! yumm!

hendrixcat said...

Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in, you're going to be nervous enough without worrying about your outfit (within reason of course - if what you feel most comfortable in is your pj's or something that an Ann Summers shop would think twice about putting in the window then that's probably not going to be the ideal outfit). What about that lovely dress you wore for the wedding?

I'm not so sure about the pie idea. I'd save that for the second visit. I think it might come across as trying too hard to be liked. Having said that - if you want to bake them a pie - then bake them a pie. But save some of the blackberrys to make blackberry vodka with!

Hannah said...

Yikeness. That's awesome. I'm going with conservative and comfortable, and I like the pie idea.

Babs said...

Wow, already meeting the parents?? Damn!!

I'm iffy about the pie idea, too. They might be militant anti-blackberry-ites or something. Or dessert naziz. Can't go wrong bringing, booze though (ok, actually booze can be a bad idea, too, depending on the people) Forget it.

Like I'm one to be giving advice?? Gah!! My advice is disregard everything I've said.

B said...

I say go in what you're comfortable in. Its difficult to second guess what peoples' attitudes to attire are. My mother for example always comments on how attractively dressed a girlfriend is (often comments on other girls of my aquaintence) and sees sexy attire as a positive. My Dad couldn't care less but is very interested in their politics. A pie is probably going a bit too far but a food present of some kind is a good idea. Perhaps some jam or a bottle of wine. My parents always give some homemade jam or wine but thats saddly not sensible unless you make the stuff regularly anyway.

Loganoc said...

Oh, I've had that Ostrich steak. It was gorgeous! Although I did have some sort of stomach bug for a few days afterwards, I don't think it was related.

GreatSheElephant said...

wow - that's going well!

I can't really comment about the pie idea without knowing anything about the Pirate's family. Warning - very English question ahead. What social class is he from? The answer to that will make a difference pie wise.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

Don't really know his class background for sure, but I'm guessing middle to upper-middle based on the following factoids:
-Mr. Pirate is an aerospace engineer
-The Pirate went to grammar school
-They have a pet wiener dog

I dont' think alchol is a good idea as the Pirate doesn't drink. I generally prefer something homemade, and in my (limited) experience potential mothers-in-law like to know that their son's woman knows her way around a kitchen. A loaf of bread, perhaps? That would certainly be easier to transport than a pie, but not nearly as impressive.

hendrix said...

I've been thinking about the pie question a bit more and I think it's definitely not a good idea - not on a first visit anyway. If you're going there for a meal then a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine is an acceptable gift to thank them for their hospitality but a pie or a loaf of homemade bread is going a bit far until you get to know them better and know if it would be appreciated. Some families (and it doesn't matter what class they belong to) don't like home baked cakes and pies, others love them. They might be allergic to wheat or yeast or just not like blackberry pie (like me - love blackberrys raw, love them in jam, adore them in vodka hate them in pies). If you're really worried about this though - why don't you just tell the Pirate that you were thinking of taking a gift when you go to visit and asking him what he thinks they would like.

And what's with this "potential mother-in-law's like to know that their sons women know their way round a kitchen thing?". For a start I don't think that's the case - most would rather know their son was with someone who couldn't boil water but made him happy then have him be with someone who made him miserable but could whip up a five course meal at the drop of a tea-towel. If she's going to be the sort of mother-in-law that will want you to look after her little boy then you might as well forget about being a whizz in the kitchen and just put you head in the oven.

Must admit that I think you're giving this visit far too much significance. Yes, meeting peoples parents is important but its not exactly tantamount to a proposal. Herebe and I always introduced our girlfriends /boyfriends to our parents and we certainly didn't do it because we were thinking of marrying them. In all probability he's taking you there because he doesn't get that much time off work and he'd like to see both you and them and that's the easiest way to fit you both in. Sorry, that seems a bit harsh. (Any male readers who want to comment on that theory please do - I could be incredibly wrong about this.)

Stop worrying about this please. The Pirate fell for YOU. YOU'RE the person he's taking to meet his parents. If he thought that yo'd embarass him, disgrace him or that they'd hate you on sight then you wouldn't be going to meet them. You wouldn't be nearly as concerned about meeting some of his friends would you? Treat it the same way and you'll have a lovely day.

(BTW. What social class is it OK to give pies to? I've now come up with fors and againsts pie giving for each of them)

Chaucer's Bitch said...

Wow. Geeze. I think you guys are more worried about this than I am! To be honest, I'm not worried at all; i'm really excited. Or rather i wasn't until my pie got shot out of the sky.

It's not just dinner, it's a weekend, and I always bring a thank-you/hospitality gift when i stay in someone's home. I don't think pie is overkill; it's the norm where I'm from. but maybe i should be thinking "when in rome..."?

and honestly i was kidding about the whole "what to wear" thing. I'm going to wear what i always do: clothes.

GreatSheElephant said...

personally, I think the only type of parents you could give a homemade pie to would be the knit your own yoghurt organic middle middle class brigade. Can't see it going down at all well with anyone else. Mostly, the British aren't that impressed with 'homemade' otherwise we'd be buying a lot fewer M&S ready meals and takeaways and some women might even take it as a criticism of their own cooking. I recommend taking flowers.

Anyhow, ignore me, I've just been reading about the English class system so it's on my mind. I may post about the book at some point if I can think of a way of doing it without offending all my readers.

hendrix said...

Cb. I'm on holiday from work, my houseguests have gone and F and I can't go anywhere cos he's busy musicking this week so it's either concern myself with the etiquette of pie or iron the pile of sheets I've just washed. No competition. Anyway, a gift - yes definitely and for a weekend stay I'd send a thankyou card afterwards as well.

GSE. I hadn't thought of that group but I shoud have as they seem to have taken over the Botanical Gardens up here. Agree with you totally on the pie/flowers thing. Re the post - write it anyway and don't bother about offending us.

GreatSheElephant said...

ooh - the Botanics. I love the Botanics.

Sal said...

>The berries are big and sweet and they explode on your tongue and bathe it in thick, purple juice.

that reminds me of one of my chat-up lines. although without the "purple".

ZB said...

"My osterich filet in marsala wine sauce was the best piece of meat I have ever eaten anywhere ever."

What? Even better than the pirates?

(Sniggers like a schoolboy, stops from shame, realises he has no shame, carries on sniggering...)

Spinsterella said...

If someone came to visit me and brought me a homemade blackberry pie I would Love Them Forever.

First Nations said...

who would have guessed that homemade pie could cause such controversy?

i say no blackberry pie.

this is the BIG FIRST MEETING, right? so murphys law will be in effect.
blackberry leaves permanent stains.

Annie Rhiannon said...


It's a lovely idea. Don't listen to those crazy loons. You're an American, right? That's what Americans do, they make pies. His parents will love it.

ZB said...

Take off and nuke the pie from space. It's the only way to make sure...

Mother in laws love me.