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Yesterday, it being father's day, we thought it would be a nice gesture to invite both our sets of parents over for a BBQ. Unfortunately, Dan's dad was down in Virginia seeing HIS dad, and my mom was off in California for work, so it turned out to be a party of Five: Dan's mom, my dad, and my grandother who was up visiting from Florida for the weekend, and us. Do you remember that show Party of Five? The one with all the brunette kids walking around sad because their parents died in a car crash? Well, that sort of scenario might have been preferable to last night.

But i can't say it was for lack of effort. Yesterday morning i raced home from church to hop on a conference call for summer-school. Since we were mostly planning things that did not involve looking at a computer, i managed to clean both bathrooms, wash the tablecloth and napkins, unload the dishwasher, and brush Rascal, all while discussing our Statistics presentation. As soon as that was over, i ramped into high gear, putting away the groceries, slicing half a watermelon for sorbet, and trying to figure out the ice-cream maker we had borrowed from Judy. Unfortunately, we hadn't read the directions carefully enough, and the part that was supposed to be chilled overnight could only get about four hours cold before the mix went in. This would prove to be an issue later.

Dan prepared homemade black-bean burgers, hamburgers, french potato salad, and fresh corn, while i finished vacuming and disinfecting the entire house. My grandmother is notoriously judgemental about mess, and i didn't want to put her off. Since it was about 90 degrees inside of the house and out, and since Dan also mowed the lawn, trimmed the edges, and finished the rock wall in preparation for our company, we were both dripping sweat like sumo wrestlers. Dan had grass pieces stuck all over his skin, and my dress was sticking to me all over, aided by the quarter-cup of watermelon sorbet mix that i had spilled on me earlier.

An hour from party time, it was clear that the sorbet mix was not about to gel in our lifetime. Thinking quickly, Dan cooked up a batch of oatmeal-rasin cookies and i laid them out to go in the oven. Dan also swept both the front and back porches while i washed the outdoor table, chairs, and railings. Then we both showered, and i made margaritas with frozen lemon wedges, and cold mint tea made with fresh mint from our garden. The grill was fired up, and we were ready to go!

First came Judy, who was cheery despite the 100% humidity, and was happy to sip a beer on the patio. (I forgot to mention that i had spent over $60 on alcohol on Saturday, with excellent forethought that the stores would be closed on Sunday.) As we were firing up the grill, in came my dad and grandmother. "What did you get me for father's day?" asked my dad. "I made you dinner," I said. "Not yet you didn't," he said.

Then we gave them a tour of the garden.
"What's that big pile of rocks doing there?" my dad asked. Also, "Where are you going to put a fence? That'll cost you a hundred thousand dollars!" And also, "Are you going to extend the porch any farther?" And also, "The paint is really pealing off your back deck!"

As for dinner, i thought Dan had prepared a wonderful feast, but the hamburgers were "so small!" and nothing else beared commenting, except for the ice bowl that i had made myself and decorated with fresh lavander, which merited the reponse, "What the hell is that?"

After dinner, it was apparent that the homemade sorbet was not going to make it to this dinner party. I drew on my Martha Stwart training and served the sugary watermelon slush with slices of stawberry, banana, and blueberries, as cold fruit soup. However, the soup it was too sugary for my dad, and the cookies were too melty for my grandmother. We tried to put some in the toaster oven to firm them up, but the second attempt caught fire, and while the first attempt was sitting in the fridge, my grandmother yelled, "How's it coming with the cookies?" My father was also upset that there was no more ice, because despite the fact that i had been making ice all day, half had gone to a pitcher full on the iced tea, we don't have an automatic ice maker, and after two full pitchers of frozen margaritas ("How's it coming with the margaritas?") there was no more. As a last resort, i took the pestle and hacked apart my beautiful lavander ice bowl. I put the pieces in three large glasses to make lavander ice water. I guess it was okay, because no one said anything bad about it.

Of course, it's hard for people who live with central air conditioning to visit us poor folks on a hot summer eve. They're liable to get cranky. I should have bought an air conditioner instead of all that beer, should have frozen the ice-cream maker for 12 hours, should have not put out a full place setting of silverware (because "Who's going to use all these things?"), should have bought ice and put it in a cooler, should have owned a cooler, should have made the hamburgers bigger, should have made a not-sweet desert, and generally should not have been such a f-ing failure at everything i do in life. But what can i do, i tried my best. And that still counts right? In horse shoes and target practice? Crap.


I had a wonderul time. I'm impressed that you worked so hard on such a hot day. Thanks.

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