Wednesday, February 25, 2004

A Weekend Jaunt

Saturday afternoon I had planned to meet Caroline in Central Park and then head over to Telephone Bar with her to watch the Stanford basketball game with other alums, but she said, "Let's go to Greenwich, CT because I've never been there before and I want to visit!" I was like, what the hell, let's go for it since it's such a beautiful day.

We hopped in her red Beemer and got on the freeway after studying her US Atlas for the fastest way to get there. We were surprised and confused by a "Greenwich" exit sign after only 40 minutes of driving because we had expected the trip to take twice as long since the city is TWO states away! This whole East Coast geography is just too weird.

After getting off the highway, we drove around the town aimlessly and somehow ended up in a park. Even though it was a pretty sunny day with temperature in the 50's, we were still freezing our butts off because of the chilly coastal breeze. We drove and hiked for about 45 minutes and then drove toward the restaurant that Caroline's housemate had recommended.

On the way to the restaurant, we saw some of the biggest and most beautiful homes that I've ever seen. All of the houses looked brand new because they were so well-maintained. Every house seemed five times as big as my parents' home and most of them had basketball court-sized lawns out in front. Porsches, Lexuses, Benzes and Beamers dotted the landscape, although we did spot a Corolla ("It's probably the maid's," joked Caroline). The houses near the park also had a really nice ocean view. We even drove by a house that had a smaller matching kennel complete with windows, roof, deck and door! At least we thought it was a kennel, unless the servants were all midgets. The few joggers that we encountered were all middle-aged white executive types. In other words, they could totally be senior managing directors at my company and I wouldn't even know it.

Luckily, Greenwich is a very small town so we were able to find the restaurant after driving past every landmark (library/school/church/pillars inscribed with Conde Nast magazine names) three times. Only after we sat down did we realize how out of place we looked. We were the only under-30 people in the family restaurant. Most of the other customers were married couples with 5 kids running around, dangling on their legs or sleeping in baby carriages. While I was in the bathroom, I heard a boy outside trying to push the door open. "Is anybody in there??"He screamed in frustration. I responded, "Yes, I'm in here." He must not have heard of me because he started kicking the door: "Come on!! Is anyone in there??" After sprinkling a few more "I'm here" while sprinkling, I opened the door to get out. Because the boy still held the door knob in his hand, I dragged him in inadvertently. "Little brat," I thought.

While trying to find our way back to highway 95, we drove through a part of Greenwich crowded with ordinary, unspectacular two-story homes and nary a yacht or lake in sight. "Wow, I just saw a black guy!" I feigned shock and outrage while Caroline laughed. We had reached the slums of Greenwich.

Since one of Caroline's stated missions was to show me what life is like outside of Manhattan, we headed toward the New Jersey/New York border, where she is currently living. First stop: the Palisades Mall. She wanted to check out the new mini-pods at the Apple Store. I raved about how flawless the iTunes/iPod integration was and felt like I had turned into Sachin. Next she took some detours to various clothing stores before leading me to Target, where she ordained that I should buy a desk organizer set and a fake plant to help decorate my room. Luckily I was able to resist her suggestion to buy a rug and candles. However, the desk organizer set and plant have really made a big difference. My desk isn't so cluttered any more and the plant helps take my eyes off the ugly air conditioning unit on which it sits, although the photo frame with the picture of my niece winking will undoubtedly make it more difficult for me to blog about hot lesbians and girls flashing in the future. In any case, I think I will be ready for rug and candles the next time I go shopping. Caroline is definitely my "queer eye" now. Armed with desk organizer and fake plant, we strolled into the movie theatre and watched "Something's Gotta Give," a great movie that exceeded all my expectations. Then we got totally lost on the way back to her place because she just moved there recently. By the time we got to her place it was almost midnight.

The next day I woke up feeling like my body was broken into 3 pieces, like the sofa cushions on which I slept. Continued...