Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kelly Goes to Boston

Friday I went to a party to say goodbye to a good friend who is leaving for Boston. Kelly is a stalwart feminist comrade who can belt out the most amazing renditions of Irish Freedom songs (I highly recommend requesting one if you ever meet her). I gave a drunken toast of my five favorite memories of Kelly that I thought I’d share here, so those of you who don’t know her will get a taste of what I will be missing.

Steph’s Top Five memories of Kelly

1. Moving Kelly’s behemoth treadmill. It was easy enough to roll from living room to moving truck, but eight of us attempting to hoist it into the U-Haul felt half like a moving company’s instructional video blooper reel and half like a reenactment of ancient Egytptian slaves hauling house sized bricks up a hill to build the pyramids.

2. The seven page instructions required for taking care of her cats/fish when she went away. Instructions included (but were not limited to) checking the cat for moles and removing misbehaving fish from the general tank population and putting them in their own holding cell tank (if necessary).

3.Getting arrested in front of the FDA Headquarters—Kelly had the courage to sit with eight other women (not the same ones who moved the treadmill) and block the entrance while the Department of Homeland Security stood by with handcuffs and an armored truck…(Kelly taught me that the term “Paddy Wagon” is an ethnic slur and that we should refer to what they were packing us into as an “armored truck.”)

4. Kung Fu Class (see Whirling Tiger Hidden Idiot)

5. Our long car talks which sometimes led to run-ins with the law…(as reported below in something I wrote but that never made it to this blog, think of it as a deleted scene…)

The Long Arm (chair) of the Law

Last week I was nearly arrested. Ok, that’s a gross exaggeration, but whatever, it’s my blog.

It started when Kelly and I couldn’t find the location of the party we were going to
(again, an exaggeration, it was more like a potluck/meeting but I wanted to sound exciting and cool). Anyway, we were in our separate cars, on our cell phones trying to help each other out when we discovered we were on the same stretch of 13th Street.

“Pull into this furniture store,” I said, “you can park your car there and we’ll ride together.”

We left Kelly’s car in the closed furniture store’s parking lot and were off to find the, um, party. We eventually did and had a smashing time eating a lot of carbs.

When we came back to pick up Kelly’s car we got to talking. We have a lot of meetings you see, and not much time for just talking, so often very earnest, heartbreaking and funny conversations among my friends happen in the front seat of a car after giving someone a ride. We talked for a long time about life, love, heartache, being single, being childless etc. We watched several stray cats go by. We got a little freaked when the street lamps went out leaving us in complete darkness in the empty lot.

We kept talking until I noticed a cop pull in. I got nervous, even though I had not been drinking, clam-baking or making crack in my back seat. I was not in a stolen car and was not planning on breaking into the store to make off with some bedside tables (which I do need by the way).

He got out of his car and flashed his light in. We giggled like middle-school girls.

“What do we do?” I said, “Do I get out? Wait for him here? Which is less suspicious?”

“Well,” Kelly said, “For starters we should probably not be laughing when he gets here.”

“Right. Okay, don’t laugh.”

I rolled down my window. “Hello officer.”

“Hi ladies, everything okay in here.?”

“Yes, we’re just talking.”

“Can I see some ID?”

We handed over our ID’s and he walked back to his patrol car to run them through whatever magic machine they have in there.

“Oh shit.” I slapped my forehead.

“What? What’s wrong”

“My fucking license is expired. If I get a ticket for that from just sitting in a parking lot I will laugh and cry so hard.”

Kelly always knows the right thing to say. “This might not be the right time to bring this up but, can’t you get arrested for that?”

“Oh God, I don’t know.” I looked back at the patrol car.

Officer was taking a really, really, really long time. Another cop car pulled in.

“There’s another one! What the fuck!” Various possibilities ran through my head.

Does our Department of Homeland Security arrest show up on his little screen and he thinks we’re terrorists? (The Anti-high end furniture kind?) Did he see the 50ft orange extension cord and boom box in my back seat and think I’m stalking an ex-boyfriend Say Anything style? Did he see Kelly’s bumper stickers and think we were running some lesbian/feminist prostitution/furniture stealing ring?

But the other cop left and our officer came back to my window. “Which one of you is Stephanie Seguin?”

Oh god, here it comes.

“I’m going to give you a warning on your expired license but you need to take care of it.”

I exhaled. “Yes sir, of course. I promise I’ll do it first thing in the morning.” He politely asked us to leave since it was a closed business and we looked suspicious. We politely complied. I understand, when I see two cars together in an otherwise empty parking lot I only think one thing, drug deal (or a furniture stealing crime ring led by local feminist leaders).

When I got home I told Danny I needed to renew my license. “Did you get pulled over?” He said.

“Um, more like…pulled up to. And by the way, we seriously need bedside tables.”

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