Having a blog and also having friends (which I highly recommend) can lead straight into awkward on some occasions.
Like, let’s say my friend makes a hilarious freudian slip and then projectile-y snorts water out her nose.
She may – I’m not saying this has happened (but I’m not saying it hasn’t) – immediately turn to me and say something like, “You can write about me hurling water out my nose, but you canNOT write what I said!”
And I nod, because that is fair, and then tuck the ‘what she said’ into the ‘In Case I Ever Need to Blackmail Her’ file in my brain.
Sometimes, though, something fairly cool happens and no one exactly tells me I cannot write about it, but I know I should be somewhat vague as to who exactly was involved. And so I use something called a pseudonym (sū-dough-nim), which means I use a fake name instead of a real name.
I’ve done it before.
Like, I have a friend named Anna… but I wrote about my friend Spanna.
I’ve also written about Spam, but I’m not going to tell you her real name.
So this is one of those stories.
I will do my best not to mention any names.
Right now, I’m just sayin’, those involved in this story – you know who you are – are starting to sweat.
So… August 16th.
I was in a group text with a few friends, and we were messaging back and forth about – let me go check.
Ah, the monarch butterflies arriving…
It being too early for fall…
And a trip to Norway (and best wishes on that trip).
I was doing what I do, which is connecting dots with my mind, which meant something about a trip to Norway reminded me of news which reminded me of the newspaper which reminded me that I’d just seen an article in the Boothbay Register about a mutual friend having an upcoming art show.
So I said that.
I said something like, “I just saw this:” and pasted the link into my text, saying something like ‘Chance to support a friend!’
And between that day and another, we all put the event into our calendars and that event was last night.
The ‘Artist Reception’ – a kick off of the exhibit – was downtown at a certain gallery, from 5 – 8 p.m. We were all psyched to show up and surprise The Artist and his wife (who is also a friend). JoHn and I planned on getting there at about 5:30. We even took showers and looked all spiffy.
We made our way to town, knowing that parking can be a bit of a gamble this time of year, with plenty of ‘summer people’ still strolling and ambling and standing in the middle of the streets, looking up (what is that?!). Anyway, finding a parking spot – at least easily – wasn’t a given.
As soon as we parked, just a few spots away from the gallery, I got this strange feeling. The sidewalk was pretty empty… the stairs and deck leading into the entrance was empty…
Then I saw the word ‘closed’ on the big sign out front.
I googled the gallery’s Facebook page. The posted hours had it closing at 5:00, which made sense. A special reception would be outside regular business hours. I didn’t see anything about the reception on the Facebook page, but not everyone keeps their Facebook Page up to date. However I did see a post about the last exhibit ending on August 27th (and last night was August 31st) so that tracked…
I went back to the article I’d sent to the group.
It said the reception was on Saturday, August 31st.
Well last night was Thursday, August 31st.
We had all read the article, and just put August 31st in our calendars.
But clearly, the Register had goofed up. The reception must be Saturday, instead. Two days away, which was September 2nd.
I texted to the group again. Said I was downtown and the gallery was closed. Said I’d checked the link to the article in the Register and it said ‘Saturday, August 31st’ so the reception must be Saturday (and the Register had gotten the date wrong).
We were all, “?!” (in one way or another).
Finally, one friend asked if I had either friend’s – The Artist’s or his wife’s – cell number (she did not), asking if I could text them to see what was up. I said I did, and I would.
This is the text I sent while JoHn and I drove over to our favorite harbor for dinner.
Yes, it is actually important you see it, as I typed it because it will make my gobsmack-ed-ness at her reply make sense.
“Hi Breth (pseudonym)! Well we just went to Studio 53, thinking the reception was tonight but it was closed :(. Double checked the Register article and it says “Saturday, August 31st”… guessing they meant Saturday September 2nd?”
About twenty minutes later, as JoHn and I were nibbling the world’s best onion rings, I got a response from Breth. It basically said that I must be thinking about the ArtWalk, which was the next night. She also wrote some very nice other things about becoming grandparents and missing us at a recent gathering and also can we put a date on the calendar to have dinner.
What the ever loving all that is holy and stuff like that?!!!!
I mean, this was her husband’s artist’s reception for his show and she wasn’t even excited…
She just blew by the topic as if it were standing still…
She didn’t even mention him! Not that he was excited, or nervous, or that he – or she – might be happy that we were coming…
I mean, they are like MARRIED married, super close and in love and supportive of each other and stuff. Why was she not more excited about it?! Why wasn’t she…
Something was so off with all of this.
I went back to the article in the Boothbay Register.
There it was… a whole feature on our friend, The Artist. The gallery was so excited about the exhibit. A number of his paintings hadn’t ever been seen by the public. There were photos of his beautiful work, included to entice the world to come. The date (albeit a bit messed up) was right there… the time was too…
I scrolled up to the top of the article.
Sure, it was written in August.
Sure, it was written before – like – last night.
As a matter of fact, it was written a little more than ten years before last night.
I texted the group, including the link to the original article.
‘Oh my God… look at the date on the Register article… “
“I have no idea why that was served up to me.”
“Well now it all makes sense… it’s from 2013!!!!”
Yes, I used four exclamation points. I don’t just save them for here!!!
I apologized profusely for leading everyone astray. And then one friend replied that none of them caught it either and then I was laughing out loud, and JoHn was laughing out loud, and I think I heard my friends laughing out loud from East Boothbay, the other side of Southport, and possibly from somewhere on Route 95 in the vicinity of Portsmouth, New Hampshire!
When I got home, I texted Breth (The Artist’s wife), telling her that ten of us were planning on attending a reception… from 2013. I included the link to the article we were going by, and joked that we all would have looked so much younger if we’d pulled the whole time traveling thing off.
I figured out one (of many) miscommunications was this: Because I never mentioned – in my initial, inquiring text to her – that the reception we were trying to go to was her husband’s reception, she replied that we must be thinking about another art-based thing that was happening… an art walk scheduled for the next night. So our confusion just lasted a little while longer (along with my concern about the strength of their marriage).
But here is the thing.
Ten friends set out to support a friend’s creative life and work.
And we blew it… or so we thought.
Very early this morning, I woke up to find a text from Breth. She’d typed it a little after midnight.
She’d just read the text I’d sent her, the one explaining what had happened. She was getting choked up just thinking about how wonderful it was for us all to show up… even if it was ten years too late. She thanked us. She said she was sending the text I’d sent her to The Artist. That he ‘wouldn’t even know what to do with himself’ when he read it.
Sure, we didn’t get to see his exhibit. His beautiful work all hung and lit in a great space. But. We did show up for him, for Breth too, for a special night we truly believed was happening. Which is, indeed, what friends do.
I guess we only sort of blew it.
Thanks for readin’.
p.s., I’m sure Dalex, Spam, Khris, and Brandy (such a fine girl) are all breathing a sigh of relief that they were not mentioned in this post ❤️
p.s.s., Apologies to my beloved Boothbay Register (that was one heck of an article, back in 2013).
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