About a year ago, I was gently prodded by my friend Shari to visit her on the East Coast: “I’m still a little bitter you don’t live on my street… Can this be the year I get to meet you in person?… If you come visit, and I ever get the chance to meet Michael C Hall, I promise to willingly hand him over to you.” (I made that last one up. No sane woman would ever say that.) Not that took much prodding, since I’ve been dying to meet Shari for years anyway. I also knew that Shari regularly hangs out with Stefanie (whom* I also know from the interwebs) and I have been itching to meet her for years as well. Two birds, yo!
The NYC portion of the trip was fantastic and awesome and I’m so glad we went (to) there, but the trip was actually originated by a little seed planted some time ago by Shari. We decided to meet at Stefanie’s house in Pennsylvania, so I asked her for some hotel recommendations. She told me about a hotel not far from her house with a great diner and a sign outside that says “It’s the Coconut Pie!” Unfortunately, said Stefanie, whenever she goes, they are always out of coconut pie. I told her I would demand a refund of my room if there was no coconut pie. She said she would have my back and act as my Coconut Pie Wingman. It was all the encouragement I needed.
After driving directly from a New Jersey White Castle (my husband’s entire lunch was shaped like O’s-chicken rings and onion rings- exactly what you might see in an elementary school cafeteria) and was ready for a confrontation. I stormed into the diner (this part is slightly exaggerated for the sake of your entertainment) and, banging my fist on the bar, demanded a coconut pie. To my surprise, they had coconut pie but could only sell it by the piece because their pie plates were not for sale and in order to sell me a pie in its entirety, they would have to have had more notice so they could have baked it in a disposable pie plate. Huh. It’s hard to dispute such sound logic. So instead, I left with six pieces of pie carefully stacked (shoved) into two styrofoam containers.
By the time we got to Stefanie’s, it looked a little like coconut pudding, but it was the best they could do on short notice (plus, the people were really nice and one of the ladies told me about her pet parrot so in all it was quite a pleasant experience. I would do it again.) Speaking of getting to Stefanie’s… it was amazing. I hugged her for real and hugged Shari for real and met Stefanie’s adorable children and husband (who I knew from photos and somehow expected them to recognize me too, because, you know, two-year-olds regularly check their mom’s Facebook accounts.) We spent a lovely afternoon in the yard, drinking wine, eating cucumber sandwiches and talking about hilarious events that brought us to become friends in the first place. Then we spent a lovely dinner, eating kebabs and doing the same thing. We were the happiest girls you’ve ever seen with a kebab. Then we ate lemon cake and coconut pie while the kids ran around being adorable and the cat eyed us carefully in case we were crazy people (we are.) Then we left because there was a storm coming and we were all exhausted and Dexter was about to come on.
On the way back to the hotel, I told my husband how grateful I felt to have such a great group of friends and how nice it was to see that they are just as awesome in person as they are online and wouldn’t it be great if you could just condense all of your favorite people into a 5 mile radius of where you live so you could just pop in and see them whenever you want or whenever you need to laugh. Unfortunately, that will probably have to wait for the retirement home we’ve talked about, which will be the raddest retirement home ever. And they better have coconut pie because if they don’t, I will be prepared.
*correct usage of whom? Whom knows? Whom cares?