14 June 2006

Adventures in Adversity

Never shall I forget the time I spent with you.
Please continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours.
~ Ludwig Van Beethoven

The test of a true friendship is adversity. And if that friend who rides through adversity with you can also turn that ride into an adventure, then surely his friendship is true.

My dear friend Sinjin was in town this past weekend for a mutual friend’s ordination. It had been almost a year since I saw him last and our correspondence has been at best sporadic and at worst non-existent. This is not too surprising considering that we are both very busy and happen to live two states apart. But we were thicker than tea leaves in a Royal Doulton tea cup in our undergrad days. So we were ecstatic that we would have at least a few hours here and there to go over old memories and make new ones.

We decided to leave the ordination reception fairly early and since we had about five hours to kill until the dinner reception that night, we went out for a somewhat more substantial lunch. I do not cater those receptions; ergo food is not made for Cox’s Army, but rather for their pet birds!

After driving around Arlington for a few blocks, we settled on Tara Thai on Fairfax Drive. If you have not been there, go. The décor is a tad bright and strange but the food is unbelievable. At one point, Sinjin pointed to the pendant lights, made to look like tiny jellyfish, saying that he first thought they were extremely dusty!

After a wonderful lunch (it was surprising we were able to eat anything we were laughing so much!), we headed to Old Towne Alexandria to kill time. We got quite a few stares as Sinjin was wearing his cassock. Too bad he didn’t have his biretta with him! Or even better, his cappello romano! :-)

We sat on the marina and continued to talk about our college escapades, absent college friends and his thoughts on Rome. We laughed quietly at PDAing couples who would glance over at him right after engaging in some very wet romantic clutches. In unison, we sighed, rolled our eyes and wondered aloud who they were trying to convince, us or themselves? People watching is such a hoot! Honestly, folks, put that mess away! ;-)

Realizing that it was almost time to be at the dinner reception, we walked quickly back to the car. And this is when our real adventure began. The dear Ukaristmobile would not start. Not after Sinjin blessed it. Nor after he cursed it. Nor after I prayed desperately to St. Joseph. Sinjin and I turned to stare at each other in dismay. This was not good.

After a few phone calls, Di and Scotti, two of my housemates, came to our rescue. First, we tried hooking the car up to automotive CPR. This did not work. Not even after running Di's engine for over thirty minutes. Several gentlemen came by and took a look under the hood, but to no avail. Scotti kindly called AAA for a tow and then we waited. And waited. And waited some more.
At this point I was on the verge of tears and a migraine. The inner workings of cars are beyond the ken of this damsal and I believe it is one of the many responsibilities that are best left to the stronger sex. On top of this feeling, I felt terrible that Sinjin was missing the reception. He however, proved his friendship by turning to me and saying, “Well, I am not terribly upset to be stuck here ~ at least it gives us more time to spend together, albeit not in the way we had planned!”

All in all, it was a glorious evening to be marooned in Old Towne ~ the weather was on its best behavior. The four of us took turns babysitting the car ~ Sinjin and I walked to Starbucks (have you tried the Blackberry Green Tea Frappacino? Decadent!) and Di and Scotti went to Ben and Jerry’s. With the car doors open to take advantage of a sweet June breeze off the Potomac and the CD player blasting opera, I said a prayer of thanksgiving for gift of friends ~ especially steadfast and true ones! They turn adversity into adventure. :-)

Oremus pro invicem,
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