Several days ago, I received an email from a woman in my small group. Y’all. She is just the sweetest thing and I probably would have packed my most prized possessions into my little blue duffel bag and run away by now if not for Betsy. It was Betsy that told me where to find coffee and had me over for a turkey wrap when I was going straight-up stir crazy and considering burning our apartment down. She once forwarded me a groupon for local cupcakes, and for that she has my undying love and eternal gratitude.
Our small group meets every other week, and given my propensity to keep running back to North Carolina, I’ve only been in town for one. [Kellan, on the other hand, has been attending since he moved to NY last August.] Happily, the Dickens’ had no travel plans this week [Scratch that. The Dickens’ had no travel plans that would interfere with our Tuesday small group.], and we were giddy at the prospect of human interaction again.
As I mentioned, Betsy emailed Kellan and I earlier this week, asking us if we remembered that it was our turn to bring the snack to small group. Given my stellar attendance record of ONE TIME and the fact that I generally operate under a total state of cluelessness in Albany, I hadn’t the foggiest idea. Thank heavens she said something, or we would have been that couple that punts on snack and EMBARRASSING There’s nothing like showing up to small group expecting to get something chocolate, only to be met with a halfhearted plastic cup of seltzer water and shame instead. It would be enough for me to excommunicate MYSELF.
Betsy informed me that Darrell’s birthday was this week, and mentioned that traditionally their sweet small group tries to do something special on birthdays. She suggested that I ought to conspire with Darrell’s wife Angela to figure out what his favorite dessert was, and maybe stick a couple of candles in it.
Which I would have been THRILLED to do, had I only been able to pick out either Darrell or his lovely wife Angela out of a line up. However, I assure you that for 100,000 dollars I COULD NOT.
Enter panic, stage right. The people in this small group are currently my only shot at friends in this god-forsaken city, and I’m about to make them all hate me. Who is Darrell?! Did I meet him? Why can’t I remember names? I really need to start doing crosswords and playing Sudoku. How do I get ahold of Angela? What if he has childhood birthday baggage and I just bring it all back? Maybe he wanted a piñata for his seventh birthday party but he didn’t get one because HIS MOM FORGOT WHO HE WAS.
I’m going to screw up the snack. THE SNACK! What if Darrell is allergic to nuts and I make something with nuts?! OH LORD I’M GOING TO KILL DARRELL.
I began to resign myself to a friendless existence in Albany. I would simply cower at home, living out the rest of my ill-fated days drinking bourbon and watching old Matlock reruns while Kellan went on to live his life without me. Maybe I would channel Miss Havisham and wear my wedding dress for the next fifty years, because if I was going to be a deranged recluse, I was going to do it right.
In a blinding cold sweat, I managed to feverishly peck out a secretly-panicked email to Betsy. Um, hey. YES to snack. SO pumped for Darrell’s birthday. …some pointers as to who he is and a phone number might help?
Sweet Betsy to the rescue. She didn’t make me feel stupid or guilty for my inability to remember names- and lickety-split, I had all of the information I needed to celebrate the man of the week.
You’ll be relieved to know that we made it through small group last night intact, and Darrell is not only still alive but seemed to enjoy his chocolate supreme while graciously overlooking the pink birthday candles.
To my knowledge nobody hates me yet. In fact, to my knowledge, nobody has any strong feelings about me whatsoever.
I’ll keep you posted.