The South Side girl is headed to Lake Geneva with a trio of 12-year-old girls and wants some drinking age company to offset the Justin Bieber soundtrack.
I really should get back to work but I have never been to Switzerland, so how can I say no?
It turns out that Lake Geneva is actually in Wisconsin, which is way closer. And full of cheese. I am a fan of cheese, so there is one more obvious reason to put off my return to
bra-wearing the non-vacation life.
Besides, short notice cheese tourism is one of the few benefits of earning your living as a secret agent figure skater sketch comedy writer and freelance journalist. And by "earning a living" I mean making enough money to buy truck stop cheese in the shape of Wisconsin. Because that is how cheese tourism is done.
There is also a cheese wine, but the South Side girl shakes her head so violently when I pick it up that I have to return the bottle to the shelf. Now, as you can imagine, I am kicking myself. It would have made a nice entry in the wine log next to Key Lime and Mango Mama - two sentimental favorites.
She makes it up to me later by taking me out for better wine and coaching me on the art of picking up sailors. I get one on my first try. He is just a cartoon sailor, but it's a start.
Trust me, there is nothing in artist Alma Loveland's interpretation of laundry know-how that is going to get my teenager to do his own laundry from start to finish.
For one thing, it's way too complicated. Lint removal? The pretreating of stains? You may as well include the instructions for launching the space shuttle. Or loading the dishwasher.
But it's an inspired piece of artwork, commissioned as part of Blogher's Voices of the Year project, that captures perfectly the aspirations of parenthood: One day he will have his own children and they will leave wet towels all over his floors.
But if I am going down for the crime of having dragged everyone into the theater that evening, I am taking A.O. Scott down with me. It was Mr. Scott who wrote the New York Times review that led me to believe that Eat, Pray, Love, the movie, was more than the sum of its verbs.
Which pretty much sums up this movie except for the other 135 minutes from which all charm has been completely exfoliated.
The result is a movie-going experience so numbingly awful that I begin to see literary potential in the two hours and 10 minutes I spent waiting for my luggage to arrive.
We are a few days into the South Florida leg of Margarita Tour 2010 when we are brought low by our faith in New York Times movie reviews and a weakness for unshaven men.
All my friends and I can do is exchange stares of disbelief as we shamble toward the theater exits like shipwreck survivors.
As is so often the case, the first thought that pops into my head is a selfless one: We must warn the others.
"Oh my god," I say. "We are about to do the Executive the biggest favor ever."
This stops the Litigator in her tracks. "No," she says firmly. "We are not."
She is right of course. If there is one ironclad rule of Girls Night Out, other than the two-drink minimum, it is this: conspiracies against absent posse members are to be encouraged.
And so we feel compelled to convince the Executive that Eat, Pray, Love is not a two hour and 20 minute Hallmark card read aloud over a lunch of cafeteria spaghetti.
It might have worked if not for the fact that the first opportunity falls to The Psychologist, who is prone to bouts of empathy and cannot bring herself to follow through.
Also, the Executive is no fool. If it is so good, she counters, why not see it again with her?
But no vacation is long enough for that.
Photo: At 2 hours and 10 minutes running time, Sit, Wait, Trudge explores one woman's quest for the perfect carry-on.
She doesn't like the way I drive. And would it kill me to wear a little lipstick once in a while?
This makes me laugh so hard I almost spill my margarita.
But laughing so hard I almost spill my margarita? I get that from her.
Photo: Not your grandma's grandma.
Postcards from Margarita Tour 2010...
We are off to a promising start. Even our Budweiser loving sister-in-law is talked out of her can and into the liquor store where we begin our experiment with high-grade tequila.
We set a bad example for our niece and ruin any prospects of ever making a run for the Hernando County School Board, but we are making progress on our recipe. The verdict on high-grade tequila, however, is not so much.
This week's secret ingredient is Cointreau. This week's actual secret is locked away under a thatched roof in a top secret location in my brother's backyard. As my wise, Budweiser drinking sister-in-law explains to the middle schooler: What happens in the tiki hut stays in the tiki hut. At least until I am able to
edit post the pictures.
Having not yet reached our capacity for sun and lime drinks we are taking our research further south tomorrow, where, it is said, the air smells like Key limes and coconut.
CORRECTION: My sister-in-law's beverage of choice is Bud Light, which is still technically Budweiser, but which we are nevertheless perfectly willing to acknowledge as an error despite the fact that for more than a decade she has consistently refused/mocked our requests for a beer glass.