Tuesday, December 14, 2010
After a long Saturday of exam preparation, I had plans for an evening visit at Shak and Lael's. Avid Anne of Green Gables enthusiasts, the three of us have been vaguely planning an AoGG-themed party since we met and discovered our mutual devotion to the series. The fast approach of Lael's completion of her masters' program this semester turned our vague plans into concrete ones, so when I received an e-mail from Lael on Saturday ("This will be my first time hosting when Marilla isn't here and she said we could use the good china"), I knew it was on.
My one obligation was to get currant wine. There is a beloved scene in both the book and the movie when Anne hosts her best friend Diana for tea. ("It will seem so nice and grown-uppish." My thoughts exactly, Anne.) Anne's adopted mother Marilla says she can serve Diana raspberry cordial, and Anne is very excited because, as an orphan, she has never tasted raspberry cordial. She leaves Diana with the bottle in the parlor while Anne finishes cooking in the kitchen. When she comes back, the raspberry cordial is nearly gone and Diana does not feel well. ("Oh, Diana, do you suppose it's possible you're really taking the smallpox?") Diana runs home and pukes outside her parents' house.
Turns out, since Anne the orphan had never had raspberry cordial, she didn't know it wasn't supposed to look, taste and smell like currant wine. (Though you'd think Diana would have caught on, the little booze-hound. She had three tumblerfulls!) When Diana's mother finds out that her daughter has been partaking of spirits with that orphan girl, she forbids the friendship, a mandate that persists until Anne nurses Diana's little sister Minnie May back from the brink of death by croup when all the adults are in Charlottetown to hear the Premiere speak.
Look, you either get it or you don't.
Anyway, we always wanted to include currant wine in the party repertoire because, well, how appropriate. I went to A&L Wine Castle to find some because I once found ginger currant wine there; I figured if you have ginger currant wine, you definitely have currant wine. Right?
"But I do have a currant liqueur," the cashier told me. (He might have been the owner--he knew the exact spot on the shelf where I would find it.) "It's a little sweeter; I'm not sure what you need it for."
If I was going to show up to our tea with something that was not currant wine, it had better be a sweeter version of currant wine.
Since I had been studying all day long, I had only eaten a sandwich and a banana since breakfast. While that sounds like a normal lunch, I, per usual, was hungry. I took the opportunity to peruse the snacks section of the store, where I found my absolute favorite: Smart Food White Cheddar popcorn. I brought my spoils to the register.
The cashier/owner didn't do anything for a moment. "Looks like you're in for a..." he frowned. "Night."
Yes, I will acknowledge that my purchases were a little eccentric. And normally I love talking to random people, telling them stories about my life, listening to stories about theirs. I like that there's a teller at National City who always remembers my name and the waitress at Old Town usually doesn't ask for my ID anymore. But there was nothing I could say here.
"I...I can't possibly explain," I said, cradling my brown bag of popcorn and black current liqueur. "I can't possibly explain."
Posted by Erika Jost at 9:00 AM