Late last week, my good friend Mary, The Farmer's Wife, called to say she had figured out the source of her headaches: the pesky tooth that had gotten a serious infection while she was pregnant with Angus was acting up again. Two years after a "temporary" filling had been placed, it decided to pop out, and along with it, cause some serious pain. So she was off to the dentist in MC to find out about a solution.
And it was a solution that came with a price: a trip to an oral surgeon in Billings. And then she needed a big favor--the nerve!! She needed someone to drive her as she was going to be put under during the procedure. And on top of that, the driver needed to be able to go up a day early, do some shopping, eat some dinner, and stay in a hotel. I couldn't believe she even had the nerve to ask! Of all things! I checked my always-too-full schedule, and was able to move some things around, reschedule a few other events, and arrange for child-care. I reluctantly agreed. I mean what are friends for but to help out in another's time of need... even if it came as a sacrifice to oneself!
On Wednesday morning, I quickly did some laundry, and picked up the house, engaging the help of my cleaning staff: Haley did bathrooms, Adam and Benjamin picked up toys, Adam cleaned a window, and Ben vacuumed while Allison shouted orders as head of housekeeping. Then I put together a casserole to feed the family, some supper in the crock pot, and dashed into the bathroom for a shower. Haphazardly, I threw a change of clothes into a bag; (truthfully I packed more like a man than a woman) forgetting my contact case, my glasses, and truth be told a change of underwear. I did remember my bag of pedicure equipment though--go figure...
Mary arrived at 12:20, ten minutes ahead of schedule and we were off. I must mention that she forced me to deviate from my tight schedule and take a detour at Kafe' Utza for a cup of mediocre coffee, and a so-so pastry. Upon our arrival in Billings, she insisted we go shopping. What's a girl to do? And those of you who know me well, know I'm a bit of a people-pleaser so I was forced to acquiesce. So it was off to Target, and the mall for a stop at Eddie Bauer, and Victoria's Secret, and Dillard's, and a run through Herberger's housewares department. It was all so blase'! By then, we'd had enough of grown-up shopping and took a tour through Toys R Us, to find a few things for the children.
All of the shopping had created quite an appetite, so again Mary asked too much of me by suggesting we go to that little dive on Montana Avenue, The Rex. Let's just agree that The Farmer's Wife has a little more of that bossy teacher thing than I do even. So again, against my will, I went along with her, knowing all the while I would suffer. And suffer we did. Through crab won tons (bleck!), house salad (I could hardly choke it down, save for the chunk of french bread), and the main course: tough, overcooked fillet (like a hockey puck!) and then a baked potato (how plain can it get?). I struggled through an "appletini" and then it was off to a endure a night in the hotel: hot tubbing, a foot masque and new toenail polish, and we capped it off with an absolutely AWFUL bottle of wine:a Moscato d'Asti that had been on the shelf for a special occasion (I wouldn't remotely suggest you try it, unless you're in for a ROUGH time!)
The next morning we squeezed a little more shopping into the schedule before Mary's scheduled time at the dental spa (that's their words, not mine!). She SAID it was for an extraction and implant, but while I was in the waiting room, I discovered it had all been a big sham! That place wasn't just a place for dental work: it was much more than that. They did cosmetic procedures. Like lip and forehead injections to smooth out wrinkles and make lips fuller. Laser procedures to remove superficial veins and blemishes. Sore tooth my foot! So I dropped her off for her "dental work", and proceeded to suffer through a trip to Costco (not even a bit of exaggeration there)and drove to the patient pick-up area to whisk away the patient. (They even had a separate exit for patients to leave--and a garage if someone wanted EXTRA secrecy). An ice pack for swelling and three prescriptions later, and we were FINALLY on our way home.
I did have one moment of sweet revenge. I stopped at the Pickle Barrel and had a Bobcat on white. Mary looked at me longingly, her mouth stuffed with gauze and her numb cheek drooping as she smelled the wonderful spices that were wafting out of the sandwich. I felt a little bit bad, but for crying out loud, after all the sacrifices I had made for HER, didn't she owe me a little bit of pleasure on the trip?