Friday nights are mostly for unwinding after a long hard week of work. My usual plans involves beer, chicken wings, curly fries, the company of my college friend E-Man and folks from the bar we usually goto on a Friday night. This routine is a nice way to cap off a tough week. A few weeks prior D had asked if I were free to see Forbidden Kingdom on its opening night, Friday, April 18th with his friend Ev. D and Ev and I have a movie relationship where we catch all sorts of movies, action, adventure, comedies, horror, sci-fi, etc. I had been looking forward to catching Forbidden Kingdom for a chance to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li together in a movie. If you aren’t a Martial Arts fan this will go over your head. Anywho, I was down for that and let E-Man know I would be unable to attend Friday wingfest. Though saddened, he was happy I was replacing it with a Kung Fu movie.
A week before the movie D called to let me know it was Ev’s birthday and that there was a birthday dinner around 9pm, about half hour after the movie ended. He asked if I would like to go. Being it was Ev’s birthday, I was fine with going and agreed to it. In the back of my head I calculated I would need to have money to pay for Ev’s share of the dinner since she wouldn’t be paying for her own birthday dinner. That would be wrong. Flash forward to the day of the movie, D IM’s me and says he, his partner Mark and Ev’s friends Y and her fiancee are going to chip in and buy a gift card from Toys ‘R Us for Ev to use on video games etc. D told me that the card will be for $120 and that he and his partner are putting in $30 while Y and her fiancee are putting down $30 each. Again, doing the math, I realized that my share would be $30. Now I have no problem chipping in on gifts but I felt a bit blindsided by this. Not to mention that D and his partner were putting in $30 total ($15/each) whereas my solo self was dropping $30. I know E from all the movies we’ve gone to but she’s D’s friend first. Being it is a birthday I sucked it up and agreed to $30. D’s reminded me that I would also owe him the cost of the movie ticket making the amount I owed him when I see them at $42. It was at this point I received a call from Eliza and told her my situation. She told me while she agreed it was all sprung upon me, backing out now would be obvious that the cost bugged me. I reminded her that my wing and beer night would probably cost me half of the potential $100 night. Rationalizing and venting helped and I agreed to still go to the movie and dinner.
I left work early on Friday and had two choices as to getting to 42nd and Times Square: Walk through Times Square and the crush of tourists who enjoy stopping in the middle of the street either to stare at a building, considering what direction to go, or just figuring that standing in the middle of a crowded block felt like the right thing to do. Option two was to go down 8th avenue where I would encounter tourists as well as the local sex fiends who enjoy the peep shows and porno shops that line blocks 42nd through 47th Street. I chose Times Square cause the streets are less sticky. Banging around (no pun intended) and avoiding cars, handsome cabs, pedi-cabs, and tourists I made it to the theater in one piece. To my delight D greets me with “You’re Late” and we rush up to the theatre where Ev is waiting with seats saved.
Theater is packed but we settle in and it was a great movie. Humourous and great action. While I feared I was going to have a Karate Kid/Ralph Macchio flashback, luckily that did not happen. Would highly recommend this movie even to non-Martial Arts fans as the storyline and action is engrossing.
After the movie we all headed to Junior’s at Times Square for dinner. We met the rest of the group there and were seated immediately. Juniors is well known for their cheesecakes. The restaurant is very good, food being good for comfort and the selections of dessert are mind blowing. Standard fare for Times Square but worth giving a shot.
As a side bar, ever get the feeling the group of people you hang out with are looking for someone to lead the conversation? While these were all of E’s friends, they sat quietly until I opened my big mouth. I admit I love to talk and do quite a lot of it. While I would rather be a wallflower and give others a chance to get the group rolling, there are times I feel people look to me to start things up. Yes, it is a gift/curse. I digress.
During the dinner, gifts were presented to Ev. D took out the gift card and told Ev that it was from D and his partner, Y and her fiancee and…..silence. I sat there like WTF??? When D realized his error and added, oh yeah, and Raj.
Perfect way to cap off the evening. At least I had leftover fried chicken with the fixings and leftover yellow cake with chocolate filing and icing for breakfast the next morning.