I have been near or at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma several times in the intervening years, but I had not been inside the Museum of Glass since 2004. At that time, the museum had been open all of two years. I went with Gina, her then-boyfriend Eric, and Barbara. It was on April 3 of that year, so it was slightly more than two months before I even met Shobhit. It was so long ago, my photo set from that visit has no captions on the photos, as it was before I even joined Flickr in 2005; it was before Gina's first same-sex relationship (with Leslie) which itself has since come and gone in favor of her marriage to Beth; and the outdoor installations I took several pictures of then are now ancient history.
I didn't even take any photos of the inside the museum, which I declared in my LiveJournal entry at the time to be "pretty lame."
That 2004 photo set consists of 20 shots; yesterday's consists of 44, but only 28 of them are from inside; 15 were taken outside, of things anyone can see without paying. Two shots are of the restaurant where we went to eat afterwards -- but then, there was the same number in the 2004 set of where we went to eat after.
We didn't have to pay yesterday. It was "Museum Day," and the Smothsonian Institute had free passes to tons of museums you could print out for getting in free, on yesterday's date specifically. This was Danielle's suggestion after I texted her we should hang out this weekend, as we were originally going to be anyway -- we'd made the plan to go stay with her friend Jeanna in Spokane County this weekend, but that had to be canceled when Danielle wound up having to go to Spokane last weekend instead, for a friend's funeral. And guess what? Jeanna wound up having her own funeral for a friend she had to go to this weekend! We're all only middle aged, but I guess that's still when people start dropping here and there. It hasn't happened to any of my friends yet, but I suppose it's only a matter of time.
Anyway. You can browse the photo set for details in captions, if you are so inclined. It was a pretty long day yesterday; Danielle invited us first to come down and have breakfast at her house in Renton, suggesting we get there at 8:30. That's pretty fucking early on a Saturday, but whatever: literally all three of us were awake in plenty of time for that to happen anyway.
Danielle's neighbor makes her cinnamon swirl bread homemade, and she had that to make French toast for us all. I should have brought our own real maple syrup, as hers was "butter flavored syrup," with its first two ingredients being cane syrup and high fructose corn syrup -- yikes! I didn't complain, though. It was still a tasty breakfast. Shobhit and I killed most of the evening on Friday doing our requisite payday-weekend grocery shopping (Costco to Safeway to PCC Greenlake Village -- where we ran into Claudia!), and we brought veggie sausage for Danielle to fry up for us as well. I had a coupon for $2 off two Lightlife items, so one of them was a wrapped log of veggie sausage, which I sliced up yesterday morning at Danielle's place -- thinking we'd eat maaybe half of it. She fried up every slice, though, and between the three of us we ate it all.
After the museum, Danielle wanted to keep hanging out and find something else to do. We found the local farmer's market and went there. Shobhit found some vegetables to purchase, as well as some spice packets; Danielle bought some blackberry cider and some carrots. We did some other shopping too, at a nearby Indian grocery we found, which Shobhit now prefers to the Mayuri store in Bellevue -- you get 10% off at this place if you spend $100. Danielle hung out while Shobhit did his produce shopping there, and then we went to a nearby Petco.
It was here that Shobhit flew off the handle after we left, actually making Danielle uncomfortable in the car -- she literally said that, after Shobhit apologized: "It was a little uncomfortable," she said, from the back seat in the car. She event texted me: I don't like the way he talks to you. If an outsider is saying that to me, I think maybe we have a problem. Shobhit was pretty contrite after I mentioned this to him on the way home later, but being contrite after the fact isn't a solution. He needs to stop fucking behaving this way.
And what was it about? I bought a bag of kitty litter at Petco, which was on sale for $5 off for members. Danielle was pretty sure she was a member, and gave her phone number in order for me to get the discount without having to sign up for the program at this store I almost never go to. When I was at the register, the number Danielle gave worked, so I had every reason to believe I got the discount. In this is important: I did get the discount.
But, soon after we pulled out of the parking lot, Shobhit asked if the discount was reflected on my receipt. "I didn't even check," I said, pulling my receipt out of my pocket. And so far as I could tell, the discount had been applied -- although, the receipt was confusing. As in, it even confused Shobhit: well after he laid into me about never paying enough attention, after I told him I was pretty sure the discount was there, and he even turned around and pulled back ito the parking lot to look at the receipt -- he was convinces the line that showed the regular price should have shown the discount, and therefore I had not gotten the discount, so we needed t go back inside to dispute the receipt.
By this point Shobhit was already having a fucking conniption. I was very calm at first. "You need to calm down," I said. So then we went inside, and I first went back to the shelf to double check on the tagged pricing. Then I went back to the same cashier who had checked us out before, and he showed us on the receipt that "it scans as a coupon," and the line showing a $5 discount had the same code as the line with the item showing the regular price. So indeed, I had actually done everything correctly, I got the fucking precious discount, and every bit of this had been completely pointless.
I had no idea how much the cashier noticed when I snatched the receipt back out of Shobhit's hand, just a few feet away from the register, and said barely audibly to him, "You can go to hell." Now I was the one who was pissed. He loves to put me through this shit and it drives me crazy, and maybe it wasn't exactly helpful that as we left the store I was telling him he can go fuck himself -- I'd been right the entire time and he was being a complete asshole. It was right after we got back in the car that Danielle sent me that text.
When we were later on our way home without Danielle in the car and I felt it was important to bring it up again, that there was no excuse for his behavior, Shobhit's first response was to say, "But you dont' pay enough attention." I said, "That may actully be the case, but it's not at all relevant to what I'm talking about." He did agree with that. He likes to say "You don't care about money," as if it had been the end of the world if I actually hadn't managed to get that $5 discount. But guess what? I FUCKING DID GET IT. So, as I said to him, even that statement about me "not paying attention" doesn't hold water. I had indeed not paid until Danielle's account was scanned in before my transaction -- and Shobhit was mistaken after looking at the receipt with his own eyes.
This is the shit that drives me the most crazy. Shobhit has these conniption fits over things that, in the grand scheme of things, couldn't possibly matter any less. He complains constantly about his own high blood pressure, which he actively raises on his own with his own stressful behavior -- and causses me stress in the process, the single consistent source of stress in my life for many years running now. (To be fair, and I really can't stress this enough: even that is not constant. On average, I pass my days rather pleasantly even with Shobhit. The salient point is that this shit still happens far more often than it should.)
After dinner, we took Danielle back to her place, and we visited for a little while before Shobhit and I left again. We had some discussion about a gift I had given to Danielle ages ago that I had long forgotten: a collection of transcriped journal entries relevant to the first ten years of our friendship, between 1987 and 1997. It was a fascinating thing to read indeed, because after a while I figured out that I actually gave it to her as a birthday present in 2002 -- when we had known each other 15 years. I even posted it in its entirety to LiveJournal -- first privately, so that only Danielle could see it when she logged into her own account; but a couple of weeks later she allowed me to make it public.
But here's the thing about that piece, which I called The Hunt. I wrote it up a long time ago -- before either of Danielle's kids were born (Morgan is 14; I wrote it up 16 years ago), and during a period that seemed much more hopeful regarding Danielle's own familial relationships than they do now. Right now Danielle and her sister Alisha are completely estranged, with little evidence of that ever changing (I mean, anything is possible, but it doesn't look good); Gail, their mom, was still sober in 2002, and she started drinking again in 2010. This very much played into an incident between her and Danielle just this past year that resulted in the two of them not speaking for several months.
The point is, in 2002, things seemed rather hopeful, like they were facing a better future than the past. Now, Danielle happened upon this piece when looking for something else in her house, and she couldn't even finish re-reading it -- it made her cry too much. I read through some of it myself yesterday, and there's a lot of heavy shit in there -- including some very abusive stuff even I was witness to when I knew Danielle and her family when we were teenagers. It was shocking to read even for me, yesterday, some of that stuff. I kind of marveled that I would think it would be more fun than painful for her to read through, even back in 2002 -- but then I remembered, after thinking a bit, that time has added a lot more context to those early histories. (Danielle, as it happens, likes to tell people "Matthew is my historian.")
Sometimes Danielle and Morgan see a counselor together, and Danielle mentioned yesterday that maybe she should have their counselor read that collection. As much as Danielle is a far better mother than Gail ever was, Danielle can still trace mistakes she makes as a parent now, back to how she herself was raised. I actually think having her counselor read it probably is a good idea.
There's a lot in that collection regarding Danielle's and my friendship and how it was contextualized in the process of my coming out -- this passage rather jumped out at me:
And also Danielle + I talked on paper and she asked me if I was a fag. I said NO I AM NOT A FAG GODDAMMIT AND I'M SICK OF PEOPLE ASKING ME THAT!!! That just led to Danielle calling Melissa Wagner a crater-face.
First of all, defensive much? Also: we all had a far more casual attitude about the word "fag" 25-30 years ago.
Anyway, time is an interesting thing. When I wrote all that up in 2002, it was like everything I was re-telling was ancient history. Another 16 years have gone by even since then. It's sort of surreal to re-read through a lot of that stuff now.
I spent several hours at Steamworks after Shobhit and I got back to Seattle. I was there probably four hours, walking home much later than I am usually out -- I got home close to 1 a.m. Before that, I was home long enough for us to have a drink and for me to take a shower.
On the whole, though, it really was a good, fun day. We had our dinner at Pizzeria Pulcinella -- the place near Kubota Garden that we discovered during my Birth Week and went to have dinner at with Mimi. Shobhit said even then that we should go back with Danielle sometime, and that we did. While we were eating, Danielle got a text from Jeanna with a selfie showing her drinking and how she wished we could have been there. So Danielle took this shot of the three of us and sent it back to her.
[posted 6:47 pm]