On Monday Matthew and Pierre went to town around 1:30. I had been working on a list for two days. It was very detailed. On one side I listed all the errands they needed to run, like going to the post office and the bank, picking up glass for the fireplace, picking up the tires for the car and of course, grocery shopping. On the other side of the paper I had a list of all the groceries we needed. I even had a special section for personal requests under which I wrote wine and hamburger meat for Wednesday's get together.
The afternoon was slow. Dead slow. So slow, that Maggie took some time to work on her design work while I worked on my blog. After a few hours of this I took a break and went to see what Maggie was up to. Her design work was amazing. It was like looking at the pages of an Anthropology magazine. She had a nicely built portfolio which she clicked through to show me her work. It was everything my Intro to Design class had been in college and oh, so much more. I watched in fascination while she tweaked a design she was hoping to sell in a few days. Textile design was her specialty. I gathered that this meant she designed things like rugs and kitchen towels. Of the few designs I saw I would have easily purchased 60% of them. They were beautiful and I thought it was really cool to see the back end of the work.
At that point Maggie and I connected on a creative level. We quickly dove into the exciting world of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, contrasting our likes and dislikes of each of them. That led into a discussion about Mac computers and how they were most obviously better for the creative worker. We shared admiration for 15 inch screens and compared our models. That led into a small discussion on photography and digital cameras.
Maggie had a professional camera and millions of beautiful pictures to prove it. I was just as impressed with her photography as I was in her design work. She had talent, I saw that much. She told me how she'd like to start a design and travel blog using the pictures she had taken on all of our trips. This was a golden statement. I had been studying the art of blogging for six years. I quickly jumped at the chance to help her build her own. I told her a blog with her stuff could easily be profitable and marketable online because she had an actual product, goal and audience to shoot for. I explained that I had the same goals for myself but it was hard to sell something using a blog when the end goal was to get paid as a writer. This was something I had studied for years and though I couldn't crack the code for myself, I was already seeing visions of success for Maggie.
Maggie asked to see my blog. While she was clicking around she found my picture. It was a nice professional picture a friend of mine had taken of me about a year ago. Maggie was shocked. She said I looked so different in the picture. I told her that's how I normally looked, with full hair and makeup everyday. She told me I looked better now than I did in the picture. I was surprised to hear this because in my current state my hair was in a sloppy bun and I only had on light foundation and light mascara. I felt rough. She said I looked 20 years older in the picture and that I didn't need to wear that much makeup ever. At the time I didn't think much about the comment other than surprise but it must have been the last bit of encouragement I needed because the next day I went completely bare faced and I haven't turned back since.
In the twenty minutes I had chatted with Maggie, Matthew had called three times. My phone was on the charger so I had missed all three of them. I quickly called him back and when I asked him what he needed he said, “nothing now.” I asked if he was sure and he said “all the decisions have been made already.” He hastily hung up the phone and I looked to Maggie and told her I would bet money that they messed something up. She laughed and said she'd bet even more money that the groceries would come back a mess.
An hour later when the boys showed up I was busy sweeping the floor. Maggie went outside and helped them unload the car. I continued sweeping until Matthew walked in the cafe.
“Haley, I have to tell you. I messed up big time. Today was a total fail.” I tried to hide my smirk as I asked him what exactly happened.
He said he saw on my list that I wanted three kilos of minced meat.
(We had discussed this before they left. I needed enough meat to make a meatloaf for our dinner party that week. We had planned to invite Graham and Wayne over and I wanted to make a southern meal of mashed potatoes, meatloaf and brownies.) Matthew said he looked at the meat section and knew he needed to remember a specific kind but couldn't remember what it was. He said he then thought it would be cool to mix it up so he got a minced chicken, a minced kangaroo and also a minced mystery mixture. I gave him a cold stare as he went on to say it wasn't until just now when Maggie was helping unload the groceries that she pointed out we needed minced beef for the meat loaf. He said he was extremely sorry and he felt bad.
I laughed and said he'd have to eat minced chicken meatloaf to make up for it. He said we couldn't even do that because he didn't buy enough of it.
“What the heck is minced chicken anyways?”
He laughed and said he wasn't sure either. It was just mushed up stuff, really. I smiled at the disgusting thought of mushed up chicken guts baked into a loaf. Awesome job, guys. This is why we don't send men to the grocery store.
A few minutes later Pierre came in and announced they had bought the wrong kind of cheese too. He knew this because Maggie had pointed it out.
I asked Matthew if he had priced salt and pepper shakers like I had asked him to and he said yes but didn't buy them, or tell me the cost of them like he was supposed to. He also said that he couldn't find the milkshake glasses we needed or the phone charger but they did manage to find an allen wrench and an axe handle. Figures.