With those words Jennifer confirmed she was worried about the same thing as me.
Last night my boss, Bette, asked if Jen & I wanted to go grab a bite to eat with her. But Jen was going to be kinda late. Recently, I have needed to go to bed earlier and earlier just to function. So we tossed this around for a bit and finally decided on East Bay, but promised ourselves it would be quick.
We sat at the bar and had my favorite bartender, Dick. Although I am usually the designated driver, Jen frequently asks if I want to drink before she orders her first. Not last night.
I was in kind of a hostile mood. I think it was just me reacting poorly to the pain in my ankles. As we were walking up the side path to East Bay there were people waiting for the valet, not unusual. There were two women taking up the whole width of the path and I would have had to step up on the stones lining the path to get around them. So I said "Excuse me." Ok, right then I am aggravated. She saw me walking toward her, she knew she was in my way. Why didn't she move on her own? Why did she need my prompting? Even then, she doesn't actually move, she just pivots a little. I said "Are you kidding me? Get the eff out of my way!" Not loudly, but only a foot away from her. She moved. Jen was hysterical. So when Dick asked if I was drinking, Jen said "Coca Cola! She's already hostile!" Bette, Jen and I discussed it for a minute. Jen had been behind me and she thought that it didn't register with the woman immediately because, while she moved, she didn't look up or stop talking. Jen said "It was probably a delayed reaction, she just realized now what you said and she'll be in her to confront you in a second" then we really laughed. The thought of "Miss Path Blocker" coming back in mad and looking for me....pretty funny. Like she would have gotten anywhere near me without Jen laying her out on the floor....and probably not spilling a drop of her Sam's Summer ale.
So we were kitty corner at the bar, me, Jen and around the corner Bette. Next to Bette were two guys who were pretty involved in their own conversation. It was an hour before there was any interaction between us and them.
Dick was very entertaining as usual. He wanted to know about my adventures. I told him how jam packed the end of June is with #NavyWeek Boston, the "Restrepo" showing at the MFA, shooting with My Marine and my THREE invitations to USS Constitution events.
Then just as Bette's food arrived she ducked out to the ladies room to wash her hands. One of the two guys made a joke about stealing her chicken wings. We started kidding back and forth. We teased the other that we had seen him on "Cops" in the back of a squad car. Bette came back and this friendly banter continued. Some jokes were slightly off color. Some blue language was used. One guy was from Southie - well it actually turns out he is in Southie now and not "from" Southie. We called him out on it. But before we realized that and we thought he was from Southie I asked him which parish. You see this is how we further identify ourselves in the city. I'm not just from Charlestown, I am from St. Francis de Sales parish. I have a friend who is not just from Dorchester, she is from St. Mark's. I have a friend who is not just from Southie, he is from St. Augustine's.
So I asked.
And he laughed and said "Actually, I'm a priest and I'm assigned to ....." I don't even remember what he said. Jen and I were yelling at him for lying. He produced ID. We were still yelling.
We reviewed the previous conversations......
He laughed at us and said we were screwed, no Heaven for us. No, no, no I protested we went to Catholic schools for 12 years. He laughed and said so what! He wasn't impressed and said he was a "Public". That's what we say about kids who go to public schools and CCD. Not "You go to public school." or "You go to CCD". Just "You are a public." It's a little idiom.
Jen turns to me and says "There's going to be a delay at the Gate"
He and his friend were a riot and he knew our priest. But that was a very surreal evening.
Then he rolled up his sleeve and showed us a US Marine Corps tattoo. I asked if he knew who Col Ripley was. He got all excited and began explaining to everyone who Col Ripley was and described him as "bad ass". He was very proud to announce that when stationed in DC years ago he had met Col. Ripley.
I smiled and explained that I had never had that honor....but I was good friends with his daughter, Mary. He was genuinely impressed...who wouldn't be? Jen chimed in and said "I know her too! We were talking to her last night in the car." So that seals that deal, Mary is an honorary McInnis sister now.
But seriously, how are we explaining this to St. Peter? I threatened to take him out back and toss him off the Town wharf! I must have been hemorrhaging points. I can never be good enough to make up that many points.