i borrowed my parents' car in the late afternoon and drove down to rhode island on this saturday that for some reason felt like a sunday. renata had invited me to her parents' place for a dinner party for the residences, and somehow when she called me about it last night it sounded like it'd be fun. fun if you like being surrounded by (about a dozen) pathologists talking about their work. i knew no one other than renata and her parents, who were busy playing hosts, and actually everyone else knew each other except for me, so i was the only person who needed an introduction, "renata's friend from high school." i'm also renata's friend who periodically gets invited to awkward social gatherings.
the nice weather suddenly turned into a brief thunderstorm, and i looked out the living room window, more fascinated by the rain outside and the possibility of a rainbow than the conversation within. with no one to talk with, it didn't take me long to slink away from the crowd, first to the dining room, then into the kitchen, where a man dressed up in a caterer's uniform was preparing the food. when did they get a butler? i only talked to two people, a man who used to commute to school in boston from providence, and a woman (looked like renata's friend kay) who's a practicing plastic surgeon. she had the most interesting stories, almost better than talking to a proctologist (re: the "assman" senfield episode).
renata's brother marsian showed up right before dinner, and like the few other dinner parties they've invited me to, i ended up hanging out with him, eating outside on the deck despite the wet and cold weather. we talked computers and pop culture, marsian shifting from topic to topic in that low-attention-span way of his. occasionally we went back inside to get refills and for dessert (a beautiful tray of fruits, no snapshots unfortunately, photography verboten by renata).
by evening's end renata had the remaining residences spellbounded with her china trip slideshow (played off of a laptop), while marsian and i continued to sit outside in our act of civil disobedience. i was the last guest to leave (overstaying my welcome, another hallmark of my attendance), but not before previewing the family photo slideshow marsian (with some help from his sister) made on his mac with iphoto and idvd. i drove home after midnight in my pumpkin carriage, returning to cambridge to find an empty parking spot right in front of my place, even managing to parallel park successfully, one of the highlights of my evening.