Lobster Night


The Trifecta
Lobster Night is special.
It is one evening a year that a certain gang of friends convene at Chez Maggie's to enjoy sisterhood, laughter and lobster.
It is a time to rehash old stories, bitch about class reunions and to roast our unsuspecting husbands.
This year's Lobster Night, which really happened to be last year's Lobster Night, because last year's Lobster night didn't make the cut of events before the end of 2016, which was actually for 2015, because that year we missed it entirely, was coincidentally on the same day that the American Red Cross was stationed where I work.
I am merely stating these facts in order to prove that none of this was my fault.
You see, I, being the good Samaritan that I am, had dutifully signed up for a 10:15 AM appointment.
Ninety-seven percent of the time, giving blood doesn't affect me, except for that one exception when I ended up lying unnoticed on the floor in my little office cubical for twenty minutes, before crawling back into my chair, which was not that easy because it is on wheels.
I finally made it up there, rolled my way over to my desk, shut my computer off and went home.
But that's okay.
Giving blood saves lives.
And I like to save lives.
That is just that way I am.
Especially when The American Red Cross is conveniently parked in our cafeteria, during my shift.

Everything went well with the needle poke on Lobster Day.
I gobbled down a bag of crackers, sipped on a bottle of water at the little table and signed the book before leaving the blood bank, just in time for my 11:30 lunch break.
Things were clicking along right on schedule that Thursday.
I met Bev in the small break room where I immediately scarfed down a bowl of homemade soup, opened another bottle of water and we listened to the never-ending drone of Donald Trump and unanimously rolled our eyes.
I scurried back to my desk to put in some high-powered work, before my next appointment.
You see, I was scheduled for a twenty-minute chair massage at 2:35 PM.
That wasn't my fault either.
I have a standing 2:35 PM appointment with Joe every time Joe brings his business to our business, which is every two weeks.
How could I possibly have known that my massage would land on Lobster Day?
I like to partake in company affairs. Especially the work life balance affairs that have nothing to do with work.
And in case you don't already know this, Joe is the best.
(See: A Massage is a Massage is a Massage)
I have never had an issue after a session with Joe, except for that one exception when he fixed my elbow by forcing toxins out of toxins that apparently were all balled up in the joint.
I had been joking when I had said, "Hey Joe, do you think you can fix my tennis elbow?"
"Sure," he says.
I only asked because Sven had said, "Why don't you just ask Joe to fix your elbow? Joe can do anything."
"Joe is a massage therapist," I had said. "Not a doctor."
And Sven is just jealous because I don't let him give me massages ever since that time, he broke my finger.
I know it's not a real common massage injury, but you see, Sven had said, "Lay on your stomach."
So, there I was, sprawled out on the floor in anticipation of the world's greatest rubdown, when I felt the weight of Sven's knee on my left hand which happened to be balled into a fist. I heard a snap and then I screamed bloody murder and Sven sprang up.
Unfortunately, the finger that started to swell up really fast was the one that was inside that diamond ring that he had given me just a couple years prior.
But it wasn't swelling up as fast as I was working that ring around and around, under the bathroom faucet of cold, soapy, water.
I was frantic.
Because in the meantime Sven was out in his shop searching for some kind of a power tool to cut that ring off.
Well, I survived Sven's massage, and I still have that finger.
Not only did Joe make that tennis elbow disappear, I also survived the immediate aftereffects.
Joe just had me sit in the chair and drink a bottle of water and wait for the buzzing in my ears and the clamminess in my hands to go away. And when I was able to pull my head out of my lap I went back to work.
But that was not on Lobster Day.
On Lobster Day I skipped out of there.
It was an hour and a half later when I caught a ride to Chez Maggie's from Giselle and Shirlee-Bunny.
We were giddy as we walked in the door and tossed our coats to the side.
There were hugs.
There were kisses.
There were kisses. There were hugs.
The door kept opening.
More jackets were tossed.
"Oh, my God, Dot! How are you?"
"Dora, it's been so long!"
Then I heard Giselle digging in her cooler saying, "Millie, do you want a beer?"
"Sure," I said. "I'll take a 64."
Now hang on.
I know what you are thinking.
"Millie, didn't you just give blood?"
Well, let me explain something.
I have been donating my O positive for more than thirty years.
So I think I know the rules.
Avoid heavy lifting.
Do not exercise.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Avoid alcohol.
Don't look at me like that.
I did avoid alcohol.
And avoiding alcohol and not having any alcohol are two different things.
There is no way in a court of law that a lawyer could prove that a person of interest had not avoided something.
"Young lady, you were ordered to avoid that neighborhood."
"I did Your Honor."
"Then why pray tell, on July the 16th, 2016 at 7:13 PM were you seen standing in front of your ex-husband's house?"
"Your honor, I was trying to avoid it. But then I heard that he got new curtains. And I had to see for myself."
You see?
It is completely subjective and open for interpretation.
I plugged the Nesco of already baked potatoes, wrapped in tin foil, into the outlet and stepped out to the garage to see what was going on.
With just three little stairs I found myself in Colorado.
"Here," says Margaret and she passes me a glass contraption.
I took one puff from the smoke filled cylinder.
"You are doing it wrong," she says.
But, I couldn't really hear Margaret.
At that same moment my ears started to buzz and my hands got all clammy and I had the sudden urge to sit down and stick my head between my legs.
"You are supposed to pull this part out when you inhale," she says. "It's a carburetor. Here, try it again."
I held my palm out, signifying a, "No thanks."
And that is when Millie Noe took three steps back up into the kitchen and she found herself back in Wisconsin looking for the couch.
It wasn't that easy to find.
It was under a bunch of winter coats.
I burrowed my way into the pile.
This would be the time when I realized that my friends are very sweet.
Nauseatingly sweet.
I mean it.
They were so sweet that I wanted a bucket.
I was served a plate of crackers.
I was given a glass of water.
And then I was given a different glass of water without ice.
"I'm fine." I said, "I gave blood today."
"You gave blood on Lobster Day? Are you nuts?"
"I had a massage too."
"Are you insane?"
I was told to, "Put your feet up."
I was told to, "Eat those crackers and drink that water."
Claudette, sitting on the edge of a cushion told me all about her trip to California and seeing her granddaughters.
I opened my eyes in time to see my sister Louisa, pointing at me and saying, "This is why you shouldn't give blood."
"Do we need to call an ambulance?" says Margaret.
"NO! I'm fine. It will go away."
Buster, Maggie's fuzzy little dog, checked in on me every few minutes. He liked to stick his cold nose into mine and breathe puppy breath in my face. It was a mouth to mouth sort of a thing, I guess.
Finally I was able to convince my friends that I just needed a little time, ALONE.
They left the living room.
Everybody except Buster.
Now, I would not recommend gambling on this trifecta of giving blood, having a massage and then pretending that you live in Colorado, all in the same day.
But if this does happen to you accidentally, as it happened to me, my advice is to, "Lay back on those coats and listen to those girls. They are funnier than shit."
Buster and I were busting a gut out there.
We especially liked the Black Bug attack at Yogi Bear Park, story.
That one always gets me.
Louisa was talking.
"You guys remember don't you? Maggie was walking down the path on the beach, coming toward us from the Snack Shack?"
"Yeah, the girls wanted ice cream," says Maggie.
"We were sitting on a picnic table and happened to see her coming our way," says Louisa.
"And then," Maggie says, "That's when it got me."
"What?" said Shirlee-Bunny.
"The bug."
"That's when she started doing her dance," says Louisa.
I couldn't see the dance since I was hanging with Buster, but I'd seen Louisa do the Maggie Black Bug Dance, often enough to know exactly what all the cackling was about.
"And then she starts ripping off her swimming suit!" like this, she says.
Louisa starts with a little twitch. Then she starts flapping her hands. Then she starts wiggling and twitching and waving her hands wildly. By the end she is wiggling and twitching and waving her hands and trying to get out of her shirt.
I know because I've seen it.
"I was wearing my cover up, wasn't I?" says Maggie.
"What kind of a bug was it?" says Dora.
"A black one."
"A beetle?" says Dot.
"No. Just a big black bug. He was stuck to me."
"They were nasty that summer," Claudette said.
"Those bastards!" said Maggie.
"You were stripping on the beach," says Louisa.
"Well I had to get him off me!"
There was another Colorado outburst.
Buster and I enjoyed a few more stories out there on that pile of coats.
Apparently, laughter heals the spins.
Because I started to feel better.
A lot better.
I realized that I could sit up.
So, I ventured out to the kitchen table.
I made it there in time for our annual lobster dinner where I was surrounded by the very best of friends.

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Every Lobster Night is different. Every Lobster Night has a new story. Every Lobster Night creates another memory.
But what makes Lobster Night 2017 unique, is that two of these very beautiful women pictured above are currently battling cancer.
Women Power.
Now, if you all don't mind, get off my bed.

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