Score: One for Martha Stewart

I got up around 10:30 today to have breakfast with Sheila, and I couldn’t help but notice the delightful aroma wafting down the hallway from the kitchen… chocolate cake? Madame had mentioned that she was going to make a flourless chocolate cake for me soon, I didn’t realize it was going to be this soon! There wasn’t much for breakfast. Despite the fact that Madame had gone grocery shopping yesterday, confiture hadn’t ended up on her list… and toast with just butter (or a plain rice cake) isn’t all that great. I only had one piece of gluten-free bread left as it was. Madame had just pulled the cake out of the oven when we went out to have breakfast, so she let it cool for a few minutes, then cut herself a little slice to try. I had a piece after I was done eating my toast and rice cake. The cake was delicious! Maybe it’s not the best thing to have for breakfast, but since there’s no milk for cereal, no jam, no Nutella, and no gluten-free bread, it doesn’t look like Sheila and I have many options for breakfast tomorrow (considering we’ll be alone)…

I headed back into my room and turned my phone on to find that I had a couple messages from my mom. She was still online, so we Facetimed for a couple hours, and I got to see Noah, who was completely pooped from running around the local dog park today. We talked about family, some of her patients, things I’d been up to, a whole bunch of things. I never get the chance to talk to her all that often since she works so much, so we talk a lot on the weekends. I got a text from Kyle saying that we might go to Carrefour, so I got ready while I was talking to my mom, but Carrefour never happened. Madame left while I was talking to my mom, and after I ended the call, I walked around the house for a bit to see what all was left. As I’d expected, we weren’t left dinner since Saturday is our “night out” for dinner day, and much to my surprise, the living room was left unlocked! Sheila had left while I was talking to my mom to go work on a project for one of her psychology classes at Paris VII, so I was all alone, and none of my friends were online. While I let a couple TV show episodes load, I puttered around listening to music, and since I was alone… I pulled up the lyrics to “Mon histoire” (the French equivalent of “On My Own” from Les Miserables) when it came up on my iPod… and further reminded myself that I have no future in the world of musical theatre (performing it, at least). Sheila came home after a while, and took a nap. We figured we’d take advantage of the fact that Madame wasn’t going to be home tonight and have a few friends over like we did last time. In my fits of boredom, I looked up a couple recipes for wine-based “cocktails” that I could put in a punch bowl, so Sheila and I went to Carrefour to pick up what all we needed to make them later on.

Rouge and Joan were getting their hair done, and wanted to meet up at Chipotle for dinner since they were around that area. Sheila and I met up with Kyle near our place, then headed over to where Chipotle was. Rouge got her hair trimmed, and Joan got hers trimmed and dyed. They both looked awesome! Chipotle is pretty much the same here as it is in America, the same kind of cheese and guacamole, and all the same meats, but I noticed a couple differences. No matter what kind of meat (or just vegetables) you wanted, everything started out at 9,00 euros. Back home, my usual meat of choice (barbaçoa) is the most expensive offering. When I get the burrito bowl at home, it’ll take me two or three meals to finish it, but I was able to finish everything I was given here. I guess the idea of French portion sizes being smaller fits here, I’d never really noticed it before. Joan decided to try one of the margaritas, which was evidently very strong. She mentioned that she was supposed to go to a 3D exposition of the history of France that was taking place by Hôtel de Ville for one of her classes, so we headed over, but everyone and their mother was there, and we couldn’t get anywhere near it. We gave up and went back to our place.

There’s apparently a rule that you’re supposed to drink red wine, then white wine, so we had the red wine based punch first. It’s apparently called a French Monkey, and it’s made with two parts red wine to one part Orangina. We liked it better when it was pretty much equal parts red wine to Orangina. Considering I bought the cheapest red wine I could find, it wasn’t that great of a punch, but it was definitely better than drinking the wine by itself would have been. We played King’s Cup (our way, of course) until the punch disappeared, then I made the white wine based punch. It was the entire bottle of white wine, a wine bottle’s worth of 7-Up, and half of the wine bottle of your choice of fruit juice (we had a tropical blend). As soon as Rouge tasted it, the first thing she said was “this is dangerous.” She said she couldn’t taste the alcohol, and even if she could, the punch tasted really good. It did! Joan had invited a couple friends from last week’s high school party, so we went downstairs to let them in, and one had told me there were five other people on their way. I told him to tell them to go home, five more people was far too many. As it is, we had a lot of people around, we didn’t need any more. That punch did turn out to be pretty dangerous. Joan had enough of it to give herself the hiccups, so I said I could fix it. Both of Joan’s parents are in the medical field, so she assumed I was going to give her muscle relaxants. I told her I had something better: my hiccup stick. Rouge about lost it, burst into laughter, went back into the living room, and told the rest of the group “Guys, never fear, Claire has a hiccup stick.” Joan was in tears laughing because I would have something as bizarre as a stick that cured hiccups, and she couldn’t stop laughing long enough to put it in her mouth and drink some water, so she kept spitting water everywhere. She finally got enough down to cure her hiccups, so then the rest of the group was passing around the hiccup stick to see how it worked. I washed it and put it away after that. We’d run out of the white wine punch, but we still had some Orangina left, so Rouge brought out her bottle of Beaujolais and I made another batch of the French Monkey punch with that. It was definitely better with a better bottle of wine… one of Joan’s friends taught Joan, Kyle, and Rouge to play a French drinking game that got rid of most of the punch, so they had me finish the little bit that was left of it. Once midnight rolled around, everyone left to go to McDo before it closed. Sheila and I put the living room back together, and hand washed all of the glasses to try to erase any evidence that so many people had been over. To put myself in a more comfortable state, I wanted to take the empty bottles downstairs right away, so I did that while Sheila was washing the glasses, then I washed the punch bowl when I got back. I think these “kick back” style parties are my favorite. They’re really laid back, and I think I like them more when I’m the one hosting them since I don’t have to go anywhere when I need to go to bed. I think I would have been more comfortable if we’d kept the group smaller (and with just Sweet Briar people), but things didn’t play out that way. I’m bad at keeping secrets (and with guilt), so I hope Madame doesn’t find out or get too upset with us… nothing seemed out of place, and we cleaned up really well… we’ll have to see…

Celui qui a bon coeur n’est jamais sot. -Sand

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