Drove to Knoxville last night for my brother David’s 50th birthday celebration. His actual birthday was early June but this was the first weekend everyone could all be in one place so I left New Orleans at 7 and made great time—despite what looked like a fire that closed the Interstate for several miles, rerouting me onto Alabama Hwy 11 N to Dekalb, which was fine because I got to see some new scenery instead of the same route I drive 6 times a year.
Got in at 5, unpacked and showered at Fred and Juie’s condo—where I’ve now officially spent more time than they have. Picked up Mom and met David and Laura at the restaurant. They’re usually late but last night they had arrived first, which was a nice surprise, and we had drinks with them and more drinks when John and Caroline came. The six of us hadn’t been together in one place in years—just a few minutes on Christmas 2010 at John’s; before that I can’t even remember.
Had a bit of an oops when, as the only liberal at the table—except Mom, who wisely kept quiet, why can’t I do that!—I defended President Obama, stating the obvious, that he never had a chance in his first term because republicans announced their sole mission was to make him a one-term president. Of course David and Laura are Romney supporters, why would that surprise me? David: “Romney is a businessman, the US is the largest business in the world.” Laura: “Why do you not like Romney?” Me, again simply articulating what I thought was obvious: “He lies.” Well, that’s what I was afraid I said; what I really said was, he gives misleading statements about past positions he’s taken on controversial issues, and pretty much everyone conceded that was true. Whew.
I excused myself for the bathroom so I wouldn’t heat up the conversation further and by the time I got back the dessert menus had arrived and all was good. We took pictures after dinner, John teasing me about my ancient camera–it’s a 5-year old Casio Exilim and takes beautiful pictures, which John finally had to admit.
10:30 and time to go home. After I dropped Mom off and got back to the condo saw David had texted to meet them at Bistro, but I was already in and ready for bed.