Tonight Eli and I met in Mebane for dinner. She had been in Greensboro for the weekend visiting her college roommate Melissa, and since I was unwilling to drive that far, she agreed to drive 30 minutes further east to meet me in Mebane. I told her I thought there was a Cracker Barrel off Mebane-Oaks Rd (home of the BEST Bojangles on Planet Earth, therefore making it a frequent stop on my drives to Charlotte). Since apparently being "off Mebane-Oaks Rd" made no sense to her, she told me she would use her gps and find it. A few minutes later, she sends me the address of the Cracker Barrel on Mebane-Oaks Rd. Except, I showed up before her and found no Cracker Barrel (even though I was certain it had been there at one point). I called Eli and she gave me the street address. I put the address in and off I go into Mebane in search of the Cracker Barrel that I know had been there just 1 month ago. The gps delivers me into the middle of the Wal Mart parking lot. Probably the only thing that might frighten me more than Wal Mart itself is the parking lot of a Wal Mart in a little country town. I call Eli and she proceeds to tell me she doesn't know why I can't find it - why, she had mapped a Cracker Barrel directly to that spot. Fine, I tell her. Just meet me here and we'll figure it out. Next thing I know, here she comes barreling through the parking lot like a bat outta hell, leaning out the window and telling me the Cracker Barrel was in fact at the exit before this one. And then she apologized to me that I was dumb. Now, I may have been under the impression that there was a Cracker Barrel off that exit, but I'm not the one who actually mapped a Cracker Barrel to that exact location. But whatever. Off we rode to get our biscuits and fried okra.
Like most encounters with Eli, she had come prepared with lots of treats for me: a pair of designer shoes she had purchased on a work trip for me, a trash bag full of t-shirts from her college days (since she is so out of college now) and the first season of 16 and Pregnant on dvd. I modeled my new shoes for her while she lamented that I looked ugly in my boat shoes and jean capris. Then she noticed my shirt. Upon the realization that her older sister was wearing a Reba McIntyre shirt, she became very embarrassed and told me to "never wear that shirt again." Well all I know is praise the Lord almighty up in the sky. That bag of college t-shirts she gave me definitely includes a Jack Daniels tshirt. Forget Reba. From here on out, it's me and Jack. And my boat shoes.