Hunger Games' Mockingjay with cousins :)

Day 355: ‘Best Night Ever’

My cousin saying that this was the “best night ever” made my day. I must be the best cousin ever. I must be so cool. I must be so…modest.

But c’mon. She said this tied with her Halloween night when she got chased by a creepy man! I’m all smiles tonight.

As soon as I returned from Boston on Friday, I chatted with my mom on the car ride home about how I wish I could spend more time with my cousins, who have rarely ever seen us directly because of their crazy mom, or my crazy aunt. I have no reservations about making such a statement, either. She is just that ridiculous and overly protective of her children, and that has held us back from bonding with our cousins over the years.

Well, not anymore. My mom and her brother are super close, though, so as soon as my mom mentioned how I brought up the fact that I want to see my cousins more, my uncle told my cousins, who then proposed hanging out immediately.

I’ve always seen my cousins as five year olds. And although I’ve seen one of my cousins over the summer, I don’t remember the last time I saw the other. Boy, did they grow. The one on the left looks exactly like her father, while the one in the middle looks scarily like her mother.

Hunger Games' Mockingjay with cousins :)
🙂 ❤

They wanted to see the latest Hunger Games film, and given that I’ve read the books and haven’t gotten the chance to see this, this was a good choice. My uncle dropped them off at our house at 3 p.m., and they chatted briefly with my sister who didn’t want to join us—surprise, surprise. While I can accept her refusals to join me and my mom for lunches, I couldn’t help but think how selfish she was for not joining me and our cousins. It’s winter break, for Pete’s sake, and what else did she have to do on a Sunday afternoon? “Laundry” is never an excuse. Neither is not wanting to see a particular movie. The point is to spend time with our cousins, who we haven’t seen in years and who so desperately want to just hang out with us, especially with Eva because I’m pretty sure she’s the cooler cousin.

Well, you know what? I’m pretty sure that after tonight, at least with Gigi (nickname for Geneva. Yeah, I hate it, too.), the one who said this tied with her best night ever, I take that title. I’m still over the moon. (Hey, I didn’t say I’m still not lame for using phrases such as “over the moon.”)

After the movie, they wanted to go get Starbucks (whoa, adults!). Gigi got some kind of mojito drink. MOJITOS AT STARBUCKS?! I’m so out of it. In fact, throughout the night, I kept inquiring about all the things that kids are into these days. Man, you don’t realize how old you are until you hang out with a middle schooler and freshman in high school. Kids these days aren’t on Facebook, and they apparently have hundreds of Instagram followers, and the two photos they do post end up getting almost 300 likes each, when I never even reach that number on Facebook for anything. I’M SO LAME AND OLD. But again, still the cooler cousin at this point.

Long line for Santa photos at the Mall of Columbia
Long line for Santa photos at the Mall of Columbia.

We wandered aimlessly around the mall, until my other cousin, Fifi (short for Fiona. Gosh, I wish I were kidding), went inside Pink to get a $40 gift card for a “cousin.” No, it wasn’t me. But, like, Pink. $40. What happened to $25 gift cards being a lot?

Anyway, since I had mentioned how good Maggiano’s was after the movies, we ended up going there for dinner, despite my worries on not finishing anything, given its large portions. The server, who seemed awesome in the beginning, recommended a $40 deal, where we would get an appetizer, two pasta dishes for here and two to go (WHAT?!), and dessert. Since my cousins and I were humorously indecisive as hell (they didn’t answer any of my questions on what they wanted ever), I went with what our server recommended, save for dessert, which I chose since you can never go wrong with brownies.

Maggiano's pasta
The server-recommended ziti and chicken alfredo pasta dishes at Maggiano’s.
Delicious brownies at Maggiano's
Deliciously warm brownies with vanilla ice cream and strawberries at Maggiano’s.

And now for why I said the server was good in the beginning. He made us laugh with his small talk and commentary here and there and was kindly attentive. Then one thing led to another and it seemed like he just gave up on our table. We ended up waiting almost half an hour after getting the check, only for him to realize he forgot to get us our to-go boxes. And when we did receive them, it was another woman who gave it to us, as if he was too embarrassed or just didn’t bother coming back with them for us.

I didn’t mind the wait too much, since it did give us an opportunity to chat more, but I was worried that her crazy mom would hate me for bringing them back so “late.” In the end, her mom wasn’t even home by the time I drove them back at 9 p.m.

But the highlight of the night, again, was when Gigi blurted, “This was my second best night.”

“Wait, second best? What was your first?”

“Halloween.” And then she went on about a creepy man, which then prompted her to rethink her statement. “Okay, actually this is tied for first.” There we go.

I mean, how could it not be? Movie, mojito at Starbucks, accompanying sister to buy a Pink gift card at the mall, eating yummy pasta and best brownie ever at Maggiano’s—yep, what a sweet, innocuous night. (But also, this only proves how protective her mom is. She doesn’t allow her children to have this much fun apparently.)

I love break.