Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Ms.Quinn!

Quinn turned 40 on Sunday!

Ten years ago, I threw a backyard Mardi Gras party for Quinn's 30th. I became possessed by the party mission. Cooking cajun for a large crowd - sugar snap peas, chicken in a roux, jambalaya - after almost never cooking anything ever. Filling the little house I shared with my new husband at the time with purple, green and gold balloons, streamers, and beads. Apparently, creating an obscene version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, although I don't remember that part. And, there was a windy rainstorm that led to a last-minute tent rental and a swamp in the little kitchen to go with the platters of cajun food.
But that was so turning 30. Now, we're 40. Quinn threw her own party in her new home in Novato. There was a chili bar and chocolate cake shots, no rain, very few husbands, but there was Jenga. There were also some very un-Jenga like moments, but I think I'll leave that puppy alone.
Because I've got something even better: Classic Quinn Moments.
I've been waiting for a special time to bring these out, and no way will I release them all, because you never know when you might need a fresh one to cheer people up. This is just a sample to celebrate my friend Quinn who is really everyone's friend. For years, I have been at gatherings of all kinds, silently standing with Quinn, as she talks to every new person in the general area. I'm always waiting to be like . . . wasn't that one new person totally annoying? And she's always like . . . No, that person's great! I like everyone! So, you can see why she's especially good to have around.
Our friend Corina used to be with a guy from Ireland who was part of a gaggle of dudes with incomprehensible Irish brogues. Quinn was one of the only brave souls I knew who would sit with them at parties and try to carry on a conversation. And believe me, she didn't know what they were saying either. She once told them, "I f*** my boyfriend," when they asked her what she did for a living. She was convinced they wanted to know what she did for loving. And you know that if you have a question for Quinn, she will keep it real when she can. Those guys were huge Quinn fans.
Quinn also has an innate talent for slapstick. Like when she was standing behind one of her brothers during his wedding ceremony in front of a packed house. She might have been crying when she somehow managed to sneeze out a gigantic snot bomb that splattered across her dress and onto her brother that was too significant to ignore. She had to mop it up, and am I making this up, or did it actually bring the ceremony to a halt?
If I'm exaggerating about the last one, I know she stopped a show in Hawaii once. She was there for a friend's wedding and arrived the night of the bachelor/bachelorette party. She met up with the bride and her friends, all strangers to Quinn. I know she went in with enthusiasm, offering to buy drinks for the ladies she was just meeting, bringing the party vibe that you might assume would be welcome in such a situation. The ladies' reactions were limp at best. They turned out to be super into marathons and working out and carb loading or god knows what else. They weren't really into hanging out in bars or talking to Quinn about things that normal people talk about.
The ladies petered, and those that weren't homeward bound decided to join the bachelor party, which was in a strip club. Quinn, relieved, went right up and sat with the groom-to-be as his friends paid for extra dances and such. Quinn, always the good sport, asked her buddy what he might enjoy in the form of exotic entertainment, and he leaned over to whisper a somewhat unusual request that seemed harmless enough to Quinn. She approached the stage, and one of the dancers leaned down to find out what she wanted. When Quinn told her, the dancer brought the room to a standstill by flipping out and calling Quinn out for her "sick" request.
Quinn, mortified, retreated to sit by herself at the bar. You know those marathon bitches didn't offer more than a disapproving stare. One of the guys from the wedding party approached Quinn with something like, "All I want to know is what you just said to her."
That's how awesome Quinn is. She's friendly, honest - I would even say wholesome - yet you never know when she might get raw.

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