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july 15th nano and the event have been closed! congratulations to air for having the most points in the contest!
june 15th happy three years! check out the announcement here!
june 15th happy three years! check out the announcement here!
Dinner And A Show, maddieee
Max had been out with Addie a couple of times before, but this one was different because they were calling it a date. He had expected to be a lot more nervous and unsure about it than he actually felt. He found that hearing her admit that she had a crush on him, that she liked spending time with him, really put his mind at ease about a lot of it. Confidence was easier when you already knew how the other person felt. The only slightly uncomfortable or problematic thoughts in his mind were of his late wife, though even on that front, Max knew that Avery wanted these. She had told him she wanted this, long before he had reason to suspect he’d ever have to live without her. Despite the strange feeling of preparing for a date with someone who wasn’t her, Max knew that…this wasn’t just something he wanted to do, this was something he should be doing. He should be going out on dates with women. He did imagine, one day in the far off future, that he would find happiness again with someone else and remarry – not necessarily for himself, but for his children. Max would be okay remaining single for the rest of his days, but his kids deserved a mother. Not that Max was signing Addie up for stepmom duties or anything like that, but…he’d never be able to find them a stepmother if he never even went on dates, would he?
Because he was a romantic at heart and a people pleaser, Max wanted to take Addie somewhere that she would enjoy. The obvious choice here was to do dinner, maybe a movie, but…how dull. Dinner would be nice, of course, but Max always thought movie dates were a cheap shot because neither person had to talk. In the end he’d opted for something…different. What about dinner and a live movie…a live show? Max had picked up Addie and headed to Le Petit Theatre for a show called You Don’t Know the Half of It with intentions to visit the in-house restaurant Le Tableau when all was said and done. The show itself had been a good one, earning genuine laughs from Max on more than one occasion, and the standing ovation the small cast received at the end was deserved. ”Hungry?” Max asked, turning to ADELAIDE CHEVALIER. He remembered her appetite though, having to assume that the answer to this question was always going to be yes, and gestured for her to follow him. ”You know, they say this theatre is haunted,” he told her as they walked toward the restaurant closer to the front of the theatre. ”Believe in ghosts?” he wondered with a grin and a waggle of his eyebrows. Max didn’t. He’d never seen one. He believed that souls or spirits or whatever went one place or the other after they left a body…didn’t believe that they hung around Earth for long…didn’t want to believe that, either.
As nervous as Addie had been for their previous outings, she was equally excited for this one. The nerves probably made of a little bit of her excitement, but most of it was genuine because she simply wanted to spend time with Max. It was clear to see that they were attracted to one another, and now that she understood his marital situation, she could finally let herself be excited about seeing him. Addie had heard great things about the show they were going to, so when Max suggested it, she was quick to show her interest. She basically flew home from work to walk Bane, then shower and otherwise get ready for their date. The word still felt a little funny coming out of her mouth, but also a little surreal. Here she was at twenty-nine (shit, was she that old now? Guess that's what happens when your latest birthday gets swallowed up by a massive fight with your siblings and a smallpox outbreak) and had somewhat resigned to the fact that she was never going to be anything more than a friend with benefits to someone. Now she was going on bonafide dates with a man she clearly didn't deserve? Bet your ass she was going to take advantage of it until he realized she was probably more than he bargained for.
As they exited, Addie was still chuckling from the end of the show. It wasn't hard to make Addie laugh, but she was particularly proud because there were only a couple bits of humor she didn't quite get. Adelaide was easily distracted and sometimes a little blonde, so it wasn't uncommon for jokes to fall flat because she didn't get them. "Oh gosh yessss," she laughed some more. As the entire audience poured from the theatre, Addie curled her arm through Max's so she wouldn't lose him. "No way," she stated, then looked around at all the architecture. "I guess I do." She gave a shrug. "When we were kids, me and my brother always thought our attic was haunted. Then we found a ouija board in our grandma's basement and tried it out in the attic. My mom caught us and we got grounded for a month for trying to summon the devil." A pause, then a laugh. She forgot how ridiculous that story sounded out loud.
Going to the show first allowed Max to really settle in to this date. He got to sit next to Addie and laugh without the pressure of doing anything else – not that she made him feel pressured or anything. Max just put that pressure on himself. He had a natural desire to be liked, to please other people. He knew that Addie liked him and enjoyed being around him because she had told him as much, and yet he supposed he just didn’t want to jinx that. The show itself was entertaining and funny, and Max was in high spirits as they left the actual theatre portion. He felt loose and light, happy to be exactly where he was in that moment. ”Granted, people say about half of New Orleans is haunted,” he shrugged and chuckled, ”so maybe take that with a grain of salt?” As was true in most cities with a long and colorful history, New Orleans fell victim to a rather imagination rumor mill. There were dozens if not hundreds of locations that people believe were haunted. Some were more notable than others, like the LaLaurie house. Max didn’t know where the theatre fell in the rank of things. It wasn’t unusual for kids to fall victim to ghost stories, either. Kids were naturally gullible, and people loved to see what they would fall for, sometimes even their own parents. If you thought about it, how often did he lie to his kids to get them to do (or not do) something? He’d warn them about candy making their teeth fall out, or Santa watching, stuff like that. He had to admit he’d never mentioned ghosts before though, never even joked about them.
His eyebrow rose at the story of the Ouija board though. Max didn’t believe in spirits or ghosts or anything like that, but he still didn’t think he’d roll the dice on a Ouija board. ”Gotta say I’m with your mom on that one,” he laughed. ”Well, sort of,” he amended, because he didn’t think anyone could ‘summon the devil’ and certainly not with a board that was sold in toy stores at this point like a board game. He didn’t know why he associated a Ouija board with something evil if he didn’t believe in ghosts or spirits or whatever. It was contradictory, but it was what he thought. Max had made reservations for them in the dining area, just in case. He didn’t know how popular this place got for dinner, but he imagined that a lot of people probably took advantage of the dining area after leaving the show – and it appeared that his suspicions were correct. Thankfully, they were led to a table waiting for them without having to join people in the lobby area while waiting to be seated. He thanked the hostess as she passed menus to them and got himself situated across from Addie, though he did make sure she’d moved to take her seat before he took his own.
As much as lore interested Addie, she was not as aware of most of it as she'd like to be. Unfortunately, growing up in the bayou meant she wasn't as intimately acquainted with the city's traditions and superstition as she was with those that centered just outside of the city. From what she understood, the stories from the bayou were a lot more terrifying than those of the actual city. "You should come out to the bayou sometime - everything out there is trying to kill you or haunted. Or both." There was a waggling of her eyebrows to show him she wasn't totally serious. But the bayou had its fair share of dangers - poisonous snakes, gators, bugs, other wild animals - that were watching and waiting for you to make a mistake.
Addie watched his reaction to her story, glad it wasn't too far out there for him. She was a little concerned that she was a bit too.. out there sometimes for people. In a general sense, Addie was Addie no matter what, but she was a lot like Max in that she liked to be liked and accepted. A lot like most people. "I mean I think it still worked, I'm pretty sure my brother got possessed." It was serious at first, but there wasn't any fighting the smile after a couple of seconds.
She followed him out and past the crowd to a table, which more or less served to make her feel like a princess. It didn't take much and Addie usually wasn't one to want to feel that way, but in this scenario it was really nice. Once she was seated, she took a look at the menu. "Ever eaten here?" she asked, figuring it went without saying that she definitely had not eaten here before. Her restaurant experience was more or less limited to the bars and take out places that were in the immediate area of her apartment.
Legends and lore throughout the city centered around ghosts and spirits, maybe some vampires or witches. Max had heard stories about the bayou though, and those centered around everything you could find in the city plus more…creatures and whatnot. ”No thanks,” he laughed. ”I’ve heard some of those stories. I think I’ll take my chances with the ghosts.” Ghosts, witches, vampires, demons, voodoo, hoodoo, black magic, hags, you name and the deep south of Louisiana had a story for it. Growing up, Max had always wondered where the stories came from if they weren’t real, considered maybe that they were real, but as an adult he chalked it up to active imaginations and stories that got exaggerated through time.
In terms of people who were too out there for him, Max didn’t think Addie had anything to worry about because he had grown up in a house with one Susannah Phillips. She had a loud, bold personality and always had, right from the start. He wasn’t put off by personalities like that, people who were more passionate or bold or energetic than he was. It wasn’t hard to be those things, honestly, given how laid back and reserved Max knew he could be. He appreciated Addie’s ‘out there’ personality. If he lived inside a box, she definitely existed outside of it, and that was interesting. He laughed when she said she definitely thought her brother had been possessed, wondering if this was what he had to look forward to with his own kids. ”Better throw some holy water on him,” Max suggested, ”just in case it’s still lingering around in there somewhere,” he laughed. Obviously it had been years since they’d played with the Ouija board if Addie had said they were kids.
”Nope,” he answered. He’d come to the theatre for a show before – not often, but he’d done it – but he had never eaten in the restaurant. ”First for both of us,” he declared. He realized he didn’t actually know that Addie had never eaten there before, but he was pretty sure she would have piped up if she had. Addie struck him as the kind of person who spoke out loud what came to her mind without too much of a filter there.
Addie had to laugh as he refused her offer to explore some of the not-so-pleasant aspects of the bayou. To most, where she'd grown up was not exactly an attractive location. Still, to Addie, it was home and always would be. A lot of times she said she was from New Orleans simply because it was easier than explaining she was actually from a little town just outside of the big city, but there really was a huge difference between where she grew up and where she now lived. She liked to think that with Max's expansive knowledge of various critters, he could make it in the bayou. Other pieces suggested maybe she shouldn't drop him off and leave him alone to fend for himself. Addie and Joe had once wrestled a bayou gator after watching a Crocodile Hunter marathon and made it out alive, so she liked to think they were fairly invincible. They'd gotten in trouble for doing that too, of course.
"I really should invest in that. You know any good priests?" she asked, smirking the whole time. Her parents often argued a demon had possessed her brother and that's what sent him to prison for ten years, but Addie didn't see it that way. Joe was her big brother, her idol, the person she wanted to be like when she grew up. He was misunderstood, but so was Jake. So was probably their entire family.
"Oooh," she purred, picking up the menu to try to figure out what she was going to eat. The problem was it all sounded incredibly good, and now she couldn't even take suggestions from Max because he hadn't eaten here either. "How ever will I decide?" she asked in her Southern belle voice, high and light, so different from Addie's typical demeanor. "Ribs are probably a bad first date food," she wondered aloud, since this was their first official date. Addie wasn't afraid to put away some food, but the thought of maaaaaybe kissing him later had fluttered into her mind once or twice, so perhaps she should stay away from foods with particularly offensive after tastes.
People around New Orleans tended to be pretty big on the spiritual stuff. Even people who weren’t super religious seemed to be willing to believe in the presence of spirits – good or bad. It was part of growing up in that area with such a rich history, he supposed. ”Can’t say that I do,” he chuckled. ”There’s probably an app for that.” The millennial response to everything right? When in doubt, Google. Max was at an age that he could remember life before Google, and YouTube, things like that. How did he get by? He couldn’t count the number of how-to videos he’d watched on YouTube. Just that morning he’d watched a bunch on how to do a fishtail braid because Charlie was demanding it and Max only knew how to do normal braids and sometimes he could manage a French braid. He was pretty sure this was the sweet spot though. He’d had a childhood that hadn’t been monopolized by iPads or digital games and everything, but as an adult he had all these amazing resources available to him for whatever he might need.
Max too was studying the menu, deciding what he might like to eat and what he knew he wouldn’t want. He had it narrowed down to a couple of choices when Addie loosed that Scarlett O’Hara voice, and that caught his attention and drew it clear away from his menu. He laughed, because it was so contrary to what normally came out of her mouth. ”I think you’ve done that before,” he accused, eyes narrowing slightly and playfully at her. That had come out way too easily for it to have been the first time. ”There are no bad date foods,” Max assured her, ”order whatever you want.” He wasn’t worried about the price, or how messy she was going to be, or if it was the typical sort of thing a woman ordered on a first date. He’d much rather sit across from a woman who could put away some ribs than watch a woman peck at a salad. Not that there was anything wrong with a salad, and if that’s what she wanted, then more power to her. But he’d seen plenty of women in his life order salads and sulk at it all night because it wasn’t actually what they wanted to put in their stomachs, and that was a shame.
By the time the waiter returned, Max had made up his mind what he wanted and looked to Addie to let her order first – ladies first and all of that. When it was his turn, he placed his order and handed the menu over, looking forward to his selection. ”So do you have any plans left for the summer?” he wondered as the waiter departed again. There was still a solid month and a half of what Max considered summer. He knew summer technically lasted through most of September, but he operated on the school schedule. To him, summer stopped when school started.
"Probably." Cue vision of an app that has a recording of a priest blessing your tap water. What a time to be alive.
Addie gave a sheepish grin when Max accused her of having used that voice before. Some of her mother's favorite movies were Gone With the Wind and Jezebel, so they were playing all the time while she was growing up. Sometimes Addie couldn't help but imitate the women on the screen because they just sounded so funny. She knew she could order whatever she wanted for dinner and she certainly planned on ordering something she wanted to eat, but the possibility of perhaps coming in contact with his mouth still existed. She couldn't remember the last time she had a first kiss, at least as it pertained to someone she wanted to date and not just take home for the night. "You mean I could have substituted barbecue sauce for makeup?" she asked like she was completely serious. Of course she wasn't, and to be fair, Addie didn't wear a whole lot of makeup. At least when she wasn't going to be in front of a camera.
When the waiter returned, she had finally decided on a spicy jumbalaya. Once the drinks were sorted out and menus out of the way, Addie rested her elbows on the edge of the table as she studied her handsome date. His question was a good one - one that Addie really hadn't given much consideration to. She had a fuck ton of vacation days built up that she needed to use before they went poof forever, but she just didn't have a good enough reason to use them. She could go on a trip, but what fun was it to go alone? "Just following baseball for work." She took a sip of water. "Gotta come up with an idea to use up some vacation days that don't involve going home to work on the farm," she laughed. That's how she'd spent some of the most recent days she'd taken off - she hesitated calling them vacation days because baling hay in the hot summer sun was hardly a vacation. "What about you?"
The look on her face further confirmed his suspicions and Max grinned broadly, pleased with himself and amused with her. He was amused with her a lot – not in a bad, mocking sort of way but in a genuine glad to know this actual delight of a human being sort of way. He found himself just smiling around her more than he might otherwise smile. ”People might have looked at you a little funny, but sure,” he laughed and shrugged. ”Then again, we are in New Orleans, so maybe they wouldn’t have noticed at all,” he reasoned. ”Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that you can get away with wearing anything.” Even barbeque sauce on her face. Addie was gorgeous. Even when she looked ridiculous, Max was going to guess she made it look amazing. People would give her a pass; all she’d have to do was smile at them. He wondered if she realized that she was a flat out ten, because she sure didn’t act like she was aware of it. That was one of Max’s favorite things about her though. She was just so unassuming, and fun, and carefree, like a breath of fresh air.
He remembered her mentioning that she did travel for work and at one point would be in Tennessee – thus a conversation about his own trip as a child and how he mostly just remembered everyone wearing boots. He nodded as she explained that her summer really consisted of that, following baseball. There were worse gigs, he reckoned. At least she was doing something new on a pretty regular basis – the same game never happened twice, did it? ”Save ‘em for when everyone else isn’t on vacation,” Max suggested. Most people tended to go on vacation in the summer months because the kids were out of school, but if you could wait until September or later, vacation spots were usually way less crowded. That was the way Max liked to do it, but unfortunately he was one of those people who had to vacation with everyone else because he had school-aged children. Case in point, they were going on vacation the following weeks – though the kids didn’t know about it yet. ”We’re going to Disney next week,” he grinned, the excitement growing on his face even as he spoke about it. ”My kids don’t know it yet. Gonna try to surprise them.” Max was so close to bursting though that he didn’t know if he’d be able to keep the secret much longer. ”Ever been?” he wondered. Maybe she had some helpful hints for him.
"Boom, there it is, we'll make millions off condiment palettes," she stated, then laughed. If Kylie Jenner could do it with lip crayons, why couldn't they make eyeshadow out of condiments and make money off it? Probably because Kylie was rich in the first place. Addie didn't make a lot of money at her job but she certainly made enough to be comfortable. And with Joe helping with the bills, her expenses really weren't that much at all. She blushed a little at his compliment. Addie was fairly aware of the fact that other people found her attractive, but she didn't capitalize on it too much. In her youth she was definitely guilty of batting her eyelashes to get a free drink at the bar, but anymore she found that to be tacky and unfair, especially since she wasn't always trying to pick up a guy.
At Max's suggestion, she gave an enlightened expression and a nod. "Oooh, good idea!" She didn't really see herself on much of a vacation because what's really the fun of doing that kind of stuff by yourself? She'd never get her brothers to leave the state - Jacob was too stubborn and wouldn't leave the bar, and Joe probably wouldn't have a day off in the next twenty years it seemed, since he was almost always working. "Maybe I'll head out to Colorado in the fall, do some hiking and camping." While she appreciated the luxuries of civilization, liked to reconnect with nature. It was essentially where she grew up, and something about the smell of trees and pine and fresh water babbling nearby was reminiscent of a simpler time.
Her smile matched his when he divulged that he and his kids would be going to Disney in the coming days. The kids (though she admittedly hadn't met the majority of them) were going to love that surprise! "No way! They're gonna be so excited!" Hell, Addie was excited for them. "No, I haven't actually." Not that that was in any way surprising. Addie never claimed to be well-traveled, and having grown up in a family that barely made ends meet most of the time, it wasn't like she'd been afforded that luxury as a child. "You'll have to send pictures and video so I know what it's like."
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