LANSDALE, PA—According to delighted reports, 25-year-old Brian Hatcher spent a most exquisite Saturday evening in the enchanting company of not only his parents, Mike, 54, and Diane, 53, but also their dear friends and longtime canasta partners Doug and Trudy Blanchard, both 53.
"I was home for the weekend, and the Blanchards came over for dinner one night," said Hatcher, describing how his family's charming neighbors came calling early Friday evening, bearing a selection of generous gifts that included brownies and exotic ales imported from faraway Canada. "I hadn't seen them in a couple years."
"They looked good," added Hatcher, referring to the regal lady and her dignified husband, respectively clad in a stunning rose-pink tracksuit and a crisp Philadelphia Flyers tee.
After exchanging formal greetings in the Hatchers' mudroom, the guests were ushered to the tastefully appointed dining room table—bedecked with a dazzling, floral-print tablecloth—where they sat in the intimate glow of a nearby halogen floor lamp.
And just as quickly as ceremonious salutations gave way to witty, off-the-cuff repartee, the sumptuous multicourse fare began to be served.
"Mom put out some snacks," said Hatcher, recalling the bounteous tray of premium mixed nuts and an elegant fan of Townhouse crackers set upon the breakfast bar. "Which was good, because I think everyone was getting pretty hungry."
Hatcher's reports indicate that the assorted hors d'oeuvres served to whet the appetites of everyone gathered there, while the enticing aroma of the pièce de résistance, chicken noodle casserole, tickled at their noses.
"I was actually supposed to head out to the Lyric Lounge with my old high school buddy Kevin [Devaney], but he ended up having to work," said Hatcher, pondering the pedestrian night of carousing that would have ensued had fate not intervened and bestowed upon him such a wondrous evening. "Dinner was good. Mr. Blanchard told a bunch of jokes. They looked like they were having a good time."
As the assemblage feasted on the luxurious entrée, all were transported with bliss by the lengthy discourse regarding the Hatcher family's vegetable garden. In a particularly spellbinding monologue, the evening's hostess wowed her audience with an anecdote of good fortune turned sour, detailing how her overly prolific tomato plants bore luscious fruit, but in such devastating quantities that she and her husband soon grew tired of tomatoes and tomato-based dishes.
"I thought about going down to the basement after dinner to watch a movie or something, but they don't have the DVD player set up down there anymore," said Hatcher, acknowledging that he had been unprepared for such lively rapid-fire dialogue, which danced seamlessly between his father's detailed descriptions of their new hot-water heater and Trudy Blanchard's pitch-perfect retellings of that week's bout with fatigue at work. "And I didn't bring my Xbox 360 with me."
After everyone had sated themselves upon a lavish dessert that featured not one, but two of the choicest Turkey Hill ice creams, they retired to the sitting room for a game of Scattergories, whereupon the evening reportedly took a turn toward the bawdy when Doug Blanchard unveiled a delightfully risqué quip about a particular waitress who had recently served him, leaving the entire gathering titillated and dizzily gleeful.
Decorum was eventually restored, however, when Mrs. Hatcher broached the sobering yet engrossing subject of her recent blood work.
Time, as is its wont, seemed to pass swiftly, Hatcher claimed, and before even a soul had noticed, it was nigh on 9:40. At such a late hour, the evening's honored guests declared, with a mixture of satisfaction and reservation, they must "call it a night."
After a succession of farewells and warm embraces, the distinguished couple made their departure, but not without leaving behind them a most pleasing collection of memories for all in attendance to cherish.
"Huh," said Hatcher, still a bit dazed from the evening's overwhelming enchantment, "I think Mrs. Blanchard left her reading glasses here."