Doing good and having laughs

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I joined friends Vinny Riso, MaryAnn Mattone, charity organizer Julie Ratner, Joe Mattone Sr., Peter Meyer and (seated) Claire Shulman and Denise Arbesu.

It’s wonderful to laugh your heart out and I did unexpectedly Saturday night at a fundraiser for breast cancer, the Ellen Hermanson Pink Apron Event, organized by Julie Ratner at Southampton Hospital.

I had been invited by my “WOW” girlfriend MaryAnn Mattone and joined by our friends Peter Meyer, his wife Denise Arbesu, Vinny Riso and Claire Shulman.

We were picking up the Mattones in Eastport and with modern technology we thought it would be easy finding them. Vinny put the address into his car’s navigation system. I put it into my favorite app, WAZE, that gives directions and redirects you when there is heavy traffic.

Well, did we get lost! We circled around until we finally called MaryAnn for help. She sent her grandchildren on their bikes to watch for us and guide us up their hidden driveway on the bay. Without their help I think we would be still be circling the neighborhood!

The next challenge was finding our way to Southampton Hospital. We added MaryAnn’s cell phone for directions and even tried to communicate with “Siri,” the voice that offers guidance on the iPhone. Somehow we were out of favor with her because she told us to go to the hospital’s website for directions. With all the navigation systems worthless we finally found our way to the benefit 30 minutes late.

Under an enormous tent on the hospital’s property were food tables offering tastings from many local restaurants and many wine and liquor brands. My favorite was the pairing of wines with chocolate. The server yelled at me as I consumed the square of dark chocolate, my favorite, in one bite. “Madam, you must savor each bite slowly,” she explained.

We all decided we needed to have a real dinner since the “small bites” did not satisfy. So with Peter leading in his car we made our way to La Parmigiana in Southampton, a very popular Italian restaurant. There was a wait for a table even at 9 p.m. But within minutes we were seated.

I was delighted when an enormous, thin, crispy crusted pizza arrived and even though three of us shared it, we took home leftovers. The salads were enormous too, and chock-full of everything from artichokes to blood-red tomatoes to sliced meats and cheeses. It was a meal in itself. The restaurant has its own popular salad dressing.

Well, we were all fully satisfied and we began our adventure to take the Mattones back to Eastport. And an adventure it was. With three navigation devices working, we were still getting lost. With each misstep I roared with laughter watching the curving roads we mistakenly took and listening to the hysterical banter between each passenger. So much for modern technology!

Who could believe I could have so much fun getting lost!