Saturday, my friend Abby and I checked out the New England Carnivorous Plant Society show at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. I can’t say what possessed me, but I really got it into my head that I would watch a plant eat a cricket and come away with some new insights about life. But alas. We did not get to see any feedings because the projector was broken while we were there, and the guy at the desk said that they didn’t feel it was worth doing if they couldn’t project it onto a screen for everyone to see, which is generally a good motto. However, I can tell you a few things.

1. The plants were very gorgeous, with all kinds of snaptraps and teeth and funnels.

2. There was some kind of teen beauty pageant going on in the atrium next door, so small girls in crowns were roaming the grounds and posing by the water fountain while we looked at our sundews and Venus Flytraps.

3. Neither of the above turned out to be more surreal than buying sneakers afterward for the first time in a real running shop, the kind where they watch you walk around and prescribe the proper shoe for your foot. For starters, I didn’t realize you have to know the exact activity you will be doing in the sneakers. I thought I could buy a pair for walking, running, jogging, climbing or jumping (absolutely none of which I do, of course, but I thought maybe the right shoe would inspire me). But it turns out you can only pick one. OR ELSE. (If I tried to sneak in another activity — if I tried to hop and pivot and go side-to-side in my running shoe — boy, was I going to be sorry, said the salesperson. I was going to have major hip pain.) Then, I also learned you are not supposed to ask if the shoes come in navy.  "We are not going to talk about color, we are going to talk about fit," the salesperson said. The shame!

After all that, I was very happy to get lunch at the sunny and so-charming Friendship Cafe. When we first wrote about it back in April, it hadn’t opened so we didn’t have a good photo. I tried to take one while I was there, but I couldn’t do its sunniness and charm justice. You have to go! Here’s the website.