There is the ideal recipe for a night or day out with different friends. Depending on the cooks and what is on the menu, the ingredients are varied. For example, a giant donut, old jokes and divulging new secrets are necessary for an annual Sleepover Tradition. Throat chakra exercises, sun salutations under a clear sky, and uninhibited ‘festival girl’ dancing made A Girls’ Day Inward one worth repeating. The walk and talk on a brisk evening bring to mind My Favorite Kind of Date.
The menu for an evening with Salty Sweet and Dynamo Dish last week had to include our shared passion for cocktails, food and delicious conversation. Our night entailed confessions of our sad dependence on peak hour Uber rides, lively discussions on passionate career pursuits, the importance of House of Cards, and some brow-raising conversation. The kind of conversation between women where the tones are typically as hushed as the laughs are loud. Throwing a surly male server our way subconsciously begging to be won over made the night complete. His veiled indifference was no match for this trio of charmers. Or perhaps it was ordering 90% of the menu that won him over?
I had been looking forward to our date, but getting into my rush hour Uber, I started to feel a bit tired, a tad run down, and slightly edgy. After several weeks of being abroad doing the kind of serious ‘grown up’ tasks required when you are putting together a plan and care team for a parent suffering from cognitive decline, it’s more than a timezone that one needs to readjust to when she gets back home. She has her own questions. She thinks about her career, her marriage, her health, and how to plan the rest of her life and her mother’s life in three to four month increments. So that Friday evening, as I stepped out of the car to meet the dynamic duo, my first night out since returning home, my guilt and self doubt asked, Is this where I am supposed to be?
During an animated run down of the kitchen craziness that is her life, Dynamo Dish asked, “We have to get their beef jerky, and this kale salad, omg, I literally want it all… What do we think of just ordering one of everything? Okay, maybe two of the guacamole … ” Though originally declaring to our surly server she wouldn’t order a cocktail due to a cold she was fighting, Salty Sweet impressed me by nonchalantly having two glasses of wine anyway. I dug into a battered, creamy, appetizer, saying, “okay, I am not supposed to eat this, but… heck, I’ll just own it. I will deal with the consequences this weekend.” Dynamo Dish made sure there was a selection of food I could eat, but when those gluten and dairy filled lovelies arrived, Salty Sweet looked at me knowingly, with a wink and a smile. Certainly these ladies were the exact two people I needed to see that very night. The going will always get tough, but we will always get going.
I do not have to always think too far ahead not relishing the present. I must not ignore these little moments, forgetting that those niceties happening right now are what will keep me sane, which in turn will get me where I need to be. It is okay to indulge in them without thinking you aren’t taking the rest of your life seriously. So I smiled. I laughed. I was real. I let go. Divulging how I’d been, how both the positivity and vulnerability in me is being challenged every day, Salty Sweet insisted that ‘where I am right now’ called for a shot of mezcal and I didn’t disagree. “I think I need you two to do shots with me,” I stated, daunted by the double shot that our surly server deemed appropriate. “I ain’t doin’ this alone.” That much I knew, and so did they. Those are friends for you. Nobody should drink by herself. Bottoms up.
There was a saying I read last week that goes something like this: “When a friend has as problem you make it yours too so that she doesn’t have to go through it alone.” I suppose that counts for shots of mezcal too. After all, three shots are better than one.
|Edited by BP via StudioDesign|
Before night’s end, a comment was thrown on the table to end all comments that were ever so random in a hot restaurant with even hotter dining companions. It also sums up the presence, the candor and our non judgmental dynamic in a way nothing ever really can. It was also just really funny… to me at least.
Yes, I thought, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.