Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dinner party

I’m on vacation until January 2. Can I get an exclamation point?


In a way vacation won’t truly begin until the evening of the 25th because between now and then I have to make Christmas happen. Shopping, baking, cooking, etc. All of that will have to wait until tomorrow because it’s a cold, icy mess out there tonight. After dinner with Eve, Susannah, their husbands and assorted others, I came home.

Yes, the dinner party grew. Eric’s (Susannah’s husband) brother and sister-in-law are in town for the holidays, and Susannah asked if they could join us. Eve, whose office is across from mine, overheard and said if Susannah was bringing extra people, she also wanted to. I told her to go for it. Frankly, the more people, the less pressure on me to keep conversations going. “I’m asking Blaine,” Eve said as if testing the waters. I said OK.

Eve came into my office later to tell me he had texted her back and would be there. “What do you think of Blaine,” she asked casually.

“He very nice,” I replied casually.

She nodded. Waited. Wandered away.

I know from things she’s told me about him, his wife, her illness, and their friendship in general that he’s important to her and Paul. When I’ve been around him, I’ve liked him. I’ve just been around him an awful lot lately and am starting to feel set up. I don’t want to be set up. I also don’t want to bring it up and have it become a thing. So, going with the flow and saying as little as possible.

They selected a restaurant on one of the golf courses. To my delight the bar featured my favorite holiday drink -- Tom and Jerry. Had I not had to drive myself home, I would have indulged until I could only slur for "another round of Torry." As it was, I had one, mixed deliciously strong, and went into dinner feeling luxuriously relaxed.

It was a fun group. No surprise there. For all the social apprehension I feel sometimes, I do enjoy being around new people from time to time, especially when everyone is witty and able to keep away from politics.

When the waitress asked how to split the ticket there was the complication of whether she could split my meal between Eve and Susannah, which led to the reveal that we were celebrating my upcoming birthday. She asked if I had any special plans. As it turns out, I do: I hope to catch my favorite band that night.

Susannah’s romance radar pinged. “Going with someone special?”

Very special. Myself.” None of my friends are interested in music or bars so when this band is playing, I go on my own.

The idea that I was going to a bar by myself was a bit of a thing for the table, which surprised me. No one was judging; they just seemed puzzled that I'd go on my own. I shrugged it off and promised I didn't mind a bit, which is true. It's also true that it took years for me to screw up enough courage to do this by myself. If it weren't for this particular band, I never would have. But, I don't believe in missing out on anything just because I don't have someone to do it with. I'll travel on my own if I have to and I'll go to practically any event by myself. I don't enjoy either as much as I would if I were with someone, but I'd rather have the experience than miss out.

Anyway, that’s two days away. Before then I have to whip up Christmas. Send me any leftover Christmas magic you might have. I’ll need it.


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