Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'll have a cocktail, a salad and a side of good times.

In the last two weeks, I’ve gone out to dinner with friends. Twice. With no children.  In my busy and crazy life, this is huge.  Both were planned and in one instance, a true orchestration of child care.  But the result was what all the grown-ups wanted – and needed. Some grown up time, no cutting of anyone’s food, no escorting small loud beings to the bathroom, and no kiddie menus.  It's like therapy but less expensive and way more fun.

Week one was a long overdue dinner out with Doc and Snow White. We hadn’t been out together in ages and now that our kids are in different schools, we don’t see each other nearly as often as we would like. Doc suggested a restaurant (so we can blame her completely) that was new for all of us – and met our assorted logistical needs.  The service sucked, the food was well below average, the ambiance was deafening, and the prices were way too high for what we got but the company, oh the company – that was sublime.  We chatted, we caught up. We laughed – at ourselves and those around us.  We all hoped not to get seated next to the very large table of women that some of us knew and naturally, we were seated right next to said table.  These things simply didn’t dampen our spirits.  Had the service not been so unbearably slow and noise level not so f-ing loud, we would have lingered long over coffee and been reluctant to leave.  Instead, our conversation wasn’t as deep or serious (because honestly, we almost had to shout) as it often is. I feel like this dinner was like an appetizer – it was a treat, a reminder that we need to do this again soon and that so much wasn’t talked about – yet. And oh yes, we need to go to a different restaurant. Different menu but the same faces across the table.

The next week was an entirely different night out.  The mom posse – Lips, Legs, Perky and I headed out for drinks and dinner. This was a first for this little group as we are normally surrounded by a large group of children, fighting, potty mouths and assorted wheeled toys.  Lips took the wheel of her new ride and out we went.  Dinner was delish, had decent service by a weird waiter who simply served as our entertainment and the company was outstanding. Legs found the poor waiter so weird that she could scarcely look at him while Lips just found him to be a willing victim to her snarky wit.  Drinks were had (I must say, a sangria margarita is really the best of both worlds) and salads were crunched (yes, salads damn-it – it balanced all the liquor and yummy dessert.)  I learned what “vodka with a splash of roses” means (okay, I understood the “vodka” part) when Perky had to repeat herself no less than four times before weird waiter caught on to the “splash of roses” part.  Now, in my defense, I do not tend bar or wait tables (table in my house doesn’t count) but the mom posse tells me the waiter should have known. For Legs, that was just another strike against him.    At the end of the night, we all agreed we needed to do it again. Though I’m guessing we’re more likely to connect over Starbucks at some park while one or more of us are yelling at children.

One of my New Years goals was to see my friends more.  These two dinners have really reminded me that the scheduling and child care juggling are worth it. My friends are worth it and so am I.  So, I recently asked my friend, Wow (‘cause she’s making major changes that make me go, “wow”) if she’d like to go for a hike while our kids are soaking up some Judaism on a Sunday morning. We get moving and get to catch up – which is normally done on the fly during drop off and whispered during services (Do as I say and not as I do message to the kids.)  And seriously, I use the word “hike” loosely here. Let’s just say a good walk, in the desert, along an unpaved trail.  I’m getting this on our calendars.

Another friend, Tinkerbell, has talked about getting together with a group of moms who inspire her (much more upscale than my gatherings that just include drinks out front while our kids play in the street) and asked me to join.  I’m not only flattered but I’m going to look at the calendar and offer Tink my help in making this happen. 

So, here’s to time with friends – making it happen and enjoying it when it does. It really doesn’t matter where or when or how – on a hike, at the table, in a driveway, at a park,  on the rocks – with or without a “splash of roses.”  Here’s to making it happen.

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