Friday, June 17, 2011

Own Date

Took myself out on a very lovely date tonight.

T and the dog are gone for the weekend, down in Virginia visiting his parents with my brother in law. They drove off this afternoon, and I walked them to the car, wearing flip flops with socks and trying to ignore the fact that the sidewalks were crowded with summer Friday passersby. This is the second weekend in a row (and next weekend will be the third) that T has left town for at least part of the time. Last week, he was visiting friends in NYC and next week he will be down in VA again. I'm so glad he's taking advantage of the summer and getting out and about to see friends and reconnect. But I do miss him. Already. And with both him AND the dog gone, the house feels especially quiet and lonely.

But I've never been one to dislike solitude. So after reviewing contract formation for the trillionth time (I take back what I said about learning anything useful for the bar in Advanced Contracts), I grabbed my keys, wallet and the Summer Fiction edition of the New Yorker, and just walked out the house. No feeling guilty about leaving the dog. No rushing to be on time. I just went down the stairs, stepped out onto the sidewalk and walked the two and a half blocks to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

Yes, at first it felt awkward to be standing in a restaurant filled with groups of young people, downing margaritas while servers hustled and bustled around the room, and to not be noticed, and then mistaken for a member of another party. But once I settled in with my chips and coke (and once my spilled coke was mopped up and replaced...yikes! Good thing I don't need to impress myself!) I was able to Just. Chill. Out.

While eating my chicken mole enchiladas, I started reading this really awesome short story by Jeffrey Eugenides (author of the amazing Middlesex). The short story Asleep in the Lord, is about a 23-year old religious studies major and uncertain Christian who set off to travel around the world in search of spirituality and ends up volunteering in Calcutta at a hospice run by Mother Teresa. He is trying to figure out where he fits in in the world around him, wedged as he is between the strait-laced European Catholic volunteers and the hippie New Age backpackers. He is also trying to summon the courage to do the "dirty work" at the hospice, to figure out the relationship between works and faith. Oh, it's good.

I got hooked at the restaurant, and finished the story at the park by my house. On Fridays in the summertime, there is always a family-friendly musical act going on at the park. When I rolled in, still feeling weird about being there without the dog, kids were running everywhere, young parents chatting it up and band members packing up gear. I sat and read on a park bench.

Now I'm back here, and recounting my brief but pleasant date with myself, because it was lovely, and I wanted to capture this moment. I am content, even if I am missing my husband and my little fur family. And even if I am in the middle of bar prep. We found the apartment we want, and assuming we work out the details the way we would like (it is a little complicated), we'll be able to take it over come September. This makes me extremely happy. The decision was easy, too. T and I went to see it, looked at each other and as soon as we walked out, said, "Let's do it." The best part is that it's only a block down from where we are now, and two doors from T's best friend, and overlooking the park. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh, summer.

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