Saturday, June 18, 2005

Leave me alone

I never thought my favorite thing to do on any given night would be to just be alone. I once used to scroll through my phone book looking for someone to call in order to never have a night where it was just me.

The first time I recall really hating to be alone was when I turned 16 and got my first car. I would beg someone to come with me so I didn't have to fill up with gas all by myself . . or go to the store . . or do anything really. Looking back, it probably was an insecurity I had, but it was mixed with a geniune love for people and spending quality time with them.

In college, I was able to share an apartment with 3 girls, even 4 at one point. I absolutely loved it. There was always something to do, someone to watch TV with or even run an errand. It's not that I never had my quiet times, but I was always thrilled to hear the door open and see which of my roommates had come home.

After moving in with a married couple for a short time, I found myself content to stay home occasionally and read or watch a movie all by myself. But, of course, I still preferred the company of a friend to nights alone. I used to feel that TOO much time spent alone was a waste if I wasn't investing in my friendships.

And, now . . now that I have a full time job, I feel differently. I feel glad to leave Omaha each day and drive home to a place much less busy where I can do nothing and feel it was time well spent. As much as I still love being social and being with friends, I almost cringe when I plan something on a weeknight and know I won't be home until late. I love reading alone, scrapbooking alone, going to the store alone, and going to the lake alone. I feel that I've been productive, because it gives me a chance to refuel for the next day at work. I've come to realize that just as much as I need my friends and my social time, my alone time allows me to thrive as well.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Oh, what a night!

It's been a long time since I've posted anything, but I had such a fun night the other night that I thought I'd write about it.

My best friend and I have a motto about eating "If one can sleep well, think well, and live well, one must dine well". Back in January we'd decided to eat somewhere new once a month, but we hadn't done it since. So, last week, we thought we'd try out another new restaurant. After looking online at a list of restaurants and not being able to decide on one, we finally settled on Bistro 121.

Once we walked in the door, I had this feeling . . . this feeling that I'm not going to be able to afford this restaurant. In a matter of seconds we were seated and once our menus were handed to us, we just stared down at them, looked up at each other, and I realized the feeling was right. Pretty much every entree was over $20. We thought about splitting the salmon or the crab cakes with maybe some lobster bisque on the side, but I was way too hungry to share. So, after we've sat there for about 10 minutes thinking "Do we stay or do we go?", feeling bad, knowing we'll feel worse if we pay for this food, we see our waitress start to head over to our table. My best friend cringed and said "Here she comes; what do we do?!" I panicked for a split second, but then, very apologetically, told her that we really couldn't afford to eat there. Fortunately she was very understanding and confided that she really couldn't afford to eat there either. The embarrassment lasted only a few moments until we were out the door and realized that we survived the experience.

Now where? I ended up convincing my best friend to go to this great greek/mediterranean bistro where it was open to the outside. We sat on the patio for a few hours eating our gyro, falafel . . . and creme brulee (Mmmm). . . The owner treated us to a couple of glasses of wine. . . the weather was beautiful . . . conversation was good . . . perfect night! We spotted this waiter (good-looking, great build) and my best friend wanted to know if he was a Christian. We considered asking him ourselves when I realized I know a girl that works there who is a Christian so we can just ask her. I'm sure you can guess what she said . . . But we both kept talking about how awesome it would be if a hot guy came up to one of us and asked if we loved Jesus. Not very likely, but it would be cool.

After dinner, we tok a nice stroll around a small lake and talked about moving away for a little while. I, honestly, am pretty content where I am, but it does sound fun and adventurous to live somewhere else, and every time I travel it makes me want to move. Jesus, my best friend, a good church, and the mountains . . . what more do I need? A job. Yeah, I need a job. Then, I'd be set. Back in the car, we sang loud to our new theme song about moving forward and facing our fears and for a few minutes we were 100% sure we were moving.

What would a night be without ice cream? After allowing just enough time for the food to really settle, it was time for some Cold Stone, my absolute favorite ice cream place. It's been a little over a year since I had my first taste of that gourmet ice cream down in Arizona, but it's still a vivid memory - especially the part after the ice cream when I just sprawled myself out on the bed and couldn't move because I actually finished a big bowl of it. My best friend always sticks to the same flavor and mix-in, while I try to branch out and try a new flavor every time. There have been a few times I've wished I stuck to the same like her and the other night was one of them. My ice cream was delicious, don't get me wrong, but nothing really tops cake batter-flavored ice cream and cookie dough chunks.

After shooting some hoops at the church's Friday night high school event (wonder if they could tell we weren't in high school), we randomly stopped by the house of a few guys we know. Very randomly. Not long after we'd rang the doorbell and thrown a few pebbles at the window, a car full of guys pulled up. And I mean full of guys. I don't think I've ever seen five guys pile out of a Lexus before. But there they were . . and there we were . . and it was a little bit awkward. I'm not in the habit of interrupting a guys' night out, so I felt a little bad. They didn't know why we were there . . and neither did we. It was just a random night. Then, they accused us of being up to something, and after we declined the invite to smoke cigars and play poker, we drove home thinking, "Hmm, we should've been up to something . . ." And I don't really remember what happened after that . . . I just know that they think we pulled some kind of prank on them that night and why would we do a thing like that?

The night ended with Scrabble under the street light. My best friend, her adorable brother, and I laid out a blanket on the grass and continued our Scrabble tradition until 2 in the morning. What a night! Great food, relaxing stroll, new songs, gourmet ice cream, a little sports, an awkward moment, and the best board game ever. I love making memories with my best friend.