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Lonely Loser or …?

You know that old expression, “everything happens for a reason?” My evening proved that to me again. It all started 2 nights ago when my husband told me a friend had invited him out to “be wing-man” to another of their friends. I told him to go for it and then texted 5 of my friends to see if they were up for a girls’ night. Each said yes immediately, but with the usual family-related hesitations. As yesterday went by, the responses got firmer…2 solid yeses, 1 solid no and 2 still on the fence. I was so excited that I started picking out my dress.

Things got shakier with the on-the-fencers throughout today so I was fairly certain they wouldn’t make it out. Then one of the yeses switched to a no because instead of Happy Hour, we agreed on 7pm and she had to teach a fitness class. I took my kids to a birthday party at Pump it Up and rushed home to get ready. Babysitter arrived, make-up done and I headed out the door thinking I still had 1 yes and 2 potentials…enough to make a go of it, right?

One last check of the phone before putting the car in reverse to see that my other solid yes had a sore throat and a painful dental procedure that was keeping her home. Texted one of the shaky yeses to confirm that she was not coming. The final hold-out wasn’t planning to make it until much later anyway so I pushed on (she would eventually not make it either).

I parked, did a little shopping (even picked up this fun little H&M hoodie/dress)…

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and I had a glass of wine and an appetizer at the bar at PF Chang’s. Sitting at the busy bar, I read some Pinterest help articles to learn how to use it (yeah, I’m way behind on a few of the social media channels but I’m working on it). And you know what? In spite of being stood up in the kindest ways possible, I wasn’t even disappointed. I had a great time!

A guy came and sat down beside me. He seemed to be a regular because he knew all the bar staff by name and referred to all the guys as, “Bro-Bro.” He kind of seemed like an over-sharer (takes one to know one, right?) and I heard him mention a couple of times that he was supposed to have his kids tonight but they each bailed on him for friends. He was clearly disappointed. I also heard him say he’d had plans with “one of the women” he was dating but didn’t want to call her at the last minute because that would be lame. While I have to agree with that last bit, I felt a little sad for the guy. Here he is alone in a bar on Friday night, trying to chat it up with all the uber-busy bar staff who clearly like him but also didn’t really have the time to talk tonight.

He also kept mentioning the parking situation and the mall construction (which is a hot topic for me and my mom) so I asked him what was happening with the tearing down and rebuilding of our beloved Broadway Plaza. He told me his job is managing the mall parking and that it’s a bit of a nightmare but that starting Monday, there will be complimentary valet service. Good tip right there, eh? Apparently, this project involves tearing down a bunch of stores and a parking structure in order to build newer and better versions of each. It’s going to take about 2 years and everyone is thrilled…except about the actual construction pain but we’ll deal with it because everything is going to be shiny and awesome in the end.

Once he showed me pictures of his 2 boys, 13 and 11, and then re-shared the story of what had brought him to be sitting alone at the bar on a Friday night, I told him my commensurate story. He seemed kind of sad for me. Funny since that’s how I was feeling for him, when I wasn’t actually sad at all. I was having a great time just doing my thing!

Long story short, instead of ending the evening feeling like a lonely loser, I feel like a strong woman.  I turned potential lemons into lemon cocktails and enjoyed some valuable alone time.  My husband got to enjoy his guy time and I got to wear a cute dress and black boots. I loved being alone – weird for a Friday night, I know but it was fun to be out with no agenda and no one else’s either.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I have full days of running and family time but tonight I got to spend some time just hanging out by myself. And I’m so glad I did. I love being out, chatting platonically with strangers and being alone with my own company – it’s taken me 39 years to say that last bit but I really mean it!

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