One of the people who reached out and offered to have dinner with me this weekend was my friend, Anne, with whom I went to both high school and college. I hadn't seen her in 15+ years, but we recently reconnected on Facebook. She understood my challenge better than just about anyone, having had a father in a similar addictive predicament as I face.
Bonus? She got to have a rare night out with a girlfriend, as she's a busy mom of 2 with another one on the way. She seldom gets out just to have adult time with her friends, so she was really looking forward to meeting up with me. Bonus #2? She agreed to meet me at a restaurant within walking distance from my house.
I walked across the street (which is a bitch-it's a main thoroughfare) and waited for her at the restaurant. She looked exactly the same as she did in college, with the exception being I'd never seen her pregnant before. She said I looked like I did in college, except my hair was shorter and I was "much tinier." I was still chilled from being outside in just a sweater and leggings. Gave Anne a quick hug and we got our table.
We have a lot in common as adults, though she's a conservative Republican and I'm an anarchist. We both have Lukes at home. We talked a lot about the bullying issue at my Luke's school. We have motherhood and c-sections to talk about. High school friends we now dislike. College memories. Lots to talk about.
Her most striking story was how she was introduced to her husband. He was dating another friend of ours from high school, but she said when she met him and shook his hand, she felt an immediate electricity, went home and told her mom she'd met the man she was going to marry. Long story short, that's what happened. I didn't have the where-with-all to admit that I feel like I've also met the man I feel I'm destined to spend the rest of my life with, but I think she's sharp enough to figure that out on her own, just based on our conversation.
Dinner lingered. She ate well, given she has horrific emesis from being pregnant and all I had the appetite for was a small salad and a side of green beans. Still, I promised my mom as she left for vacation that I would eat, and I did, even though it was only a little bit. I figure tonight, when I go out with Julia, it'll be the same scenario. (Fortunately, we go to a restaurant, which is our favorite hangout, where they have regular size portions the the option of tiny portions upon request.)
Anne had mentioned to me in an email, after I was on Facebook lamenting that I was outside smoking in my winter coat and freezing in 50 degree weather, and how would I feel when it was 14 degrees out in January in the same coat, and brought along a most treasured item.
She'd had this thickly faux fur-lined leather coat with a hood that was, if you can believe it, TOO warm for her to wear. It was way to big on me, and I'll have to see if the tailor can do something about it, but she just outright GAVE it to me. I offered her money for it, for it is a real leather jacket and is really beautiful, but she refused, citing that she just wanted to give it to someone who would get use out of it. Well, I certainly will. But what an act of grace and kindness. I threw the jacket on in the restaurant parking lot, and was instantly toasty for my walk home.
She said it took courage for me to reach out and ask for friends to help me while I was alone. I sort of thought I was being, as my mom is wont to say, "pathetic," asking for people to help take care of me while I was alone. But I'm infinitely grateful that I reached out, that Anne heard the call, and came to hang out with me last night. It was a really great time.
Tonight? The lovely Julia whom I love and adore. And Luke home for the night. This time alone at home thing? Exactly what I needed to recharge.