A perfect evening out.
Last week, I made reservations at a local guest ranch, Rancho de los Caballeros, for dinner. It was one of their pre-season “practice” nights, where the fixed-price three-course dinners are half price. That puts them well within my budget and the budget of most of my local friends. Not yet knowing who I was going to invite and how many people would join me, I booked a table for six. I then spent the week thinking about who to invite and asking them to join me.
I wound up with five friends — two couples and another single person like me. The two couples did not know each other and one couple didn’t know my single friend. I was actually the only one at the table who knew everyone.
And I was thrilled to see magic happen.
We met at the bar for a round of drinks. Gathered around a small table in the corner, seated on comfy bench seats and chairs, my guests got to know each other. Conversation never lagged. They soon found things in common — three of us are pilots, two were teachers, three were parents, two were doctors, several had lived in the same state.
We shifted to the dining room and sat at a long table with me at one end and my single friend at the other. The conversations continued. We talked about everything: flying, airplanes, airlines, travel, teaching, dentistry, plastic surgery, hormone replacement therapy, diet, restaurants, Washington, Michigan, Wickenburg, local neighborhoods and homes — the conversations flowed from one topic to the next with no serious disagreements or uncomfortable moments. True, we didn’t talk politics — how refreshing! — or religion or anything else controversial. We didn’t even talk much about my divorce-in-progress.
The food was good, the wine was great, the company was spectacular. Before the end of dessert, my friends were exchanging cards and phone numbers, offers to go flying together, offers to meet and talk more about certain topics of interest.
And that was the magic: introducing friends to each other and watching relationships take root and begin to grow. I planted seeds last night; even when Wickenburg is in my rear-view mirror for the last time, the seeds I planted will continue to grow.
I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an evening out with friends as much as I enjoyed last night. Mature, intelligent conversation without whining, complaining, or petty nonsense. I guess that’s what happens when you go out with “grownups.”
Why am I blogging this? Mostly because I want to remember this night out. Years from now, when I look back in my blog at the posts I wrote during this difficult time in my life, I want to remember the good times, too — the good times I had with supportive friends.