This weekend I did something I don’t normally do. I went into the city. At night. In the pouring rain.
Now, I drive through New York City on a pretty regular basis. We have lived here for more than ten years, so I’m pretty used to it. But going into the city by myself on a rainy Sunday night to meet someone I don’t know? That’s new for me.
But it was so worth it.
Everyone, meet Angela!
You may know her as hippychick_ on twitter or our very own Read with Me Challenges. (She’s on the two-year plan with us.) We’ve been bloggy-tweet friends for well over a year. Maybe two. I’m not sure how we initially connected online, but we met face-to-face this weekend.
She was in town for a work convention, so we decided to have dinner. I told Rick it would probably only be about an hour. “I’ll be back before the kids go to bed.” That’s what I said. Ha! Before we knew it, that one hour turned into four, and we were just getting started!
My favorite parts of the night:
- Hugs: Angela gives the best hugs! She puts all of her into it, just like she puts all of her into everything. It’s wonderful!
- Food: We ate at this small, oddly decorated Italian place (picture large blown-glass sculptures, bubbles and ceramic lizards climbing the stark, modern walls) that served a-mazing food. Of course, I forgot my camera, so I don’t have pics, but believe me: It was goooood. Eggplant rolatini stuffed with crab and lobster … buffalo mozzarella in our caprese salad … DELISH!
- Tackling some guy for coffee: Okay, so neither of us had ever met a bloggy-friend in person before so we were a little nervous at first and it was pouring. (Have I mentioned the rain yet? Serious buckets of where’s-the-gopher-wood, gonna-build-an-ark type rain.) So we didn’t want to venture too far from her hotel. While looking for a coffee shop after dinner, we spotted an unsuspecting man carrying a Starbucks bag and cup. We both assaulted him with demands of where he acquired such riches. He looked a little scared (probably thought these crazy women were trying to mug him) and quickly surrendered his intelligence. “Around the corner and up the stairs!” We yelled our appreciation as he scampered off to safety, then took two — literally two steps — into the blaring green light of the Starbucks sign. It was just too funny. Of course, that was the back door (locked), so we had to trudge around the corner to get in where they announced they were closing shortly. We enjoyed our fix in the hotel lobby.
It was a perfect night! And I’m so, so, so glad I did it.
I’ve discovered a relatively recent personal development: a fear of “firsts.” It’s not a debilitating fear, just a little nagging I-don’t-know-if-I-really-want-to anxiety. We could blame my seven-plus years at home or the truckloads of energy I perpetually expend ensuring my kids’ well-being. Maybe getting older naturally diminishes one’s sense of adventure. Frankly, I think I’m just out of practice.
This weekend, however, I had a first. And I loved it. I want more. Sometimes I think back to the person I was in college and wonder where she went. The risk-taking, adventure-loving, fearless free spirit seems to be replaced by a conservative, predictable, suburban housewife. I’m not saying that’s bad, just that I don’t want to lose all of who I was for who I need to be now.
So, I learned that I want to be more adventurous.
I also learned that these virtual relationships can be made tangible. I’ve been very deliberate about keeping my cyber life and my real life distinct. Not separate, but defined. I know what’s real and have made concerted efforts to prioritize the “real” over the “virtual.” But it is possible for those two worlds to collide. Angela and I have been cyber-friends for a while, but now we’re real friends. It’s amazing how that one short evening together built such a quick, strong bond between us! It’s kinda wild and very, very cool.
So, I’m ready. Who’s coming to NYC next??