Friends and wine
The best part of getting older is that now when my friends and I get together, a good night consists of a bottle of wine (or two), some steaks on the grill and hanging out on the patio. I called L as soon as I got out of work to see what was on her agenda for the night. We both had some errands to run (ie, Mother's Day presents to buy) so the plan was to get together later for some grilling. And wine.
Did I mention there was wine?
We spent a pleasant spring night, hanging out with L's dad, who is a MASTER with the grill I might add, and catching up. Swapping stories about work and various going ons on in life. L lives in Hoboken and has much more exciting goings on than I do. She shared stories about work (she's a lawyer) and going out in the City to see Amy Winehouse or grab drinks at some incredibley cool bar. I talked about band practices and my upcoming part-time job with the baseball team. Before I knew it, we were through a bottle of Chardonay and a bottle of red (i'm thinking it was Merlot) was half gone. And I as feeling good.
Room mate #1 was getting out of work early so we hung out a little more at L's parents house until he called then met him out at our favorite watering hole. By this time we were both feeling very good so I nursed a beer when we got there. Room mate #1 and L started catching up when we sat down. I had heard some of the stories already so I checked my phone. TBD had called. I excused myself to go outside and call him back.
"Yeah, a while ago, we got first place today! My kids were awesome (he was at a competition with his 5th/6th grad band). I'm very proud of them."
"Yeah. Where are you?"
"Out. L and I met up with Room Mate #1 for a few beers."
"Oh, I could have met you out. Too tired now, I'm going to get going."
I hung up and went back inside. Then texted TBD. We had gotten off of the phone so fast I didn't get to ask him something that I had been thinking about for quite some time. Something that went back to last year.
After about 10 minutes he called me back.
"What's up? I'm just getting ready to go to bad."
"I'm sorry. And what I'm about to ask is not intended to cause trouble. I wouldn't trade what we have now for what it was like last year."
"Wow, this sounds serious."
"No, it's just something I've really had on my mind lately."
"Well, go ahead - "
"What did I do wrong? I mean, I had to do something that turned you away, right? I'm just starting to get to the stage where I want to know what I'm doing wrong, why I can't keep a relationship going - "
"It's not you. Let me just say this, with us it was all about the spark. I tend to go for it if I feel that there is any kind of spark there. I did, at first. Then I didn't and yes, I was wrong but I do back out if I don't think that spark is around. I shouldn't have done that but I did."
"You're not upset, are you?"
"No, no. I just keep feeling like the fault is all mine. I don't know. I'm only asking this now because I've had a good bit to drink."
He laughed. "Well, us hanging out can only help. Here's the thing, you, JP and I are quirky. We each have our thing that makes us a little bit different and makes the whole finding someone just a little bit harder. I like where we are too. And think of it this way, you're expanding your circle just by knowing us. Maybe you'll meet someone that way."
"True. I'm sorry, you wanted to get to bed. I'll let you go."
"Do you feel better?"
"Yes, I'm glad we talked about it."
"Good. Good night, and good luck with your date tomorrow."
"Thanks. I'll call you."
I hung up and went back inside to the throbbing music, smoke and beer feeling for once, better about the whole situation.
It's true. I'm glad TBD and I are where we are now. Friends. Good friends. And especially a friend with the unique perspective of having been someone I went out with. Yeah, it was a little weird for me at first and I'm not going to lie, hearing him talk about other girls started a little knot of jealousy right in the middle of my chest. And that was when I started thinking about what went wrong. After our talk it made me realize that it isn't always me. It just doesn't work, and that's that. No more, no less.
I also realized that just being friends is o.k. and how lucky I am to have such great people in my life both old and new.