I tend to be a homebody. When I was married, we rarely agreed on what we wanted to do for a night out, so we ended up staying in and watching movies (Star Wars AGAIN?) most nights. I’ve already commented on how I didn’t have a ton of friends post-marriage. Add to that the fact that my dog had severe separation anxiety and couldn’t be left at home alone and the fact that I have a tiny bit of social anxiety, and you end up with someone who stays at home a lot. Like ALL THE TIME. Unless I’m at the dance studio of course.
So part of my figuring out where my life is going involves being more social. It’s not hard to be more social than I am now – it’s not hard to be more social than barely social. Friend AM is about as social as you can get – she goes out most nights. (Oh to be in your twenties again and have the energy for that. Well, that might be the only thing I miss from my twenties. Oh wait, there is also….there’s….yep, that’s pretty much the only thing I miss.) She knows of my quest, so she invites me out a lot. And she pushes, in a gentle sort of way, me to not stay in.
Last night, our friend MP had a party. MP is moving to Duluth next weekend for her last year of college and to be near her boyfriend. MP and I met through AM and have gotten to know each other some. We’ve never really hung out together, but we chat occasionally. So she invited me to her party which was a gathering that started at Nyes. I had told MP I was going, but all week I kept having second thoughts. One of the most difficult things for me to do is walk into a gathering of people where I know like 1 or 2 people. Terribly difficult for me. (It’s the reason I skipped MM’s birthday shindig a few weeks ago. A decision I regretted instantly.) So I knew I wanted to go; it was just causing some anxiety for me. AM knows this, of course, about me, so she had me meet her at her house so we could ride together.
Part of my anxiety also comes from what to wear. I am not a girly girl. (Comes from being one of the guys for so long.) Friend RM has taken me under her wing the last few years to try and teach me. Friend AL has tried to help too. I’m learning and can do pretty well with work and dance outfits, but I just don’t quite know what to wear for the whole girls night out thing. That’s part of why I like getting ready for evenings at AM’s place. She has such style, she’s beautiful, and I learn a lot about hair and makeup from her. I can’t actually do any of it but at least I know the theory. (That’s a step in the right direction, right?)
After we picked up MM and stop for them to buy cigarettes, we went to Nyes. (God, I miss my cigarillos. My mother “accidentally” threw them out when I moved home because I made the mistake of leaving them out. I don’t smoke often, but they are so good with a scotch or a whiskey or a gin and tonic.) MP was so happy we made it out for her party. I hadn’t been to Nyes in a long time. It hasn’t change at all. Shocking, right? It probably hasn’t changed since it opened. The waitress who has been there since time began took our order. Vodka tonic for me, gin and tonic for MM, dirty vodka martini for AM – also known as our usuals and also known as sweet nectar of the gods. Yay – alcohol! You know how rarely I get to drink. Yay – vodka!!!!! Of course, we trade drinks and sip each others drinks. I love the dirty martinis AM orders – I just don’t have the tolerance for them. I have zero tolerance these days.
I had so much fun with them last night! It kinda made me wonder why I hesitate to go out. I mean, I know why, and I also know that 5 years ago, the person I was then would not have been able to overcome it and go. But it makes me sad that I had to wait so long to become more this person than that person. Oh well, coulda, shoulda, woulda is a waste of time.
(Hmm, we never made it to the other side of Nyes where the polka band is. Sadness. Everyone should experience that at some point.)
So I need to remember this night when I think twice about going out with friends. I also need to remember: Fellowship with the girls is fun. I need to buy more cigarillos. Going outside my comfort zone is a good thing and a good exercise for me. And alcohol is still yummy!
“Stay busy, get plenty of exercise, and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little.” -Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen