Some of you may have gotten the impression that I am not the most exciting person to hang out with, what with all the talk of running and science and books, oh my. To set the record straight, should you wish to ask me out on a “friends date,” here’s what you can expect.
(The following events may or may not have taken place with one of my girlfriends on or near Friday, October 8, 2010.)
When we finally go out, it will be after two or three cancellations, due to sick children or scheduling conflicts. I don’t really do karaoke, or clubs, or bowling, or what have you, and if you wonder about renting a DVD, I will suggest “Into Great Silence,” a documentary about monks, which contains almost no dialogue. You will quickly decide we should go for dinner and drinks, instead.
When we meet at the restaurant, I will be dressed in a cobbled-together outfit, because I have barely been out of the house since the babies were born and nothing fits anymore. My 15-year-old silk scarf doesn’t exactly match my pants and shirt, and my strappy heels definitely do not match, but I had to wear them because I could not find (at the last minute) any of my other nice shoes, which are (I think) out in boxes in the garage.
We will meet at the restaurant and I will tower over you (because I am tall to begin with, without the heels, and you are wearing flats) and also, I will be way overdressed, with my black satiny shoes and extra-long scarf, but never mind. We will sit, and order the “dinner for two,” which comes with a LOT of food, which is good, because we both like to eat.
You will order wine, and I will giggle at your sophistication when you happen to know which vintage you like for which brand, because sometimes I am a seven-year-old child.
Our egg drop soup will come, and you will be talking and I will be listening, which is normally one of my good qualities (listening), but I will interrupt you every other minute because I am obsessing over the soup. I can’t believe how good this soup is. Isn’t this flavorful? I can’t believe this. Do you have a recipe for egg drop soup? No? I could eat this several times a week.
In my defense, I rarely eat food that I didn’t cook myself.
Through the lettuce wraps and the main course, all of which I will wolf down at a speed that is hopefully more entertaining than alarming, I will engage you in an almost-heated conversation about philosophy/religion. We will never change the subject, not to movies or sports or celebrities or fashion or art or music, because who wants to talk about those dull things, when you can debate the subtleties of Hebrew law?
After dessert, you will ask if I want to do “anything else.” I will have to think about it, because on the one hand, I am thoroughly enjoying my free, adult-ish evening; but on the other hand, I have put my boys to bed almost every night of their lives and God help me, I miss them. You will suggest we walk over to the bookstore on the corner.
At the word “bookstore,” my face will light up like Christmas morning.
We walk to the store and stand over the bargain bins, and I will decide I need to show you some unfathomable poetry, so I go round up the current issue of Tinhouse, a publication which I respect but which has a fondness for poetry that is gibberish.
By the time I get back with the magazine, you have disappeared. I send you a text: Where are you?
abort your plan to ditch me reappear from the coffee shop where you have ordered a fortifying drink. I force you to read a page-long poem, and you politely agree it makes no sense. You carry your drink and a stack of magazines to a table. I follow.
We sit and chat, and you drink your beverage, and it’s all mostly pleasant, except for the fact that I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in four and a half straight years, so by this hour of the evening my eyes glaze over and I begin to sound like Rain Man, only less interesting.
Our conversation peters out as you finish drinking, and then we hug and go our separate ways, and if you are fairly bolting to your car, I will tell myself that you are only trying to get out of the wind.
I just can’t imagine why my phone isn’t ringing off the hook.