Remember all that stuff I said about not spending a dime this year on anything that isn’t a bill? Despite things you may read in 18 more seconds, I meant it all. I’m living it. I’ve managed to keep our gas and food expenditures reigned in for the last two weeks. I haven’t purchased a single thing from the cafe at work (except for the small cup of coffee I bought yesterday by cushion diving for change in the comfy chairs on the second floor and then, um, re…purposing another employee’s morning-cup-of-coffee cup so I’d only have to pay for a refill. That’s right. I did that.)
Keep all that in mind, then, when I say that Sara and I drove halfway across the state on Saturday to go out to dinner with friends. It wasn’t a reward, but it was a treat and it’s our only big night out this year. We’ve also tried unsuccessfully to get together for dinner with the McYarnpantses on numerous (okay, two) occasions in the past year, and this latest and ultimately triumphant attempt was planned back before Christmas. So, with my parents taking charge of the kids for the evening and a little birthday gift cash in pocket, we had a wonderfully enjoyable and by our standards, decadent evening out. Decadent has nothing to do with expense but is absolutely a direct function of lack of children.
Sara had met Debbie and Jon once for lunch and thought that I’d like them both but was still worried that the evening might go horribly wrong. We’ve had couples in our past where that all important guy to guy bond never quite worked. Matt and Marie… oh god. I couldn’t stand Matt. He had no dimension to his personality outside of sports. The man spent real money to fly to a city he could have driven to just for a fantasy football draft. Dave and Tiffany… that was a disaster waiting for us to happen on. Dave’s big thing was impressing you with the things he had, the people he knew, the girl he was sleeping with. Trrrrrophy girlfriend! Ugh. We were like prisoners in that relationship. We may have moved out of Georgia just to get away from them. We’ve had a great track record since then, but you never know what might be lurking around the next invitation to meet for drinks.
We met up at a Longhorn Steak House that was roughly an hour or so drive for both of us. Sara and I got there first and started warming a section of bench for the projected 1 hour and 45 minute wait for a table. Debbie and Jon arrived soon after and we all made introductions. Then we decided to walk across the shopping center to the B&N for coffee, books and to test the effective range of Longhorn’s blinky buzzy coastery thingy that tells us when our table is ready. And of course we’d been at the B&N for 15 minutes when the magic beverage holder summoned us back. I guess the 105 minute wait is only for people who remain at the restaurant where they can help absorb the cold drafts from the front door before they can bother the seated customers.
In the end much steak, salad, bread, beer and battered onion wedges was consumed and none of it was painfully awkward. Not even that story about Unckie Jon. And Sara and I were each gifted with homemade dog tag keychains. Mine has an image of a juicy steak on it. I liked it so much I spent my whole day today asking people if they wanted to see my meat while inappropriately reaching into my pocket.