Best of 2009 – Night out

December 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm (20969869, On dating and mating)

Lately I’ve been thinking about riding off into the sunset. Except that I wouldn’t get far before hitting ocean. And I haven’t been on a horse in over a decade. So maybe less riding off into the sunset and more quitting the blog.

It’s just that I keep holding back and going silent. Either what I want to say isn’t interesting or it isn’t positive. And while I know people traditionally prefer to read about the plight of the unhappy, in my case it feels like admitting to a weakness. Also, I get occasional notes from IRL folks who read this drivel and remind me of the seductive pull of self-censorship.

You might remember that I was all kinds of excited about 2009. And then…I just started to take it all too hard. The accident, the fall, the fainting, the deviant international student, losing my grandma, being sick. I could come up with just as long a list of good things, but it’s the bad ones that seem to have colored the year. I know that this is about perspective. I know that we choose to be happy. I know that I have one hell of a list of things for which I should be (and am) thankful. It’s just that lately being happy feels like a hell of a lot of work.

So, I’ve found an exercise that I think will be good for me: the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge.

I may go back to cover December 1-4, but today I’m jumping right into the prompt of the day:

December 5, Best Night Out

I’ve always been fond of the big gesture – in high school, when a group of boys went from house to house serenading my friends and me, I nearly swooned (you know, if I’d ever been the type to swoon) – but post-college I assumed I’d only ever see one more big gesture and it would likely come with a ring. So it was only because I wasn’t smitten, because he was just for fun, because I was trying to be the easy-going, irreverent, fun-loving girl I’d never been when I was a girl that I said what I was really thinking, convention (and caution) be damned.

“You still up?”

“Just getting home.”

“I know it’s 2 am, but I want to go for a drive.”

And he, for reasons I don’t understand, was in. It took him nearly an hour to get to my place. I texted the Ex-ALM in another time zone so that someone would know where I was and then walked out to meet him in my college sweatshirt and the Pumas that give me blisters.

Neither of us had a destination in mind. In an era of global warming and skyrocketing gas prices, all I wanted to do was burn through a tank.

We found our way to a road not taken (by me…ever) and parked in a small office park near the Pacific. We walked to the railing and stared out into the black. I could hear the water and see the wavebreaks and feel his heartbeat quicken. The stubble of his chin tickled my temple. We stood like that for nearly a half hour, talking – no, really, just talking, though I have no memory of what we said – before I got cold and hungry.

By the time he dropped me off at home with a chaste (well, not that chaste) kiss goodnight, breakfast at a Denny’s four towns over had turned into a memorable second date and the best (sharable) night out of the year.

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