I so meant to get work done on Friday. Sincerely. We had the day off from jury duty (which continues, seemingly endlessly) and I decided I'd stay home/go to the coffee shop and work from there. I couldn't face being forced to talk to people. Being stuck in a room with nine other people for seven and a half hours is getting to me. I needed a break from talking. Me! Tired of talking! It has happened before, but considering that I was in talking withdrawal only a week ago, it's a bit of a surprise.
I also didn't want to go to the office because I'm not ready to face the new boss situation.
I didn't get much work done, though. I checked email and looked at a document I meant to revise. I could not get my head in it, so I futzed around, read and took it easy. I also promised myself I'd go out in the evening. Not one more night at home alone on a weekend.
But what to do? The movies? A dance? A bar? I crossed dancing off the list. It might require unavoidable talking, much mental effort and driving. A movie is always appealing, but it's practically anti-social and I needed to be social. So I went with bar. There is a new hole-in-the-wall down the street from me that I haven't been to yet, so I decided Friday night was the night. I biked there around 9:30pm. It was medium crowded when I arrived, but there were still plenty of seats. I bought a beer, sat down and looked absently at the ballgame on tv.
A group of about five guys were sitting in a circle between me and the bar and I overheard one of them, the ringleader, mention "Quadrophenia." (I believe I've mentioned my love of this movie in the past.) I made eye contact with him and nodded and said, "Sting didn't sing in that movie."
He said, "I never really liked him, but after seeing the movie I had a different idea about him."
I agreed and that was the end of the exchange.
I keep sitting there, eavesdropping on their conversation, but not joining in. Then I let out a big yawn. The ringleader noticed and he said, "I saw that!"
I smiled and said, "Hey, at least I'm not home."
He said, "Are you waiting for someone?" I shook my head. "You're on your own?" I nodded. "Come join us!"
So I did. The ringleader, Hap, introduced himself and the other fellows. I spent the rest of the evening talking to this group of very congenial guys about movies (depressing ones from the 1970s) and jury duty (I can't help it), among other topics. Most of them were coupled (including Hap) but it didn't matter. It was exactly the kind of socializing I needed. Nice attention from boys, but no pressure.
As the evening wore on, the guys left one by one until only Hap, Sam and I were left. Hap turned most of his attention to a seductive looking woman who was with her boyfriend. Sam and I had a long conversation in which I related grad school horror stories. Why do I do this? Why? He told a number of funny stories and listened attentively.
When I finally decided to clear out, around 2am (!), Hap said, "Did we get your email?"
"Write it down…here's a napkin. We'll let you know the next time we're coming out and you can meet us!" Hap hugged me. I turned to Sam and stuck out my hand. He shook it then pulled me in for a European (he's European) style double cheek kiss and a small hug. I said goodnight and got out of there.
Early Saturday evening, I got a message from Hap saying it was a pleasure to meet me and that he hoped to run into me again--and he cc'd Sam. Sam replied (to all) with the same sentiment. And so did I. I don't think romance is on the table, but friendship definitely is. That seems dandy right about now.
Grateful for: new friends.