My long lost friend Pat came all the way from Madison, Wisconsin to Atlanta, Georgia to spend spring break with me. I picked her up at the airport last Tuesday night and we barely stopped to sleep until I took her back to the airport before dawn on Sunday morning.
On Wednesday, we went to Athens, GA. One of her brothers attended school there, so she was happy to make its acquaintance.
We had tofu reuben sandwiches at The Grit
and poked around in some of the little shops downtown. I bought an amazing pair of amber earrings Native American Gallery. I love Athens.
Since this was Pat's first time in Atlanta, it seemed appropriate to do a bit of sightseeing. So on Thursday, we went downtown and toured the World of Coke
Nathan thought she should see Little Five Points, too. So we stopped by on the way home and had dinner at the Little Five Points Corner Tavern.
Friday, we headed north. We went to Montaluce Vineyards' La Vigne restaurant and celebrated our birthdays belatedly.
Saturday, we packed our bags and headed to midtown. We had dinner at Shout
and heard pianist Barry Douglas perform Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto with the Atlanta Symhony Orchestra. It was stupendous.
There was more. There were beers and hot wings at Taco Mac and margaritas and Mexican food at On the Border, both in Buford, and dancing Friday night at The Dam Bar in Buford and dancing Saturday night at Johnny's Hideaway in Roswell. Honestly, I don't think we could have packed one more moment of activity into our time together.
Despite this, we managed to find time to catch up on the events of the past twenty or so years and, in the process of sharing, discover things about ourselves and each other. So, in addition to being a lot of fun, our experience was really quite profound. We are already planning our next rendezvous.
A lot of other stuff has happened, too. Most of that will have to wait for another day.
But I finished my taxes. (I am getting a refund. Well, not exactly. I am applying my refund to my estimated taxes due tomorrow.)
And I am no longer playing the dating game. I am "in a relationship." With "Bill." (Whose real name I just might reveal in the not-too-distant future.) The conversation went something like this.
Pam: "So, I want to be your girlfriend. Is that okay with you?"
Pam: "The answer is yes."
Pam: "So that means you are my boyfriend, right?"
Pam: "The answer is yes."
Pam: "So now it's official. We are girlfriend and boyfriend, yes?"
Bill: (chuckling) "Yes."
Also, a good friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend of several years. Here is an excerpt from the note she sent me:
I broke up with X earlier this evening. In a weird way, you inspired me to get off my butt and do something about a relationship that was going nowhere and had no chance of going anywhere.
I guess reading your blog, including your dating stories as well as your bucket list made me think that life is too short to be in a relationship that has been over for awhile as far as I'm concerned.
There was nothing really bad about it, but nothing really inspiring or that great about it either.
This really made me think.
Far too many people settle for far less than they deserve. Myself included. It is so easy to get comfortable. And complacent.
I feel like I have been saved from the fiery pits of hell by the breakups of the past few years. In the moment, I was sad and depressed. But, looking back, I can see that it was all for my own good. I know the outcome will be the same for my friend.
I don't know what the future holds. Maybe I have become a little bit cynical. Because I don't expect I will stay with "Bill" throughout eternity. But being with him is nice for now.
If our situation changes, you will be the first to know.