A few weeks ago, I got a text message from Jess while she was at work:
"I have a new boyfriend!"
Turned out she'd been talking to another nurse that she sees during her rounds and on impulse, she asked for his number so they could get together outside of work.
When it comes to friends, Jess is all about quality, not quantity. While I seem to collect people like cat hairs on a sweater, Jess prefers a few close friends to a ever widening ripple of acquaintances. If chatting with this guy for a few minutes between hectic work tasks had prompted her to reach out, I was certain he must be pretty darn cool.
After much back and forth to work out a time for four busy adults with non-traditional schedules to get together, we found a night that worked for everyone and were invited us to have dinner with him and his wife at their home just a couple of miles away from us.
The day also happened to be my first day of school and my first day back on the 8:00am class schedule. I stayed up too late as usual, slept like hell, and wanted nothing more than to go back to bed for the entire day. Not really the best frame of mind to meet new people in, but I was determined to buck up. I met Jess at Ristretto Coffee near the hospital after work and we rode the mile or so to their house.
Casey and Chillidog met us on the front steps, one of them barking at us in challenge/greeting. They escorted us through the yard so we could stash our bikes in the back. I immediately noticed a small covered area full of vegetable starts and behind it, two nice sized raised garden beds. Inside, we met Brenda and Chillidog calmed down enough for proper petting to ensue.
Later we got a tour of the larger garden in the vacant lot across the street. Their neighbors bought the land, but were happy to share the space. A circle of shared plots were punctuated by a big area full of hay bales covering fifteen pounds of potato seeds. The women who own the land are working on using some of the rest of the space to build a play area for the neighborhood kids. On the front edge of their yard, C & B have build a rock bench as public space. The day after it went in, two of their neighbors--and old man and a young boy--met on the bench to chat--just like they hoped.
Over the next four hours we proceeded to have a date as nice as any first date I've ever had. I learned a long time ago that it doesn't matter if it's a new friend or a potential lover, the euphoric feeling of meeting someone new who you just click with is the same. I had never experienced that feeling as a couple before, but if anything, the feeling is twice or perhaps, four times the fun.
There's usually a moment that happens not too long after we meet a new couple where we figure out how we match up--sort of like if you were to be cast in the part of one of the roles, which would it be? Brenda told Casey that the lentil pie needed to be cut, so he jumped up to do it. "You don't have to do it right now," she amended. He sat back down, causing me to blurt out, "I'm him." Casey and I are also both glass-half full types who like to keep things in perspective in trying situations. On the other hand, Brenda and I bonded over the agony of watching our partners (Virgo and Libra) try to make decisions. At one point I remarked that we must have been separated at couple birth.
I don't think any of us wanted the evening to end, but both Jess and I had early schedules the next day. On the ride home, Jess and I were already thinking about what we should make when we have them over for dinner--which I hope happens sooner than later.
It's official--we have a new crush--and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. Here's to new friends.