I’m sorry if that title sounds flippant. I truly don’t know the name of the restaurant, and as we planned for that dinner, it was known as this, or as “that place we went on the 3-Day.”  It is a true matter of knowing a location and not a name.

This third GNO from last week was with the 3-Day ladies.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the four of us met when we were training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Although this was now three years ago, we meet monthly for dinner.  Juggling four schedules, with two of us who travel periodically for work, one of us with three kids and a husband who travels for work, and the other of us with an unpredictable work schedule, and you can imagine getting things on the calendar can be hairy.

I promise I was looking forward to this dinner but I was TIRED.  In the seven days leading up to this night, I’d been to a concert, a play, a surprise party, two other dinners, fought allergies and cranky sinuses, and worked.  The week had worn on me, and of course since I had to be somewhere that evening, my commute had taken longer than normal (note to self, figure out what I’ve been doing lately to bring bad Karma on the evening commute when I really need to be somewhere and stop doing it). 

So the topics that night were heavier than I wanted to discuss.  I shut down some. And it wasn’t fair to the ladies I was with.  Although I’ve spoken with them all since then, I hope they’ll also accept this as a public apology for me being cranky and disengaged.  And that isn’t to belittle the topics. But sometimes, especially amongst friends, topics hit close to home. They hit you in unexpected ways. And when that happened to me on Thursday night, I chose the easier of the two reactions.  So this was by far not the best GNO I’ve had with these ladies.

But in another way, it was incredibly important to me. Because this same dinner was where the idea for this blog was born. I have L to thank for it.  L is a newly minted real estate agent. Within 30 seconds of sitting down at dinner, M1 asked “how’s our newest real estate agent?”.

L made the comment later in the evening that among her friends, we are some of the only ones who have even acknowledged her new job.  When L told us that at a recent lunch with other play group mothers, that only one of them asked about her new job, and that was when they were walking to their cars in the parking lot, the idea for this blog popped into my head.

I think we look at our friendships as ways to validate who we are as individuals. Sure, most of us have friends that have some context- people from work, from play group, from community groups or religious organizations. But I believe we are all looking for some friends who just see and value us as us, without any other labels.  That is what this group does for me. This dinner taught me how important it is to hear our friends, and understand what is important to them and recognize and acknowledge that. In too many other relationships, we don’t always get that.

Now, we’re trying to plan the May outing… We’ve at least narrowed it down to which weeks we should all have a free night. And I promise to be in a  better frame of mind next time.