Monday, June 15, 2009



So entrenched in the meaning I’d assigned it, the lunch date arrived.

I walked into California Pizza Kitchen to, for the first time, meet in-person someone who's already very good friend.

This encounter was unique for me, for it’s the only instance of my sitting down for a first-time meeting and, after clarifying a few details, picking up where we left off. Have you ever met someone for the first time that you already knew? Of course I didn’t know everything, there were and are and will always be blanks to fill, but I had the basic structure of this woman, and I was eager to glean more. For I’d come to know someone intriguing. And when you meet an interesting person, or at least when I do, you want to hear and know more. It’s why I was there.

When I’ve spoken about this friend to my husband or my sisters I always call her by the name she uses online, rabidrunner, or Rabid (because I feel that by now it’s okay to be on a first-name basis). Thing is, I lied to you earlier; "Rabid" is not actually her name. (You're disappointed, I know.) I’ve known her name, first last and middle, for a while now, but have never felt comfortable using it. Thus far to me, she’s Rabid.

Thing is, it’s a little awkward to call someone “Rabid” in person. The eavesdroppers every restaurant has might think I was name calling or that Swine flu isn’t the only thing they should be needlessly worrying about. She encouraged me to use her first name. I rolled it around in my mouth once or twice, and then I discarded it. For now. It will take a turn or two for me to be comfortable with the change. For the last year she’s been Rabid. Since it's much prettier and less insulting, I’d much rather use her given name, it’s just a little alien right now.

So how did it go? you must be wondering, this encounter on whose behalf you elevated your heart rate?

Good(?). I think so. Maybe. I'm not sure enough of myself to say so definitively. I regret a little over 50% of what I said (the Talker's Remorse being part of my standard, the difference here being that generally I only regret 25-30% of my utterings). I have no doubt that I said too much and revealed a thought or two that she found distasteful (and if she didn’t is actually a really bad person and even more of a kindred soul than I initially thought). I especially regret the part where I scared her into thinking I stalk her.

And I’m quite sure that for the last hour and a half (it was a 3 hour lunch--near the end we were bumping against snack and nap time, two things adult society is too often without) she was looking around the restaurant for a gag or an escape hatch. That being my fear, why in the world would I postulate that the encounter went well? Well, because I enjoyed myself. And don’t regret doing it. And would do it again. And want to hear more. And want to discuss more things. And hear opinions. And throw around ideas. And postulate. Theorize. Agree. Disagree. Converse.

My world, our world, needs more people whose intellect can facilitate thrilling conversations and to whom I feel an deep emotional appreciation. People who I like for more reasons than one or two surface spots. For my part I think this maiden encounter went well because I left the restaurant, garlic breath and all, liking this Rabid just as much, if not more, as I did before I stepped through CPK's revolving door.

And when I invited her to Sparks for a visit, were she self-loathing enough to want a nine hour drive, strangely enough, I—a person who values her home as a sanctuary, a private place—really meant it.


Jaime Stephens said...

I am glad you two got too finally meet :-) hahaha. I have kind of noticed that you two are kind of like eachother and that you and her are two very intellect people who understand eachother. I have a few of these friends (not on a intelligent level because I am not that but people who understand me and I only know them via the blog) it's fun..
Happy for you

Julie said...

Part 5...Finally! It didn't disappoint, and I'm sure you didn't either.

Jessica said...

I truly enjoyed these chapters. It accurately described the challenges and emotions of making friends as a grown up. When did making friends become so difficult and anxiety-provoking? I appreciate these posts because for some reason I thought it was just me who suffered severe anxiety before her "first dates." And beat herself up during the "post-date analysis."

Thanks again for putting words to my thoughts. Creepy how you can do that....

Becca said...

I'm hopping over from Rabid's blog. Anyone who gets her stamp of approval automatically is in my good graces.
Loved the 5 part story almost as much as I love Rabid herself. She's a gem and she wouldn't put forth the effort to meet you if it weren't important.
(But what does it say about the two of you when I tell you that I have to edit out my exclamation points when I type in your comment boxes?)

spanky* said...

Hello new hopeful friend,

i feel that these new times have made us luck enough to experience people that we may not have had the chance to otherwise. We may grow nostalgic for the days of hand written notes and pretty pretty penmanship, but the lack of privacy and 2 second googling may make some squeamish, but I find it lovely, especially given the fact that the frolicking of our digital digits brought me to this simply endearing post. It reminds me of similar situations, but those were of a different blind variety, spawned from the variety. I found myself confiding in the bartender at my favourite bar, downing pinot grigio and a later regretted shot of tequila during the 30 mins before "he" showed up. I was so thrilled to know that the bouncer and the bartender i knew & had a long friendship with were working in case i needed an easy bail out. He ended up being nice enough, but i will always remember it pays to get a bit lubricated before a first time encounter. helps with the nervous belly, but has a tendency of a flushed cheek side effect.

I'm happy to hear of your successful rendezvous and am excited to read up about your next adventure.

i'd be honored to be a blog friend, but i must warn you, my blog is not quite on the same level of "interesting"... it seems to have formed into a podium for me to discuss interests and, mostly... hot men.

sweet dreams new friend!

Megan said...

Welcome, welcome, Spanky. Nice to have you. I'm always pleased with a new fun, blog friend.