… when things work out better than you thought they would?
I didn't want to go to Joanna's New Year's open house. I was pretty sure I wouldn't know anyone, and the friends of hers I'd met before intimidated me. Sophisticated and learned about things I know nothing* about -- like architecture and classical music.
But the party meant a great deal to her. First, because she wanted to use the occasion to introduce me to Tony, the man with whom she'd been carrying on a long-distance romance. Then because on 12/23, they broke up. Now, as of last night, they had reached a tentative reconciliation. With all of this emotional tumult, she wanted me there.
So I went. I wore my nicest sweater and boots, but lost an earring on the el so I felt a little worse dressed, a little more self-conscious.
The party was already in full swing when I arrived. The food was wonderful, a menu based on what her mom prepared for the family each New Year's Day -- fish sticks, ham, cornbread and black-eyed peas. One of her girlfriends, Nancy, remembered me but didn't seem to regard me as a bumpkin. And there were men there. Tony -- the object of her affections and a little full of himself -- and two other men whose names escape me now. But we talked about politics (national and statewide) and current movies (Vice) and as the afternoon progressed, we all talked about the pluses and minuses of data mining. I know all that stuff! I'm good at all that stuff!
As I was packing up to leave, Joanna followed me into the bedroom and filled me in, briefly, on other areas of her life that seem to be veering off the rails. I appreciate what an act of courage going through with the party was, what a gesture of faith in the future it represented for her. She hugged me a lot and thanked me repeatedly for coming.
Having me there meant something to her. Two hours of my life was really a small expense. (Especially when you factor in how good the food was!) And I wasn't the social nothing I thought I'd be.
It made me feel good about 2019, too.
*and, to be honest, care nothing