We have just wrapped up what is perhaps the most social week in our lives since moving to Lima. Let me amend that. We’re plenty social. We have barbecues, parties…all that. The difference between what we usually do and what we did this week was that a) we left the house and b) we did couples-type events – four of them! Grown up things. Things like we used to do before we had children.
First there was the Oregon Pinot Noir tasting that we went to last weekend. Funny backstory…maybe three months ago Rhonda was out of town with the girls for some reason or another. I went to a party with Brock where I was accidentally introduced to a woman. The two of us started talking were aligned on politics and wine, and just generally hit it off. Turns out she is married to a local anesthesiologist and kind of knew Rhonda. Then I called my wife and told her who I was hanging out with, to which she said “Her husband doesn’t like me. He’s always mean to me.” Being in rare form as I was, I turned to my new friend and said “Your husband apparently hates my wife. What’s that all about?” Heh heh heh… Flash forward to 4am and there is Brock and me at the woman’s house digging through her and her husband’s fatly stocked wine cellar looking for another primo bottle of pinot to uncork. Within the hour her husband woke up and asked us to leave, noting the sun was coming up, and that was that. Oh, He’s dying of cancer too. Not fun. You know, now that I type it out, that night sounds a lot more bizarre than it seemed that night….or than it really was.
Anyway…because we’d bonded over wine, when that woman and her angry husband decided to do an Oregon wine tasting at their house, we were a perfect couple to invite! Such a great night. We showed up as we often do – nervous and hyper-aware that our usual plan of cordoning ourselves off from others was not a good one; we were going to have to talk to people. But wine makes that easy, right? Man…those people know how to entertain. Aside from having a sweet, I mean “shabby chic”, house in a gated community, the food spread was phenomenal. Lamb, beef tenderloin, tons of cheeses, tarts, etc…all excellent selections for a tasting menu. And the wine…forget about it. All Oregon vineyards, different years, different banks, etc. Couldn’t have been better. I’m surprised to type that we actually had fun, we actually made new friends and we actually would do it again.
Oh…there was one thing. A long time ago I wrote about some douche that approached me at the country club. He was at the wine tasting but we didn’t speak to each other. I remember that he’s a devout Republican and I know we interacted about something a long time ago but I can’t seem to recall what it was. Let me see if I can find it real quick. Oh, yikes. Here it is. I forgot that I actually told idiot this go to go fuck himself a couple years ago. Heh heh heh… Good for me. Maybe that explains why he didn’t talk to me last week. Like I said. Everything was perfect. Fuck that guy.
Before I forget…one part of the night worth mentioning is what we did with the kids. While we were at the wine tasting, they were at their first official sleepover at their cousin’s house. I’ve been a little resistant to them staying over there up to this point. But they’re older now and can fend for themselves a little better. It was time to let them go figure things out and trust that my extended family wasn’t going to let anything happen to them. Everything turned out well. We met them in Ft. Wayne on Sunday to have Thai food and pick up our brood.
Anyway…that was social event #1. And actually, after that event, on the way home from the wine tasting we stopped by Brock and Chari’s house. Brock was working but Chari had been at home painting the living room. We checked out her handywork then Brock swung by and we made plans to get together on Tuesday night for dinner. I have to admit…when Tuesday rolled around I had completely forgotten that we had committed to dinner. Didn’t matter though…I was planning on experimenting dry rub recipes on a couple racks of ribs and I knew they wouldn’t mind being my taste testers. So they came over, we ate dinner and had some wine and coffee and just hung out. Despite not having kids, they are very easy to be around and don’t mind that we have two little girls that can burst into the room/conversation/personal space/etc and any point in time, without any advance notice.
Friday night we had yet another couple over for dinner. Again, I didn’t remember it was going to happen (actually, I’m not sure I ever knew). But no matter, I’m always up for things like that, especially if I get to cook. This time we were having dinner with Michelle and Craig, a couple from right up the street. Michelle is our designer, which sounds both ironic and pretentious. Ironic because our house is in no way aesthetically comparable to what I envision a house to look like when someone has a “designer”. Pretentious because, well, because it is. Truth be told, Michelle mostly helps us come up with ideas and then executes whatever we agree on…picking colors, painting, buying things for walls, bed dressings, etc. Craig is a self-proclaimed meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, which is fine because I can cook a mean steak. I went to the butcher and got two beautiful NY strips and two huge bone-in ribeyes and prepped them with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Good times. Michelle killed two bottles of Chardonnay by herself so I don’t expect to see her for awhile.
That’s gets us to tonight when…we met a couple at a local restaurant downtown called The Bistro. This restaurant is widely regarded as one of the top end places to eat in Lima, if not THE top end place. I personally think it’s overrated. You know what? I’ll go one step further – I think it’s awful. They complicate their food and end up losing focus of the meats and fish by overusing sauces, glazed, etc. Vomit. I’ve never had a good meal there. Ok, with that off my chest, let me say that we went there because they were having a guest chef. That’s something I’m always down for. The food ended up being ok, decent tasting but nothing out of this world. I’m not going to back away from my believe that I could replicate everything on the menu in my own kitchen without much difficulty either…and make it better. Wait sorry for that. Ego – get back in your box!
The company was good. Generally I cringe at the idea of going out socially with doctors. And listen…I’m not judging…I am responding directly to how situations like that have turned out every single time we have done them in the past – boring at best, but usually painful. But that wasn’t the case. We had a lot to talk about tonight. Dan, the husband and stay at home dad is big into cooking and just generally and easy going and very likable person. Darlene, his wife, is a radiologist who loves to scrapbook…just like Rhonda. We shared two bottles of wine, sampled each other’s food and talked a lot about the trials and tribulations of being similarly aged parents with similarly aged girls. I’d like to see them again.
I think Rhonda benefited more than me tonight, maybe this whole week. See, I get to go out to dinner all the time. I have more social interaction than her too (again, ironic seeing as I work at home most days). The fact that I travel for work and have a good cross-section of friends in different places makes things in Lima easier for me. It’s been hard for Rhonda to find girlfriends that a) she can relate with and b) don’t work for her. I think there is some real opportunity here for us to make some friends…and for her to build a support system.