No Guests for Dinner

 

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I’m currently on an airplane on my way to Chicago without internet access and decided to use auto fill on my phone to create a prompt for today’s blog post. So without further ado, and from 35,000 feet, here is the sentence I’m starting with:

I hope that you can bring your family to the house and have dinner.

When I was in my twenties, I often imagined my future life where I would meet the man of my dreams, get married, have kids and live in a neighborhood like the one I grew up in. The neighbors would be like family and dinner parties would be a weekly thing. Sometime around my early thirties, the only part of my dream that was left was to meet a halfway decent guy and get married. I also started to think it would be OK to remain single so I got myself a cat which seemed to be a panacea to all the single ladies.

Dinner parties were still something I thought of and at times I was invited where I was the unattached guest but I lived in a place too small to have one on my own. You know how people say to stop looking and you’ll find the one? Well, that’s what happened. Only I didn’t recognize it for quite some time.

We met at a pretty chaotic time in my life. I was volunteering for a suicide prevention hotline that was beyond struggling for funding. Eventually, it became clear we couldn’t keep it going any longer and the director, who became my good friend, invited me to dinner with her husband and brother-in-law who was going through a divorce, so we could commiserate and drink our sorrows away.

She suggested the brother-in-law and I could try dating to which I said- are you crazy?! We ended up laughing over dinner and the four of us would often get together at her house or meet up for drinks. While I had loosened my ideal for my future mate, there were still some pretty stiff requirements that left her divorcing brother-in-law out of the mix. He was still married, was well outside my dating age range which was two years younger and five years older, and he was a little too tall. We eventually became friends and decided to help fix each other up.

About a year into the friendship, I had two candidates for him (he had none for me). After going over the details we settled on a woman who lived nearby him and who I thought would be a good match. He agreed and I gave the woman, who was a colleague, his email. As I was describing him to her, I realized he was a pretty good catch. I wavered and said – what about us? I guess you could say the rest is history.

We did get married, had a child, but instead of a neighborhood, we live on a busy road where we don’t have neighbors to invite for dinner. I’ve thought of moving through the years to remedy this but have become attached to the convenience of the location. It’s near work, shopping, the airport and Liam’s school. I do think longingly of missed dinner parties from time to time.

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