“It was Totally Liberating”

Years ago a friend once told me a story that stuck with me.  He had a hard time finding a girl until he started dating a friend of mine.  Not too long he talked about the first party they went to together.

He was the life of the party and it seemed that every young attractive lady in the place wanted some of his time.

The reason, he was taken, and because there was no pressure to find a girl he could be himself without fear (and himself was and still is  a pretty cool guy).

A few weeks ago I heard this story again.

Because of an unexpected errand, my wife and I enjoyed a rare weekday breakfast out.

Near the end of our very tasty breakfast at Michael’s Bridge Diner in Lancaster she said something completely out of left field. She suddenly blurted out how liberating it was last week to go out with the girls and not have to worry about being picked up.

Nothing in the conversation to that point had hinted in the slightest toward the subject of her previous week’s girls night out , but I was intrigued so I asked her what was so different about this one?

My wife had been on “Girls nights out” with friends from work many times over the years, and the event from that previous Friday seemed no different to me. The plan was I would drop her off at Singapore (a local Chinese restaurant) and she would call for a ride when she was ready to come home.

There was however a change in plan at the end. When my wife called for her ride around midnight she was no longer at Singapore but at what used to be the old Pinehurst in the neighborhood where I grew up.

It seems that most of her co-workers had to leave early, either they were working the next day or had long rides home so the night was looking very short, one of her friends however was free and suggested that rather than going home she could join her at her favorite pub where they could have some wings, a few more drinks & make a night of it. My wife having the next two days off (and not having to drive) said sure.

Now the idea of my wife going out with the girls to a bar was not a foreign concept to her, before we were married she and her friends would hit local bars for drinking & dancing. That pretty much ended when we started dating, I was never a drinker and once we were married if we went to any such event it would be together.

So this was in effect the first time in almost 30 years that my wife found herself in a bar with a single woman who was checking out the guys and being checked out.

In her words, it was incredible.

Before we started dating such times were always a cause for concern for her full of worry & questions:

Do I look good enough without looking easy?
How am I carrying myself?
Would this guy think she I’m cute?
Will I say or do something that would embarrass me among my friends?
Could I even compete with my friends who are thinner or bustier (or easier)?
Would any of the guys there show any interest in me at all, would they leave me totally devastated?
If I do catch a guy’s eye?  Would he be a nice guy or just some fella looking for something she had no intention of giving?

That Friday was completely different. My wife enjoyed her drinks she enjoyed her friend, she danced, she met plenty of guys, enjoyed her time and had complete confidence in herself?

What was the difference? There was absolutely no pressure.  She wasn’t there to pick up a guy or be picked up. It didn’t mater if the guys her friend introduced her to were cute (some were) or funny or even available. It didn’t matter one jot what they thought of her. She wasn’t there for a pickup, she wasn’t there to be noticed she had the two wedding bands she had worn for over two decades and the engagement ring she had worn even longer. She was not on the market while at least one guy was “very friendly” it was very clear she was not on the market, and if it wasn’t clear from the rings she mentioned “her hubby ” in passing throughout the night.

She didn’t have to impress a man, she just was there to enjoy herself.

I’m very glad my wife had a good time with her friends, she works hard and deserves a fun time with the girls, but I’m even gladder that I spotted that treasure before some other fellow did.