Do you ever just have a perfect night? A night where nothing goes wrong and you go home thinking this was time very well spent? A night that wasn’t really planned but spontaneously happens? I had a night like that. All it all began with an impromptu dinner invitation.
My friend Jenny and I needed to catch up after not seeing each other for a week (that’s a long time for us). So I called her to see if she wanted to grab some dinner Friday night. That led to me meeting her and our friend Leah at Jenny’s house to go out for dinner and then some early holiday shopping. But first we had to pick a restaurant; much easier said than done at 7:00 on a Friday night. Every place suggested had a 30 minute wait or more and we were hungry to wait more. So we ended up in Ankeny at El Azteca. Wait time: 10 minutes.
Taco salads, enchiladas carnitas, beans and rice, Mexican food and margaritas loaded the table.
It was amazing we talk around how much food we were eating. Our talking points went from how everybody is doing at work (Jenny and Leah have both started new jobs), to checking up on family (everybody’s good and happy), catching up on group gossip (none to be shared), to how muggle-born students at Hogwarts dealt with no electricity when they’d used it all their lives (ended up surmising that possibly JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter as having gone to school in the 90’s so she didn’t have to deal with muggle-borns having smart phones or tablets. Leah and I couldn’t do it.). I’m sure the table behind us thought we were crazy. But, to me, that is the definition of a friend: a person with whom you can have a serious, thoughtful conversation about a fictional book, movie, or television show, and talk about it as if it were real.
After dinner, we did some shopping. Going from store to store, hoping to find something to catch your eye for a certain person. All that caught my eye were things for me, a couple dresses and some cute ankle boots. I must not be in the holiday spirit yet. Not that any of that mattered. I was with two of my best friends and we were making fun of each other and trying on hats and enjoying each other’s company. I’m sure the stores thought we were a nuisance and were grateful when we left.
On my drive home I just kept thinking, ‘That was a great night.’ I hope other people have nights like this: a night of best friends reaffirming why we’re best friends. We’re lucky that living in Des Moines there’s always something to do: restaurants to try, stores to shop at, and places to just have fun with friends. I hope we get another spontaneous night out soon.