Finally, I walked out the door around 8pm. I arrived at the State Fairground venue where one of my favorite bands was playing but I couldn't find the stage. With my girlfriend trying to talk me there, I began to get frustrated, the hurt was bubbling up inside and I started to cry.
What am I doing here? I'm not ready to be around actual people yet.
She then handed the phone to a security guard in the hopes of him giving me better directions. That's all it took, one smug man's voice and I was on the way back home. I tried again on Thursday but never made it out the door. When Friday rolled around, the plan was to attend a lakefront festival, taste of the city event, with live music and a huge bonus, it was not too far from my house.
I can do this. I just have to get there and if it sucks, I can come home early and still catch The Ghost Whisperer on TV, pathetic but true.
My most persistent friend, Jodes, would accompany me. She knew exactly how to handle things, letting me know I could talk about "him" if I chose but it was okay if I didn't want to talk. She was there either way. We spent the first hour of our night on the phone with US Cellular tech support. Somehow, we had both inadvertently attached a speed dial to our ex-husbands and have been persistently purse dialing them. Neither one of us could figure out how to get it off. To our credit, it took tech support the better part of that hour figuring it out themselves.
They served up their unique blends from exceedingly peculiar grapes along with their stories. Henry was the winemaker, brother Joe was a mess, somewhat akin to the Jim character from Taxi. We were beguiled by them. They told us the story of their most popular wine, which comes out in the fall, just in time for hunting season. It's called Deer Camp wine and it is made from the tiny wild grapes that grow on their land up north. I'm certain we saw it fermenting in their homemade jugs lining the back wall of their storeroom.
When this wine was in the development phase, they mentioned it to one of their customers, we'll refer to her as one of those "ladies who lunch". Her disdain for everything related to hunting was immediately apparent when she supposed they were going to include a buck with a nice large rack on their label. She went on to straight out call them chauvinistic pigs. Not ones to take such an insult, they utilized the services of Henry's son-in-law, a graphic designer, to come up with a label that would truly represent who they were. The result is the label above, featuring a lovely doe, with a nice large rack, ever so gingerly balancing her glass of wine within her hooves. After all Joe said, we are not chauvinistic pigs. We're just pigs.
Jodes and I purchased a bottle of wine, then decided it was time to dance. We kicked off our shoes, buried our feet in the sand and made our way to the front of the stage, oh and did I mention, in the pouring rain. We danced and sang and hugged. I must have thanked her at least 236 times for getting me out of the house to have this experience. Two gorgeous young men started dancing with us while several others scooted in to make their plays. We were drenched. Jodes asked me to let my hair down. It was wet and wild and I was free and without pain. There it was, this beautiful young man, the better looking of the two, and he was interested in me. But all I wanted to do was dance in the rain.
When the band finished, we excused ourselves from the opportunity in front of us. I would later be admonished for this when it was explained to me that younger men will give you great sex and expect nothing in return. Why the hell didn't somebody tell me this before? Oh yeah, I tried that already. Didn't work so well.
As we were making our way out, we said goodbye to one of our friends who was talking to a nice looking guy. He flirted with me and I flirted right back. He thought I was feisty, I told him he couldn't handle my feisty. As we left, he asked for my number - but I simply walked away, arm in arm with my good friend. I think we might have actually been skipping.
Later I found out this flirty guy who asked for my number is married, has cheated on his wife many times, been kicked out and now was back trying to make things "work" with her. Oh, there it is again - that familiar pain. Not for me, not for him, but for her, the wife.
Yet how refreshing it was to spend a night fixing our phones, skipping arm in arm and meeting Henry and Joe who somehow managed to restore the reputation of men by being exactly who they are. Pigs who appreciate a nice large rack. It was every bit as refreshing as dancing in the pouring rain.
|Here with are with the one and only, Joe.|