Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Heaven Knows

At our first meeting, my girl crush and I fell hard for each other.

Seated in the bow of a power boat (hers and her husband's) sipping pink bubbles while skimming the Corrotoman River, we bonded over age (ours, the same), the quest for true love (she'd succeeded in finding hers, I was still working on it) and having sex in their spacious outdoor shower (her, not me).

The date was August 11, 2014 and our admiration for each other was immediate and mutual.

By the time I got home from that weekend, she'd emailed me gushing, "Meeting you was wonderful and I can't wait to see you again! Anytime you can visit, please do!"

Sigh. A girl lives for that kind of romance.

In my efforts to see as much of her as I could, I managed two more visits back to their river cottage before that summer ended and a fabulous friendship was born.

Over the four summers since, I've spent many a day and night back at that river cottage so that she and I could talk, laugh, walk, drink, eat, talk, boat, jet-ski and lounge on the deck. Oh, yes, and talk. Finally, last year we had an a-ha moment when we realized we could also spend time together during the other seasons.

Translation: we didn't just want to be each other's summer fling.

When I introduced her and her handsome husband to Mr. Wright, they were not only thrilled for me but eager to spend more time as a foursome. We all enjoyed our summer get-togethers so much that we planned a big river weekend together in October, only to be thwarted when some hurricane or another knocked out power at both their Richmond and river houses.

But while our couple date hadn't worked out, you can only keep a couple of girl crushes apart for so long, so when she emailed me last week suggesting a catch-up dinner/girls' night out, I couldn't say yes fast enough.

Knowing your crush's preferences is essential, so when she assigned me the task of choosing the restaurant, I took into account her dislike of parallel parking. Suggesting Hob Nob because I'm a fan of their food, and guessing that she hadn't been there, I was pleasantly surprised when she responded, "Is that where the old Hermitage Grill was?"

Yes, it is. Turns out that Lakeside is part of her youth, a fact I hadn't known.

Arriving without reservations, we were surprised to find that every table except the sole occupied one was already reserved, so we settled in at the bar for dinner. Her beer and my Anjos Vinho Verde Rose had barely been placed in front of us when a server offered to seat us at the just-vacated table.

We certainly didn't mind since now we could look at each other.

With so much to talk about - it's been two and a half months, after all - we opted for the special of crab and shrimp spring rolls, a fine choice given the crispy golden wrapper that shattered with each bite and the crab-heavy filling.

A cheeseburger, Gouda grits and a Brussels sprout/bleu cheese/pomegranate seed salad fueled us through the next few hours as we dissected millennial anxiety, shared film recommendations and talked about what our menfolk have been up to.

Her man is as much a word nerd as I am - I know he's fond of lumbago, swale and gadabout, a term he's used to describe me once or twice - so I laughed hearing how he has "Dead Guy" listed as one of his phone contacts. Naturally, I also got the backstory on how he got to be "Dead Guy" in the first place, because there's always a good story with him.

He's also full of surprises, having recently suggested they go she could see their new sailboat.

Seems he'd decided to sell the sailboat I'd been on with them for so many splendid adventures and upgrade to a new one. Like a proud parent, she pulled out her phone and showed me gorgeous photos of it, pointing out its handsome woodwork, sleek galley and sleeping quarters and new toilet (more important than you might think when pink bubbles are involved).

But she made sure that I knew that the main appeal for us girls is the flat bow, which she assured me would be easier for the two of us to maintain our balance on when we're sitting there chatting as the boat cuts through the water. Depending on the wind and the angle of the boat, we've had to do some serious bracing to stay upright while lounging under the mast.

When I reminded her that we could also not drink while we're up there, she gave me that look that made me crush on her from the beginning. "No, we can't!" she said emphatically.

They'd tried taking the boat out this past Sunday when temperatures had been forecast to warm up into the '60s, but between the cold river and warm air, it was so foggy they gave up. But the fog had other compensations, it seems. "Driving over the bridge, the clouds were so thick you couldn't see the river or the sky or anything except what was right in front of you," she told me dreamily. "It felt like being in heaven!"

Is it any wonder I love this woman?

Eventually we looked up to realize that every table and bar stool was now occupied, a fact neither of us had noticed happening. It didn't affect us, though, so we went on to share a slice of mint chocolate chip cake, its pale green buttercream frosting as sweet and rich as accidentally finding your girl crush at a crab feast.

But we're not idiots, so we also cooked up a plan for another couple date weekend to make up for being robbed of our October plans. It doesn't hurt that our mates have a bit of a man crush on each other, too.

Heaven is a weekend I get to spend with Mr. Wright, my favorite word nerd and my girl crush. But don't give me credit, I'm just doing as I was told.

Which is why, gadabout that I am, every time I can visit, I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment