The Me That I Was – by Robin
A close friend of mine from Mytle Beach, SC came to visit this past holiday weekend. She stayed with us two nights…which went all too fast….because we had a blast together.
We met a number of years ago attending an Omega conference in NYC and really clicked. As if we had been friends for years.
She is younger than me…in her 30s….and single…. so while we’re in a very different place in our lives, we understand each other, tell it like it is, have each other’s back….and laugh a lot. I love that. I always welcome our time together. In part, it reminds me of the me I was before marriage and motherhood. Unattached. Operating with complete freedom of action. Working in the city and often gallavanting around town with friends, whether to socialize, shop, etc. Part of me misses those days, though I love my husband, son and home.
What I do welcome is a dose of it periodically. It makes me feel both alive and appreciative of all that I have.
Her first night here, we went out to dinner at a waterside restaurant, with great seafood and an enviable view. We then joined the packs of other gal pals gathering to see Sex & the City. I was so glad to be able to see it with a good friend. We really enjoyed the movie, and I especially related to the storylines pertaining to motherhood. The character Miranda makes a comment that for her, motherhood isn’t enough. And, Charlotte is seen having a tearful moment during a challenging episode with her two young daughters. It felt real, though much of the film was quite over the top otherwise. It didn’t matter. It was welcome escapism.
The next day, we went into the city, and covered more territory there than I have in years.
We started at Limelight Marketplace, which was converted into a cool upscale mall from the original Limelight, which was a hot nightclub back in its heyday. What a trip down memory lane. I recalled dancing the night away back in my dating days. It was always a big singles scene. I was amazed to see how it was transformed, yet the gorgeous stainglass windows and architecture remained in tact. I pictured the pulsating music and strobe lights. It had come a long way.
From there, we ventured down to Union Square and had a nice lunch at Rosa Mexicana. They had taken over the space occupied for years by America. I remembered also having gone there back in my single days, with girlfriends for brunch, etc.
Boy…how things had changed.
We then walked around the Farmer’s Market in Union Square…always a treat…and hit various stores around that vicinity.
Time flew, and we found ourselves at 10pm heading down to the West Village on foot. We wanted to see the arch in Washington Square Park lit up. It was worth the trip. The arch is quite a spectacle, and it took me back to my college days when I spent a summer studying in France and vacationed for the first time in Paris, where I saw the magnificent Arc de Triomphe. I later returned to Paris on a singles trip….where I met my now husband. So, Paris came full circle for me.
My friend got busy taking photos in the park. It was a beautiful night. The weather was perfect, and many were out strolling around. It is a very colourful place to be. On a bench near us was a Lesbian couple, humping with abandon. They were fully clothed, but still zealously going at it. Some passersby were turned off, but couldn’t resist marveling at their behaving with complete abandon. It was voyeuristic, yet there was something freeing about it.
In the background, beautiful classical music could be heard. A student, probably from NYU, had moved a piano to the park, and was serenading all. It was incredible.
Around midnight, we decided to head back to Penn Station to catch a train to Great Neck, and as we awaited the train, we took in the entertainment underground. There was a talented guitar player singing, as various young guys took turns breakdancing and doing acrobatics. Others alternated at the mike rapping. It was quite a scene, and such a NY experience.
While I was wiped once we got back to my house, it was a day to remember. Chockful of unique NY moments. Good friendship. Nostalgia. And, it renewed my spirit. I needed that more than I even knew. I look forward to more days of discovery, whether in the city or elsewhere. For me, having new experiences is so important. It feeds my soul which often feels stagnant in the suburbs, so I need to make a more concerted effort to put aside my to do list and get my NYC fix, whether my friend is visiting or not. I have to do it for me….and the me that I was.