I have to say, I love double dating. There's just something about going out with another married couple and getting connected, knowing that they get it, they get you... And besides all that, it's part of a healthy relationship (having friends besides your spouse, that is.) With my social tendencies (I'm what you might call an EXTROVERT), I think this comes more naturally to me than to Mark. Not to say that he doesn't enjoy it - I think he does - but he tends to take longer to warm up to people than I do. He's a great sport, though, and doesn't put up a fight, and goes out with pretty much anyone I ask him to, as long as I make the details happen :)
All this to say, we have lucked out to find some really good friends here. One such couple: Sarah and Thomas. I've worked with Sarah for about a year now, and she and Thomas just got married a couple weeks ago. We've gone out several times before, and tonight was one of those fun double date nights. We met at O'Charley's to eat dinner, had some great conversation, and then headed to Sir Goony's to play mini golf (after some debating at the bowling alley about whether we wanted to wait the 40-or-so minutes for a lane to open.)
Sarah and Thomas in front of the volcano :)
me and Mark in front of the volcano :)
We played about a round and a half before calling it a night, and we each got a hole in one - and some of us got more than one :) It was so nice just to be able to relax and enjoy each other as couples and friends for a while, not having to worry about moving or money or work or when are we going to sleep and what are we going to eat... Just good, quality fellowship time over a couple rounds of crazy mini golf. Made for a pretty good evening.
I think that's what I miss the most about college, some days. It's what has been the hardest thing for me to adjust to, working full-time and being on nights and being far away from my closest friends. I miss the fellowship, the social interaction, the ability to just call a friend and meet for lunch at a moment's notice. I miss my heart-to-hearts with Elissa, I miss my silly moments with Kristine, I miss my nursing study group, I miss the friendship that Andy and Mark and Suzie and I all had altogether, I miss all those relationships that helped form who I am now. I miss these sweet friends so much that the ache in my heart is tangible sometimes. But I've learned a few things during this time of loneliness, too - how to open up, and let new people in. I have been privileged to realize that new friends do not replace old ones, that old friends will never leave you or stop loving you. But new friends can bring such great new dimensions to your life too, new experiences, new memories made, and a broadened group of people to love, and who love you back. The first year or so that we were here, I was very lonely, missed my friends, I was shy at work, and reluctant to come out of my shell and open up to people a whole lot. I was almost afraid to try to form new relationships because I didn't want to betray the old ones. During this past year, though, I have found such a joy in getting to know the people I work with, some better than others. We have gone out on numerous of these double dates, with many different couples. Some we clicked with better than others; Sarah and I just ended up hitting it off right away. And I have been so very thankful for her friendship these last several months. It's so nice to have a girlfriend here to talk with, commiserate with, do girly things with, work with, and mourn over babies with. I do so appreciate her, and I hope she knows that. Mark and I will both miss her and Thomas very much when we move.
Me and Sarah
Just another reminder that God is in the business of loving people and providing what they need - even if all that means is a good friend in my immediate vicinity. Thanks - Mark and I both needed that :)