Monday, February 1, 2010

Day One: The Next Chapter

Date: February 1, 2010
Friend: Emily Smith
Activity: chai and pastries
Location: Starbucks at Country Side Village
Total $ spent: $0 (gift card)

On a misty mid-winter day, the sun tucked in by the omnipresent overcast skies, I had the pleasure of sipping tea and munching on baked goods with my sweet friend, Emily. I couldn't have asked for a better first $1 date participant because Emily is simply radiant. In fact, I'm sure she is glowing with embarrassment over reading this about herself.

Emily and I met 2 1/2 years ago when I was working at the botanical gardens. She was a horticulturalist/educator/artist/gardner/tour guide and I worked in development. She was a member of the group I used to refer to as "the pretty girls" who giggled constantly, and didn't seem to have room for one more quirky chick. Fortunately, all it took was a group lunch outing to Trini's Mexican Restaurant for me to realize how quickly I had misjudged these lovely ladies. Within a short time, we were all friends and I knew that Emily was a keeper.

After I made the difficult decision to leave the gardens, Emily and the other "pretty girls" stuck by my side and seemed to value my friendship as much as I valued theirs. Me and my garden girls would meet for lunch, concerts in the garden, or dinners (with an appletini or two) at Upstream, and the occassional bridal shower or birthday party. When Emily volunteered to be my first $1 date, I was so excited that I planned my outfit the night before. You see, whether or not she realizes it, this is the first time Emily and I have ever hung out one-on-one.

Isn't it interesting how fate reminds us of certain friendships just when we need them most? Emily is also embarking upon a major career transition. She recently made the decision to leave Omaha's botanical gardens and relocate to Tennessee (Tennessee??). Without making the conversation about me (even though this is my blog so technically I could make it all about me), I let my sweet friend know that I related to her situation and supported her decision. Selfishly, I wanted to scream, "NO!! YOU'RE ONE OF MY FAVORITES! YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME!" But I'm just too level-headed to allow such outbursts (bahahahahaha!!). She described the conflict she felt between craving change but liking Omaha so much. I compared her feelings to my experience leaving the DC-area. I told her how I consider these major life choices as chapters. Each chapter writes the stories of our lives, and Omaha will be a very critical chapter in the telling of her story. With a flick of her long, blonde swoopy bangs (which she is getting cut tomorrow by her beloved stylist), her hands a little fidgety, she looked me in the eyes and said, "Yes - that's so right!"

As we finished our chai drinks and left crumbs on our plates, our conversation drifted toward fashion, food, boys, and why doesn't Omaha have an Ikea or Trader Joe's? It's bad enough there is only one Whole Foods. Not that we can actually afford Whole Foods, but someday we might have that kind of money and wouldn't it be nice if we had options! We tried to guess when one of our mutual friends will get pregnant (I'm not naming names but you know who you are), and we realized that we both need to buy new dressers because we are using hand-me-down children's furniture. Though we are both diminuitive in stature, we are bargain shoppers with a lot of clothing!

Tonight, our friendship began a new chapter. I'm excited to see where this journey will lead her, even though it's taking her out of my city. We will be far-away friends who will chat over Facebook (yes, friends, Emily is FINALLY joining Facebook!), and exchange emails here and there. I'm hoping she'll call me when she's in town to visit her beau, and I'm sure we will giggle and compliment each other's shoes.

If today is any indication of how my month will play out, this little social experiment of mine may just be the best idea I've ever had. On deck for day two: Anne.

I'll be seeing you...


  1. What a great first entry! I like that you visually document the date as well :-)

  2. YAY!! Sounds like a very successful first outing!

  3. Very fun! And I just realized I took a floral class with Emily at Lauritzen this fall and she was SO great and fun at it! I'm sad she is leaving too!