The List

Every year, the Washington Post (and I am sure every other publication in the world) publishes a year-end list of what is in, what is out. Last night, upon returning to Palm Tree-ville after a few days in cold and rainy D.C., my crazy friend and I made our lists over dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. She wrote hers in a neat notebook. I wrote mine on a Christmas napkin that the bartender gave me.

“The first thing you put on the list is the most important,” said my crazy friend.

Oh great. That’s always good for off-the-cuff thinking.

“Really important.”


And she scribbled away.

So I got all introspective and wrote No. 1: “Listen to my inner spirit and voice.”

Then I laughed. Please. That is so not how serious I want to be anymore. Well, at least for now.

I hastily wrote down No. 2 and wished it had been No. 1: “Buy beach bike.”

Yep, that felt more like it.

No. 3: “Find place to buy.” Hey, a girl can dream.

“Enjoy your teenage singleness.” I stared at that one for a minute, because it seemed to be written by someone other than me. Except it was so me. So now. So, okay, I will, I allowed.

As the night wore on, we wrote a few more things on our lists and talked about what was out:

“No dating married men,” my friend wrote. Oh, okay.

“Do not date men who like you more than you like them,” I wrote.

“Yeah, but how do you know that right away?” my friend asked when she read No. 5 on my list. Fair enough.

By then, others were leaning over our shoulders, reading our lists. The GM of the restaurant several doors down, in for just a minute to borrow something, said to me, “Don’t forget ‘Be really nice to Daniel.’” Sure! No. 6 it is. Just don’t forget to be really nice to RG, too. Hahaha.

We drank more wine; we got goofy. I felt the tension and stress of D.C. exit through the stem of my wineglass and dissipate into the steam of the cappuccino maker behind the bar. I felt good.

“I met up with friends from middle school while I was in D.C.,” I told my friend.

“Really? You still know people from back then?” she asked.

And I thought about my second-grade best friend who’d organized the evening, and how I never see enough of her, but how we could re-connect anytime and always talk about anything.

“Yeah. I still know lots of friends from back then,” I told her. Back then–the time of bad hair, bad skin, and garish braces. Of gangly bodies and awkward conversations. I know these friends still, and they know me, too, despite the years gone by. They will always be with me. And although they were shocked to hear about what I was up to, to a person they confided that they wished me the best in my “brave” move. I assured them I was hardly brave, that I was just going in a direction that felt right for me, for now.

I was poised to write: “Appreciate ALL your friends in a way that they know how much you love them,” as No. 7 on my list. But instead, the cute executive and sort-of regular at this restaurant picked that exact moment to interrupt and ask to see what I was writing.

Which was when No. 8 was written, not by me, but by him.

“He’s a real catch,” winked his friend standing next to him, watching as he wrote No. 8 so neatly and carefully.

“You know what?” I told him, “So am I.”

And we all laughed.

Then I drew an arrow from No. 7 to No. 4 on my list. And we laughed, again. Because it was funny.

And this is what never got written on my list as No. 10: “For God’s sake, have fun.”

Happy New Year. Make it happy. Be happy. Be really happy.

the list.jpg






9 responses to “The List”

  1. Kim Ayres Avatar

    7 looks suspiciously like the handwriting on the rest of the napkin… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Gorilla Bananas Avatar

    I’m not sure you should listen to the voices in your head but the other resolutions sound OK. I would add: Don’t eat crocodile meat out of season.

  3. Gypsy Avatar

    I just stopped by to say hi and thank you for visiting my blog. It is so important to have fun no matter how old you are. I hope you have a very Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Gypsy Avatar

    Just stopped by to thank you for visiting my blog. It is so important to have fun no matter how old you are and as long as you always remember that you will get to be as old as me… Happy New Year!!

  5. upset waitress Avatar

    I keep running into you Gypsy ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyways RG. I don’t agree with the NOT to date married men. At least married men always have to go home, and that’s a bonus don’t ya think? Hetetehe. I’ve had a few already so it might not be as funny as I think it is.

  6. jalii Avatar

    Jimmy sounds pretty cool to me.


  7. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Kim–He used my pen! He tried to copy me! He is too funny!!!

    Gorilla–Thanks for the tip. And thanks for commenting!

    Gypsy–I really like your writing. Fun is good, even when you are older than the younger folks. Not that I am old….

    UW–Girl, I so hear you. You make an EXCELLENT point!

    Jali–Jimmy is actually pretty cute ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. rachel Avatar

    i like how your handwriting got messier as you moved down the list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Brave Astronaut Avatar

    My very best to you RG (and fellow Beardie award winner!) for a happy, healthy 2008! May your wildest dreams become reality. We all deserve a little wild now and then.