Headline: Downtown dinner causes breakdown for Calgary Woman


 Half way through the week. Amen. 

Last night I had my monthly dinner with my high school girls. 

(missing 1)

Not sure why I call them that, they have been my girls since elementary school but anyways.
We take turns choosing a new restaurant to try each month and every month it causes me huge stress to find the restaurant

I am direction-ally challenged. I despise driving downtown. I do not parallel park. I repeat DO NOT parallel park. And finding parking stresses me. AND I HATE being late.

So each month by the time I arrive at the restaurant I am always looking for that high five and medal to say "YOU DID IT!! You found the restaurant and parking!" but I usually settle for a good glass of red.

So last night we were headed - downtown to FARM. Always. Without fail, if it is not my turn to pick we are headed downtown. 
Insert me stressing all day.
So I do my best to prepare myself, I mapquest it, google map it. Consult with Justin on my route, ask him if I can turn left on 17th Ave from 14th Street. He says yes, I am set. 
Off I go.

Naturally I pump Taylor in the car to try and calm me down.  
As I get closer to 17th Ave I can see a BIG red sign that clearly indicates that I CANNOT turn left on 17th Ave from 14th Street. 
So I curse Justin and start sweating because I now have to veer off my printed directions. 
I proudly make my way down a one way (going the right way!) and luckily get on to 17th Ave off some other street and start looking for 10th and the FARM. At this point I am seriously stressing that I am not going to find it. I consider calling the girls to say I am sick. 
Or calling Justin crying that I am lost.
Why does this cause me so much stress? I have no idea. 

I end up spotting the restaurant on the left, shed a little happy tear, and then realize I cannot turn left to get there. 
Finally I find a flippin' street I CAN turn down and then start the search for parking. 
At this point I am willing to pay big bucks for parking (don't worry Justin, I only paid $6) and don't care if I have to walk miles. I just need to park the car.
Long story short. I made it. And I was not the last to arrive. And dinner was great. But I am close to begging them to NEVER choose a downtown venue again. But I won't. I'm a big girl.
Good news: It's my turn to choose next month. :) Insert enormous sigh of relief.

I would also like to point out how lucky I feel that I still have those 7 ladies in my life.

I got thinking about this on my way home last night (yes, once I got out of the downtown core and my pulse stopped racing!)
We are all at very different places in life - some of us are married, one has a child, some really want a child, some just got engaged, some are planning a wedding, some live with their significant other but don't think they will ever get married, some just found "Mr. Right", some just became a dog mama and some ditch dinner for a blind date. [Eventually we will forgive her. :)] 
But really, once we sit down to dinner we are just the same friends we have always been and nothing will change that. It does not matter in the least how different our lives are at the time. We don't see each other often, for most of us it's just that one monthly dinner, we all have other close friends that we spend our weekends with or call/email when we need to talk but for those 3 hours each month it's like we see each other every week. I know for a fact all 8 of us would drop anything if one another needed us. And I love that. 

So when the time comes that they make me venture downtown again I just have to remember that it is worth it. And I always leave our dinners with a very full heart. 
And belly.

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Jessica said...

Friends are the best. They're totally worth going out of our way for, even if we do get a little lost! ;)

Murdock's mama said...

This is an awesome post Alison! You are soo lucky to have those girls. It's remarkable that you're all in different places yet still able to connect. I love it!!! :)

Also...I do the exact same thing when attempting to drive downtown! Sweat, swearing, & a nervous stomach!!

Jen said...

Thats wonderful that you remain so close to all your high school friends! I still have a freindship with two of my friends from high school but the rest are on my facebook and thats about it. I also stress about parking and getting lost when I go somewhere im not familiar with. Our downtown is pretty small and easy to get around but when I head to Denver thats a whole other story and I get totally panicked and always think I wanna call and cancel. I seriously think of excuses as to why I cant come until I walk in the door lol.

Ashley said...

Glad you made it there and back home safely!!! I would hate that all the streets are by number not names! I also hate paralell parking - heck I hate spelling it! I am glad you are still able to be in touch with all of them!!

Leigh said...

I think it's pretty amazing that you girls are all still friends and get together once a month. Sometimes I wish I was still close with my high school girlfriends, but it's hard when I live far away and when they don't make an effort to see me when I am home.

Glad you survived your downtown adventure!

Britt said...

This makes me laugh because I have the same anxiety as you. I just started parallel parking recently. I'm not good at it, but I try.

Page Twenty-Two said...

I love everything about this post! I think we are legit the same person! I have my group of girls from HS too and we go out once a month for dinner/drinks! I am HORRIBLE with directions and get so nervous driving ANYWHERE! I hate driving in the city and I mapquest everything 1000 times before I go anywhere! Why does this not happen to men? Whenever I get lost I instantly turn down my radio too like the silence might help haha - really enjoyed this:)

Whit said...

What a beautiful post and a great reminder of what a true friend really is. Xox
Ps. I hate parking down town too!! I don't parallel park and i despise paying for parking!!!

Amanda said...

I have a serious issue with getting lost and figuring out where I'm going. Yes, I panic like you. A lot. Sweating, crying, spazzing, freaking out. I do that, but I'm glad you all had a fun monthly girls night. I wish I had all my girl friends in one place so I could do this once a month!

Caroline said...

Glad you found your way to and from the restaurant. It's so good to still have these kinds of friends. Most of my girlfriends from high school and I don't talk anymore. I wish we did.

Natalie said...

Isn't it amazing how you can barely see people, have such different lives and still everything is the same? I love friends like that!

Hannah @ The New Black said...

I have a friend who is exactly like this! Going anywhere outside her normal driving area causes her such anxiety. How lucky you are to have such a great group of friends that has lasted all those years!

Kae* said...

You aren't alone friend.
Seriously that stuff makes me panic. I am freaking out for you while I was reading it.
I also can't barely make myself walk into a new place if I don't know if the people I am meeting are there. I seriously pass out!
Also how great and lucky to have all your girlfriends! :)

Nicole @ Haute Runner said...

That's the one good thing about working downtown I suppose! I hate having to find parking though!! I dislike spending a lot of money on it but sometimes I just get desperate and pay out the nose.

What did you think of Farm? We have been there a couple times and love it!

I also find that we tend to go downtown for dinners and I hate it! Sure they have some good restaurants but surely there are other places (with easy free parking) to go in this city!!

I love that you have monthly dinner dates with your girls! Such a great idea! I really need to start something like that with my friends since the months just zoom by.

Do one of your friends live close-ish to you that you can car pool with?

Rachel and John said...

Aw how lovely!

I am also like that downtown! It makes me so nervous and I don't go down there unless I abs. have too!

Just the Two of US said...

great post! i love good friends!

Bethany said...

OMGal Al this is so sweet! I wish I could say the same for my gal pals. :(