Episode 29: Me Time

servicesfaceSaturday, February 29th at 2:18pm:
Location: Hello Cupcake
Scene:  Diane at sitting at a table relaxing.

I woke up today in a rather pensive mood mixed with a bit of annoyance. After recalling that I was in a similar funk this time last year, I knew this was not just a simple “End of Winter Blues” but rather “Diane needs to Schedule a Spa Day” alert.  I immediately scheduled some “me time” with reservations for a full body massage and mani-pedi at the Andre Chreky Spa.  For extra measure and to boost my mood, I wore my red cotton wrap jersey dress with my brown (Georgetown sample sale bargain find for $40) boots. Bright colors were an instant anti-depressant and the boots brought out my inner fierce. I told no one where I was going and it turned out to be the best three hours I had in months. Afterwards, I was shining, sipping on tea and delving into first Twilight book while lounging at Hello Cupcake eating a scrumptious Prima Donna cupcake. It was there that Cindi finally tracked me down. I should have never taken my phone off silence.

Cindi said mockingly in faux shock, “Ooooh … Ms.  I’m Trying to Ignore calls today thanks for blessing me with the permission to speak to you. Where have you been?” I could tell she was probably standing with her hands on her hips looking at the mirror while she spoke with me on speaker phone from her bathroom.

“I needed an emergency spa day. I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin this morning. What are you up to?” I asked eyeing my book and my tea which was soon to be too cold to enjoy.  

“I can’t believe you took a spa day and did not tell me? First Jaz is still busy with her play and now you don’t include me anymore. Well anyway, I am calling to invite you to dinner with me and Aidan. Are you able to meet us at Next Door tonight?”

Hmmm, dinner with Aidan, I thought to myself was akin to knowing a manicurist was rough on the cuticles but still going back to her for abuse and nicks and leaving a generous tip using banged up fingers to hand her the money.

“Darling I think I will pass and continue on my ‘me time’ journey.” I responded hoping she would understand but knowing that would not be the case. It just seemed like every time she and Aidan planned a date night, she wanted me to come along. I was never sure if she was just being a caring friend or a friend who cared about not being alone with a guy she had borderline feelings for.  I always suspected it was the later.  But it was no fun feeling like the third lens in the glasses, seventh soda in the pack, ninth slice in the pizza you get the drift.  You get the drift.

“Are you sure Cindi? He is treating.” She whined on the other end of the line.

“I am sure. Darling you should use this opportunity to get some ‘you and Aidan’ time and to be honest I don’t know if he and I click. He always butts in and shows off, but you two seem to really be getting along.” I explained not intending initially to get into the Aidan is weird topic, but oh well.   

“Diane you are so fickle!” she said with a sigh, “I am going to leave this one alone. Bye.” And with that I was back to enjoying my me time. I can’t wait for Jaz’s play to be over so we can all hang out again as a trio. In our case Jaz, Diane and Cindi together made sense. There was a balance and Jaz was the yoke.

Episode 27: Running With the Ball

flagMonday, January 26th at 9:46am:
Location: Johnson Consulting, K Street, NW
Scene:  Diane in the pantry.

“Hey Diane, how was your weekend? I can’t believe there were so many people in the city.”  Andy another associate asked me while we were in the office pantry waiting for the coffeemaker to finish brewing. Maggie walked in just when I was about to answer and she noted, “Diane, you don’t seem like the type to do much on the weekends.”

I saw this as my opportunity, “Well actually Maggie I do a lot in the city. And this weekend I went to most of the festivities including the Mid-Atlantic Ball.”

“You went to the Mid-Atlantic Ball?! I was trying so hard to find tickets. How did you get yours?”  She asked but I could already tell she was trying to size me up in some way.

“Oh, a friend of a friend.” I spat out, shrugged, made my coffee and walked towards my office. As I stepped inside, I turned to see Maggie, quick on my heels entering the room before I even reached my desk.

“Look Diane, I can tell by your response that you already have a poor view of me. I really did not mean anything negative by implying that you were a little bit a homebody.” She explained leaning on the door frame in my office all of a sudden happy like Gidget catching some rays on the beach.

“So that was what you meant.” I countered browsing through the morning’s mail.

“Honey, don’t take things so seriously.  Why do you want come with me to a party at a friend’s house in Potomac this coming weekend? It’s a Super Bowl party and there should be lot’s of eligible powerbroker types there.” 

The offer was tempting.

“Bob will more than likely be there as well and I really want us to try to be friends.  We women have to stick together.”  Frankly, for me the conversation ended at ‘Bob will more than likely be there’. I was sold like cheap art at a charity auction. I would just have to tell Cindi, Jaz and Chris I have other work related plans.

Tuesday, January 27th at 12:31pm:
Location: Johnson Consulting, K Street, NW
Scene:  Diane talking to Cindi on the phone.

“You are not coming to Pete’s annual Super Bowl party? So why do I feel you are dumping Jaz and me for “the diva”?”  Cindi was not happy about my breaking our annual plans. This was so funny because she did not even like football.

“Darling, I am not dumping you guys for Maggie…I just think this is a great opportunity to mingle with the boss outside of work.” My explanations were like the women in the club restrooms, not really helpful and just annoying her more so I decided to promise to call her later.  

“Well be careful! I have not met Maggie but I can tell already that the only person she cares about helping is herself.” With a voice that sounded like she was in cahoots with my sixth sense Cindi hung up. I was left to haggle with my conscience while it gnawed at my common sense. However, my ambition won out and I decided to still go to the party.

I had to start thinking about what to wear.

Sunday, February 1st at 6:00pm:
Location: House in Potomac, MD
Scene:  Diane heading to the party.

“Hey Maggie, see you at the party! I am heading out there now and should arrive at five. Talk soon! Diane.”  This was my second call and second voice mail message to Maggie today.  I decided to go by myself.  I arrived at the party wearing team colors pairing jeans with my heels. Of course, I was the single girl in the room.  I had to stick by the rules we single gals play when encountering a herd of couples congregating at a familiar watering hole.  I walked lightly around them sipping ever so carefully all the while focusing on making eye contact with the wives and not the husbands. These survival tips have gotten me through many an uncomfortable scenario. Not surprisingly, neither Bob nor Maggie was in attendance.  I decided to stick around for a respectable 45 minutes and then slipped out to go to my car. I have to admit I did make a couple new acquaintances who had clued me in to a few new restaurants like Next Door on U Street. I called Cindi and told her I was heading over. Both she and Jaz were elated that we could all hang out together.

Monday, February 2nd at 8:32am:
Location: Johnson Consulting, K Street, NW
Scene:  Diane on the phone with Jaz.

“I can’t believe she stood you up and did not call at all.” Jaz started, while on her way to the metro.  At least she was a bit more tamed today with her criticism of Maggie.

“Hey Diane, how was the party? Hope you had fun!  I had a belly ache and was not able to make it. Listen lets catch up over lunch. I would talk now but I am headed for a meeting.”  Maggie made this statement out of nowhere and with that she was gone. I still did not know what to make of it all.