I love my friends. They’re amazing people. They make me feel inspired, loved, happy, contented. Moving as much as I have done over my life, it’s been difficult to sustain friendships I’ve made over the years in different cities, even through social media. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Most people I talk to say the same thing, that friends come and go from their life and, as you get older, people’s priorities shift to their work, families, relationships etc, and it becomes harder to find time for friends.
I’m in Auckland now for the foreseeable future, with my husband at university and me about to start a new job. Whether that’s for better or for worse remains to be seen, but for now, it just is, so we’ll deal with extraneous impacts. What’s nice is that I’ve made some great friends, people I feel are in the same kind of position in their lives, that hold similar values to me, and that share my sense of humour and interests. Hanging out with these people is easy, like good friendships should be. A lot of my friendship time seems to be spent in couples or groups – my husband and I will go together to meet up with another couple, or a group of people for dinner/parties, whatever. But something that gets neglected is me spending time with my girlfriends, just fostering my close friendships. So just as I intend to have husband dates every month, I also made a goal to have girlfriend dates every month.
Last week, I had a date with my wonderful girlfriend, Annalise, who I met about 3 years ago in a community French class. Husband and I have become fast friends with Annalise and her partner since then, often having dinner or going out for drinks. Hanging out with Annalise last night was everything that a girlfriend date should be – we laughed until tears ran down our faces, we had deep and meaningful conversations about our pasts and our futures, we explored new places, and most of all it was easy. We had a conversation at some point in the evening about how some friends in your lives can easily be “transitory”, and it becomes harder as an adult to connect deeply with friends to the point where you feel okay about falling asleep on their couch and snoring when you visit them. I could definitely fall asleep at Annalise’s house, and I’d probably just take compromising photos of her instead of feeling awkward if she fell asleep at mine.
So what did we do? We wandered High Street, pretending to be aloof hipsters while browsing the shops, I successfully resisted buying EVERYTHING from Unity Books (but did buy this, which is freaking awesome fun). We then went and had dinner at No. 1 Dumpling (who gave us so much food we were still full hours later – I seriously recommend it for cheap dining), and wandered across to play mini golf.
I LOVE mini golf, and watching Annalise slam the ball around like she was on a driving range was hilarious. She was constantly paranoid that she’d get in trouble from watching cameras, but she managed to play on until the final hole (in which the attendant’s booth was hit by her errant ball, and a startled “HEY!” was yelled in her general direction, and we both sniggered under our breath). The thing I loved most about Lost in Time was that its name was extremely fitting – although it is meant to show a “history of New Zealand” it seemed to have no apparent order or progression, beginning with the World Wars and ending with dinosaurs. There were a number of interesting courses, including the one above, which looked unfortunately like the (w)hole tackle…
Of course, Annalise and I had totally come for the dinosaurs and I was not disappointed. Here is Connie the T-Rex (we named all the dinosaurs), and although she looks harmless, I can assure you that standing in front of her while her head and tail move around and she roars at you is actually slightly intimidating…
Finding our sides hurting from laughter, and our egos slightly bruised from high scores, we moved on to end the evening at Orleans. We intended to have a glass of wine, but the alcoholic ice cream sodas on Little Sazerac’s menu were too good to pass up! Annalise had the root beer/vanilla/bourbon, and I the Dr Pepper/dark cherry/rum. And, oh my word, were they amazing. I shall definitely be returning!
All in all, a fantastic night, and a goal I recommend to any girl with amazing girlfriends!