We'd been trying to get together for several months. Schedules and illness and life in general kept getting in the way. They flew in last night, though, and the dinner we'd had on the calendar for a month or so was actually going to happen.
I decided at the last minute not to wear my cowboy boots
I walk better in my Chucks.
This is only relevant because I'd told her I'd be wearing the boots and corduroy shorts. We'd never seen one another before; I was worried about recognizing them.
We parked and walked and arrived 8 minutes early, entering the restaurant's patio behind a couple we really hoped were not to be our dinner companions. Worrying, we closed the gate behind ourselves and looked up to see a smiling couple waving in our direction.
They looked just like us, albeit somewhat less careworn. There was a lot of It must be them It is Are you Oh, we wondered if going on in the beginning. They hugged and hand-shook appropriately and we agreed that sitting outside was preferable. They'd arrived that afternoon from Chicago; 85 at 8pm was quite tempting.
Without any awkwardness, we plunged right into the details. Why Tucson for a second home? Where were you before? Why? Kids? Jobs? And weaving through the conversation was our concern over the absence of our waiter. Three ice teas and a water didn't seem to warrant 30 minutes of waiting, especially when two of us had just arrived at altitude and had to keep hydrated.
We loved the same things about Tucson, it seemed. The ache in my hip made an ache in my heart when she said hiking as the first thing she liked to do here. Yoga, but not Bikram, is on her list, too. She seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to help her find classes; she'll soon figure out that that's what makes Tucson special. We're all in this together.
It was fun to listen to her concept of distance; as new homeowners in a new neighborhood everything seems far. Another reason to love her: when I said that long distances are easily traversed on quiet streets with few traffic lights and gorgeous vistas her response was classic Tucson - The drive is half the fun.
I can't wait to take her to Tombstone, past Texas Canyon alongside I-10
..... in the middle of another conversation, where did you grow up was on the table and it turns out that she and I were one year apart at the same high school.... that she grew up next door to my 6th grade boyfriend.... that my brother knew her brother and that we could find one another in our yearbooks... which both of us had close to hand right here in Arizona, thinking that we were making new friends when we were really rediscovering old relationships..... kinda sorta.
Some things, it seems, are just meant to be.
Welcome to Tucson. I'm working on your blogonyms right now. Nathakes has very good taste in friends.