As you know from my Super Bowl 50 post, I spent the majority of Super Bowl weekend down at my Dad’s house in the town I grew up in. I always love going home and I’m down there frequently for events such as birthday dinners, wedding/baby showers, girl’s night with my high school friends or to simply take my Memere to lunch. However, on Super Bowl Sunday morning, I found myself with nothing to do until kick-off. At first, I felt a pang of loneliness. But I didn’t want to go down that road and I caught myself before I did.
It’s times like this that force me to face the fact that I am, indeed, alone. Not in the sense that I have nobody to turn to and I am some sort-of abandoned person without friends or family who care about me. Actually, it’s quite the opposite! But the following is true: I do not currently have a significant other to consult before making plans for the day. I don’t own a pet nor have I yet birthed a child that requires me to plan ahead and put their needs before my own. Therefore, the only person I have to worry about is myself. Upon recognizing this freedom (a freedom that I know some of my friends would kill for!), I decided to embrace it. “I have nothing to do.” And I got excited!
First off, I decided I would indulge myself in a ‘Chippi’ from Mirasol’s – the funky, line-out-the-door-no-matter-what-time-of-day-you-go coffee shop. Despite the fact that its caloric value might resemble that of an entire meal, it is soooo worth it as a treat when I’m in town! Next, I had been long over due for a new pair of clogs for work. So, I ventured up the road to Harve’s Shoe Box – the very same shoe store my parent’s took me to get my first pair of shoes when I was a child. While I love Target and amazon.com as much as the next person, one of the things I love about being home is being able to support the small, local businesses. I also appreciate seeing a familiar face.
After trying on what felt like every Dansko the store had to offer, I finally decided on a pair and headed over to the register. While I was cashing out, a woman looked up at me and smiled. After a couple seconds, I realized it was Mrs. B, a super friendly, outgoing woman who had been a very active member of my elementary school’s PTA. As I paid, we chatted about the goings-on in town and our thoughts on what the town should do with the old, abandoned building that used to be the elementary school where Mrs. B and I knew each other from. After catching up, we politely said our goodbyes and she hollered after me, “Say hello to your mom for me!”
For anyone who has lost a loved one, you know that some days it’s very easy to talk about it and other days it’s as fresh as the day you lost them. Naturally, that Sunday was one of those immediate-tears-in-the-eyes kind of days and Mrs. B’s face dropped. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.” I apologized for getting all choked up and with a big hug, she said, “It’s ok. I lost my dad and some days it just hits you harder than others.” I was able to quickly compose myself and again, said goodbye. But not without feeling incredibly thankful for that hug. A hug from another mother. A mother who just so happened to know my mother. From the prime of her mothering days. I couldn’t have gotten that anywhere else. And this is why I love coming home.
Ugh, so after that, I was very much in need of a good, stiff drink. And I knew exactly where to find it: my friend Sarah’s house. This is another reason why I love my hometown. Several of my high school friends have returned back to Dartmouth to raise their own families and Sarah is one of them. Side note: the thought of my friend’s children making similar memories in the same incredible town that we did just melts my little heart to pieces, but I could write an entire post on that alone! Any who, Sarah is one of those friends who has made Dartmouth her home again and I know her door is always open to me. I called her up, said I would be there in 5 and when I walked in, she was ready with Patron on ice. (Well really it was vodka. Vodka on ice. With soda. But Patron on ice sounded way more literary to me. And by literary, I mean in the literal street-cred kind of way.)
After a couple of heartfelt life discussions over cocktails, my heart felt better and I was ready to head back to my dad’s just in time for kick-off. I decided to take the scenic route back and enjoy all that my little hometown has to offer.
It’s true that I don’t know how much longer it will just be me. But right now, being single without children certainly has it’s perks. On that Sunday, I became a little more o.k. with it. And I owe it all to my beloved hometown.