Fitting in Friends

On the second day in Columbus, I start off my day by working out with my old workout partners. By old, I mean “former,” because I am not far enough behind them in age to call them old. This means getting up early enough to get completely ready and wake Pat up so he can get up and take me to the gym by 7:00AM. When I get there, I drop off my stuff in the locker room and head outside for my familiar loop through the local park. When I make it to the restored prairie area, I’m surprised by a new crop of yellow flowers blowing brilliantly against the browning foliage. It’s beautiful in the sunrise glow–I enjoy this start to my day.

The workout is more of a social event, although one of my partners isn’t there. We catch up on what’s going on and swap gossip while we workout. The workout goes by quickly and I’m soon on my way to the locker room and then rushing off to my office. The morning flies by and before I know it, it’s time to take one of my friends out for her birthday. We debate where to go and then decide on the Longhorn Steakhouse, not to be confused with the Longhorn diner in Chattanooga. When we arrive, another friend is sitting at the bar eating by herself. We join her and enjoy catching up. I suppose the odds of running into a colleague at a restaurant that’s right around the corner at lunch aren’t that astronomical, but since going to lunch has become a rarity for most of us, it seems almost miraculous that the three of us have run into each other this way.

At the end of the day, I call Pat in time to get him to come pick me up so we can meet more friends for dinner. Tonight, we are taking our hosts out to dinner. We are all meeting at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I told myself that I was going to try not to eat so badly while in Columbus. After only gaining a couple of pounds during our two weeks in Germany, I will gain 5 in 4 days in Columbus if I don’t have some self-control. Unfortunately, all my resolve dissolves in just a sip of margarita and I find myself ordering a shrimp chimichanga. Oh well, maybe I can walk the fifteen miles to work tomorrow morning.

We eat and laugh, a lot. I wonder how many calories laughter burns? After dinner, Pat and I decide to stop at Graeters to pick up dessert for all four of us. While I don’t exactly understand the mental process that goes from “Oh, my, I’m going to gain weight!” to “we really should eat Graeters while we’re here since we don’t have Graeters in Chattanooga,” once the thought of Graeters Black Raspberry chip ice cream enters my mind, there is no turning back. We pick up two pints of black raspberry chip and a third of mint chip for George.

When we get back to the house, each of us sits around the living room with our bowl of ice cream discussing the announcement of the iPhone 4S and the reaction. I go to bed with my belly full of ice cream and my head full of questions about the new iPhone. I’m not all that excited by the prospect of upgrading, but I’ve been waiting a long time, so I will have to investigate further tomorrow. Right now, sleep is all that’s on my agenda.

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