Out there

When a girlfriend is in the throes of PTBD (Post Traumatic Break-up Disorder), an unspoken rallying cry goes out to her inner circle of sisters-- all hands on deck!

My friend Jules is in such a situation. After weeks of overanalyzing the end and finding consolation with her posse, the time had come for Jules to shake off her pain and get back "out there".

Of course, it doesn’t matter where that is. Putting yourself "out there" is more of a metaphysical state than it is a physical location. Women understand that being there, wherever that is, can be an exhausting, daunting, and demoralizing place. Sometimes, we just can’t go it alone. And on Thursday night, Jules called me up to active duty to serve as a wingwoman during her first night back "out there"" and on the town.

Here in downtown Raleigh, "out there" usually happens on Glenwood Avenue South, home of a small strip of bars, lounges, and restaurants with inviting (though not particularly inventive) names such as Aura, Red Room and Sullivan’s. Although they share a similar address (as well as drink specials), each of these establishments attempts to distinguish itself by creating a unique atmosphere and catering to a particular crowd. It’s a smorgas board for singles trying to meet other singles. So it seemed only prudent that for her first night back, Jules tackled the strip of bars by treating it much like she would a sample platter, which meant one drink and move on.

Jules wanted to start at Sullivan’s. It’s my least favorite bar mostly because it attracts a crowd of wealthy, older, cigar-smoking men along with a subsequent smattering of gold-digging, younger women. No matter-- this was Jules’ night and I was along for the ride.

Fortunately, after one drink she wasn’t feeling the scene either and we quickly moved on to April and George’s, a wine bar of my choosing. First Thursday is Argentinean Tango Night, and I hoped it might offer interesting scenery for my broken-hearted friend.

The bittersweet sound of the bandoneon managed to muffle the crowd noise as Jules and I took our seats at the bar to watch the dancers move to the complicated rhythms. Unlike American or international ballroom, Argentinean tango dancers hold each other as if they are embracing while moving slowly around the dance floor. Maybe during happier times, Jules would have enjoyed the scene. But in the aftermath of a break-up and especially in the middle of a second glass of $15 a glass cabernet, the sight of people holding each other closely, dancing to romantic and melancholy music was more than she could bear. Her eyes welled up, and she began to talk through her tears. I knew it was time to distract her until the waitress brought our bill.

“Blah, Blah, Blah…can you do push-ups?” Only half paying attention, I wasn’t sure why Jules had asked about my fitness ability. Or, maybe I had misunderstood her.

“I don’t know, let’s see.” Without even thinking and to Jules' surprise, I dropped to the floor in my heels and began doing push-ups…

military style.

This may have been the strangest thing I have ever done completely sober in a bar. And even though the tango dancers didn’t notice, at least I put myself out there for a friend in need. It was worth it. Jules perked up with my spontaneous display, managing to hit at least three more bars on the Glenwood south strip.


utenzi said...

Push-ups??? That was a very bizarre request in a bar, Dian. What was Jules thinking??

kenju said...

I DO hope you washed your hands afterward.....LOL

Dan-E said...

how many pushups are we talking here? 4? 14?

running42k said...

Not only did you help a friend in need, the pushups also help the triceps. Thanks for showing that we can work fitness into our day.