"Are you coming out tonight?" she asked.
"Dude, I'm TOTALLY coming out," I said, blatantly ignoring the fact that a) girls? Are not dudes and b) a new episode of NCIS was going to be on and I was going to miss it, because even though I love Mark Harmon, I can't exactly start skipping social engagements for our fake dates (which are just me on the couch, drinking wine, and marvelling at the awesomeness that is Mark Harmon).
"Okay. Be there at eight," she said.
Which, when I agreed to it? Seemed totally fine. Eight o'clock is an hour when normal human beings might find themselves out and about on a weeknight. Completely do-able.
At four o'clock in the afternoon on said weeknight, this is what was running through my head:
I'm going to have to change out of my sweatpants and I don't wanna. I can't wear sweatpants to a bar. I mean, I can't, right? Not even in New Hampshire. No. I'm going to have to get dressed. In clothes. Clothes that other people can see me in without needing to poke out their eyes. What's my hair doing? I should go look in the mirror OH DEAR GOD. Okay, I need to wash my hair. Or shave my head. I mean, my hair is CLEAN, I washed it this morning, what is it DOING? It looks like hedgehogs are nesting back there. Wait, do hedgehogs nest? They must. Because that's what it looks like. That is not okay. Ergh, my nails are a disaster. Remember when I used to get my nails done? That was nice. My hands never looked like they'd been caught in machinery then. It's ridiculous that they look like that now, actually, since I spend every day at the computer. Weird. I should put some eyeshadow on, too. I look like death. Oh well, if the grim reaper is at the bar, he'll probably sidle over to say hello. I love that word, sidle. It's sly. Ohhh sly's another good one. I mean, in terms of describing movement. I suppose you don't want actually to know people who are sly. That seems like it would be a negative trait... what was I even talking about? Yeah. Eyeshadow.
And then I thought: this is a lot of work for drinks, when I definitely have a bottle of red on the counter. And, you know. Mark Harmon.
And THEN I thought: I HAVE to go. I like my friends. I like the bar. I like adult beverages and conversations with actual people instead of my cat, who, though a delightful companion, isn't good at telling jokes or stories, and who mostly ignores MY jokes and stories.
Other people, I reminded myself, sternly, leave the house on a daily basis.
You haven't left the house since ... um.
When WAS the last time you left the house?
What's the weather going to do? Is it going to snow? I hate driving in snow. I especially hate driving in snow at night. Nope, not going to snow. Might have freezing rain, though. That's not awesome. If it's raining when I'm supposed to leave, should I go? Should I not go? I never drive anymore. Do I know how to drive in slippery conditions? It's not far.
It would probably be fine.
No, it will be fine.
I WANT to go out. I WANT to see my friends and have silly conversations and laugh and enjoy the awesome. Why is this so complicated? THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED.
Seriously, what IS my hair doing right now? It's only, what? Two inches long? How is this level of messy even POSSIBLE?
I'm not going.
No. I'm GOING. I said I was going and I'm going.
It was fine. There were beverages and giggles and hugs and awesomeness.
And as for the rest of it -- well, it makes a good story.