Bill and my brother Dave go twice a year to Phoenix International Speedway and watch cars go around in circles very fast and very noisily. In other words, NASCAR. Bill took me once. I bought a Danika Patrick cap, people-watched, and even watched the cars for a bit. I had a blast, but once was enough. My ears couldn’t take it.
Last Sunday, instead of going to NASCAR, I enjoyed my own quiet day.
Usually when they go to the track, I spend the day with my sister Bec. Last time, she and I went out to lunch and then watched the Broncos at her house until it was clear the NASCAR race was going to be rained out and the Broncos were going to lose. I headed home and beat Bill by mere minutes.
I assumed I would do the same thing this time (sans the rain), but as Sunday crept closer, I realized that what I really wanted to do was, well, nothing. That’s a funny thing to want to do considering I’m retired and so I mostly spend my days doing exactly that. But I do exactly that with Bill.
What I wanted was a day to do nothing by myself.
I’m not a tried and true introvert by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when Bill and I did our food tour of Old Scottsdale last week, I sort of became BFFs with a couple from North Carolina taking the same tour. After one stop, Bill said to me, “Kris, you’re really a pleasant, outgoing person.”
That’s not altogether true. Put me in a room of strangers at a cocktail party, and I’m a mess. I walk in, see that groups have formed, assume that no one could possibly want to include me in their group, and fidget until someone takes pity on me. But put me in a one-on-one situation (the grocery store clerk, a movie line, a tour group), and I can strike up any number of conversations. I’m not, as Bill thinks, particularly pleasant. Instead, I am particularly nosy. So having spent 15 minutes with my short-lived BFF from North Carolina, I know all about the city of Charlotte, I know what she does for a living, I know where she was born and grew up. I was just getting to her shoe and bra size when the tour ended.
But while I’m not a true introvert, I’m also not one of those never-met-a-stranger extraverts. What I am, however, is someone who needs a break from people. I need time to myself once in awhile to reenergize.
In Denver, I actually have a fair amount of time to myself. Bill is often gone, either out to lunch with friends, hanging out at his favorite cigar shop, or building God-only-knows what in our back yard. Besides, our Denver house, while not a mansion, is big enough that we can avoid seeing each other for stretches of time. It’s got an upstairs.
Here in our 1,250 square foot house in the desert, it is hard to not spend time with each other. And that’s mostly a good thing. But a break is nice.
Sunday, I did very little, but one thing I did give great thought to is what I would have for lunch. Bill almost always goes along with whatever I’d like to eat. There are, however, certain things he simply would never choose to eat. So as I gave thought to my lunch, I kept that in mind.
Mexican food always – ALWAYS – sounds good to me. But Bill likes Mexican food and we eat it often. He also likes hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, even fish and chips. What he will eat –but never choose — is anything Asian.
So what’s for lunch? Sushi, of course.
I got there just after the restaurant opened. While others might complain, I rarely feel like I am ignored if I am by myself. And, in fact, I was seated very quickly and in a nice location. The waiter took my sushi order very quickly. Sushi, of course, takes a bit of time, but I got my eight delicious pieces of sushi nigari in a timely manner.
And then I apparently became invisible. That was fine as long as I was eating my delicious sushi. However, when I wanted a refill on my drink, or was finished and was awaiting my bill, I would have liked to have been visible. But the waiter, who earlier gave me such good attention, simply kept walking as I would say, “Excuse me, Sir?” to his back. I eventually gave up on him and tried to attract the attention of another server. But, see above. I was invisible.
Anyway, eventually I paid my bill (you generally can get even the most stubborn server’s attention if you start heading toward the door), came home, and did what I would never do if Bill had been home. I binge watched Gilmore Girls.
And that’s all I’ll say about that.