Yesterday was the much anticipated lunch between me and Greta. As it had been getting closer to the actual event, I started to get a little nervous like a teenager going out on her first date. Will there be akward silence, will I say something wrong and she'll never want to see my face again or the - I like you let's do this again.
I reminded Little Hart when I dropped her off yesterday morning that I was still on to meet her Mom for lunch. If she was worried about the two of us getting together she certainly didn't show it. Just nonchalantly asked me to say HI to her Mom and bring her favorite sandwich back from the restaurant.
It's 1:05 p.m - I walk into the restaurant, see Greta at the counter. It's a little akward at first. Our first face to face meeting since we had started the email exchange. Small talk was in full swing when I look over to my right. My friend, Lisa. She's the one friend that's been there for me, loyal to me, always on my side no matter what, since the beginning of my blended family. Lost count of how many pep talks and wounds she's bandaged up to send me back in for another round. She's seen and heard it all to say the least.
Lisa does the double take (Me-Greta-Me). Hey! How are you guys? All the while I can see the wheels spinning in Lisa's head. What the Hell are they doing here together! Note to self: Send memo to friends, Greta's no longer the enemy. We're trying to build a friendship here!
Lisa leaves and we return to our lunch. We both acknowledge that we're a little nervous. I jumped in - I haven't had very good luck with these types of meetings in the past. Greta shot back, I know about one of them! We both laugh. In an earlier post I talked about throwing coffee on Malus over a coffee date 13 years ago. I knew then that Greta was still reading my blog and by doing so knows a lot more about me than I do her. It makes me feel exposed and vulnerable.
Later Little Hart remarked, my Mom was probably nervous that she might say something and get a coffee thrown in her face. AND you know she she hates coffee! Me: Ya think? LH: Ya I think, who wouldn't be nervous after hearing the Malus story. That explains my friends wanting the low down on my lunch, hoping for some entertainment value.
Although, it started out with some hesitation on both of our parts, the time flew by. I started to look around. I notice we're the last of the lunch crowd. I better check my phone for the time, don't want to be late picking up Little Hart from school. She get's out at 3:15 every day and likes the taxi cab waiting out front. I pull out my phone, 3:30, two missed calls Little Hart and 3 missed calls Hubby. Holy Shit - I'm late! Start dialing like a mad woman. Little Hart, so sorry your Mom and I were talking and lost track of the time. I'm on my way. LH: No worries, I'm inside, take your time, drive safe. Have the aliens taken my child? This from the kid who walks out the school doors at 3:14, can't see me parked two stalls down from the usual spot, calling HELLO! FORGOT SOMETHING?
Greta generously paid for lunch and Little Hart's must have sandwich. We went our seperate ways. I raced like hell to get to the school. Arrived 20 minutes late to a happy, smiling child. Little Hart ....Sooo whadya talk about? Me: Little Hart's awesomeness - that OK with you? LH: Of course!
My sense is that this was one time being late was ok. Little Hart, for most of her life felt torn between the two of us. That she could only love one of us, be loyal and a good daughter to one of us. So when she loved me and her Mom at the same time the guilt set in. It wasn't an intentional plan by either myself or Greta, but rather a side note to the non-exsistant relationship between two of us. The non-verbal cues between the two of us, the tone of our voices, the looks, the sharpness in our words sent a very strong message to the very perceptive Little Hart. So us losing track of the time talking sent a very different, very good message to Little Hart.
I can't rewrite the past. I can only write a different future.
As Humphrey Bogart said in Casablanca "Louis, I think this is a start to a beautiful friendship."