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The throw-down Saturday was a success!  I was a little worried going into the home stretch because a lot of people who had seemed to be leaning heavily towards coming to the party started bailing on me in the days leading up to the event, citing other things they had to do despite me having planned this thing three months ago in an effort to get “dibs” first for June 23.  It’s frustrating to me that I’m just not on very many people’s radar as part of their social scene, despite being a single guy willing and able to do stuff for two years now and making a serious effort to reach out and reconnect with friends (as I wrote about not long ago, She’d Want to DO Stuff).

Regardless of the light turnout though, the 10 or so people who did come by really showed their warmth, kindness and consideration that truly made me happy to have them as friends.  One couple had some obligations out of town, but still came by for an hour or so before they had to leave, and helped with preparing the food before we chilled out and talked a bit.  I really appreciated them making the time, it was awesome to see them.  Another couple had plans later in the evening, but were enjoying the party too much to leave and cancelled their other engagement.  My BFF ended up staying a lot longer than she originally intended.  As a host, it pleased me to no end to have people want to stay and party on.

There was one woman in particular I had hopes would come by—someone I used to date a long time ago, we’d reconnected through Facebook, both of us are divorced with kids.  She did come by… but brought along a male friend who I’m pretty sure is much more than friends even though I didn’t see any PDAs between them.  Seemed like a super-nice guy who is hopefully treating her well.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really disappointed, but in a way it snapped me out of a fantasy I’d entertained that we might have been able to rekindle something.  I blew it with her a long time ago, and I certainly can’t expect a second chance.  But she could have easily just blown off the party and spent time with her fella doing something else, so coming by showed me that she values our friendship and that really meant a lot to me.  They stayed quite late, and she even got me really tore up fixing us Loch Ness Monster shots, which made the remaining evening a pleasant blur.

WOOSH! My feisty grill

I had a decent spread of food—grilled veggies, turkey burgers, hot dogs, grilled tempeh, homemade hummus and crackers, homemade salsa and corn chips.  My BFF brought some homemade brownies that were quickly demolished.  My beverage of choice for the evening was Lynchburg Lemonade:  bourbon, triple sec, a sprinkle of sweet and sour mix, topped off with Diet Sprite.  Was a light summery drink that didn’t fill me up and set up a nice buzz to cruise on for the night… until the Loch Ness Monster shots hammered me.  You make those with melon liquor, Jagermeister, and irish crème.  Despite my hatred for Jager, the combination actually tasted quite good.

I woke up around 6am starving, parched, and with my head pounding.  I got up, rustled up some leftover party food, drank a big thing of Gatorade and washed down some Advil, and then went back to bed until noon, when I woke up feeling much better, just a little rough around the edges.  Nothing was broken, no holes in the walls, and everyone seemed to have had a great time so that most definitely goes down as a success in my book.  But the best thing for me was reconnecting with the folks who came by, hopefully deepening the friendship and opening up more opportunities for getting together down the road.  As someone who’s struggled with loneliness and desperately has been trying to climb out of that social void, these good friends reached down and offered me a lifeline.  It’s good to know I’m not alone!

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