Eating dinner out is not a new thing for us; we do it fairly frequently. Going out to eat with Pam, Luis' ex-girlfriend from a million years ago, happens about once every two years, since about ten years ago. The first time it happened it was awkward, as you may well imagine. That was a long time ago and it is not awkward for me anymore.
I'm the one who is with Luis, and Pam is married to someone and has a three-month-old granddaughter.
She was quite upset when she found out that her 26-year-old, irresponsible, not-long-with-a-loser boyfriend who split the second he found out she was pregnant. Yikes. So now she is on welfare with a tiny baby, working part-time and living with a guy who is just stepping in and being a father. She's quite happy - Pam is. I don't honestly know how the daughter feels. I guess it is hard, but she wouldn't consider something like that. Most wouldn't, but I am terribly pragmatic about these things. Being in a poor financial position is not a good time to have children. It's funny, people budget to buy a car or a house but it seems like no one budgets to have a child. That's only the biggest expense you'll ever have!
It does seem to have turned out well, however. Pam was furious when she found out (understandably) but now that Katie is here and the other guy is being really great and the daughter is working, well, it seems that suddenly things are looking up. A rare success story!
Amazingly, she is out here again with her friend and coworker, Rhonda. They come out here usually every other year for the user meeting, and every time they travel they drink all night, every night. Luis is out with them and another CLS guy, Josh. They all drank except for myself and Luis. I rarely if ever drink and Luis doesn't drink either. Maybe a bit more than I do, which isn't saying much! But these two drink all the time. Every time I see them, they are hammered or working on getting there. We went to Boston in April of 2005 and they were trashed by 2000, when we made it there. Embarrasingly so. Pam kept asking me what spell I used to attract a good man like Luis. Saying I was underwhelmed is an understatement. I wanted to get out of there in the worst way. After an hour, I finally told Luis I'd had more than enough and went to our room to read.
Tonight she hadn't reached that stage, but had I not gone home when I had, who knows what would've happened. She's pleasant and real when she is sober, but I don't like being around drunks in any setting, especially since I see too many of them on the ambulance.
We went to Don Pepe's and had a shrimp dinner that was excellent, but a dish full enough to feed a third-world country. Possibly two. I should have taken a photo of it. It was unreal. In my hungriest, worst moments I could not eat that much. I barely scratched the surface. None-the-less, it was quite delicious. The meal was great. But the conversation was a little tense (unless the four of them talked shop, in which case it was just boring.
In any event, I'm glad it's over. We have had better times out. This weekend will be better. I have to go into work tomorrow to work on the H-2B visa stuff, the only opportunity to concentrate enough to get this all done will be on a day I'm not usually in and close the door, put on my iPod with the headphones, classical or maybe movie scores (music without lyrics) and focus. It's due in by 1 October and I need to get it in by next week to feel comfortable.
Tomorrow afternoon when Luis has had sleep and I'm done with my project, we'll head over to my parents' house and fix their computer and maybe get something to eat.
Sunday is the Parsippany Fall Festival, so I will be there just to take blood pressures and stuff, no lifting, no EMS... I need to be there, even if I only make it through half of the day. At least the weather is supposed to be promising. Then it will be back to normal on Monday... as normal as it gets, anyway.