in good company

friendship stephanie klein 1

I’ve just come from a delicious meal of moments. It wasn’t the food or the wine–in fact, I hardly noticed either. I just had an unplanned dinner with two other couples, very impromptu, and I have to say, it was life-packed. Just one of those meals where stories are shared over the scraping of plates, and you take it all in, and get in your car, and turn to your spouse and say, "Thank you. Thank you for saying yes. I really loved that."

I’ve said it before, but I love the magical moments in our lives–that a stranger can become the person with whom we grow old, feeding pigeons on a park bench. I love nothing more than bonding with people, sharing our stories, nodding our heads, rolling our eyes, and making plans for another night in the future. I love new friends and making new memories even more than I love fresh croissant.

None of it was planned. It was just another night at the club bar, with the kids at Kids’ Club, and it became dinner, which has become a Paella Night at one couples’ home, where I’ll be bringing the dessert! And I love it all. The graciousness, the ability for other people to be inclusive, to embrace "the more the merrier." I’m so thankful and appreciative of real people who tell real stories who aren’t afraid to live out loud.

I’ll allow this, though, I heard myself talking, and realized I wanted to prove something. I’m not sure what, but I wanted the people at the table to know that I was worthy of being in their company. I heard the stories I chose to share, and realized a bit of my insecurity was showing. There was a hint of boastfulness that makes me feel embarrassed for myself. Because no one there cared, but I felt the need, the insecurity to want to impress. And I want to figure out why I play at that game at all. Why do I engage in it? We all want to feel important, like we matter, that we belong, and "selling it" is the surest way to prove that you don’t. I want to work on this.

The beauty of it is, though, that I’m aware, AND that I’m not that hard on myself. My self-revelation wasn’t about to mar the night. So, to top it all off, we drove home singing Annie songs with the radishes, then clawed our way upstairs, rolled on the floor, with Mama and Papa dispensing nose and monkey kisses, all of us a tangle of family sandwich… it is just love. And I’m happy. Also, non sequitur, I live for Karaoke. The Bangles "Eternal Flame" might just be my go-to move.



  1. I met my two new best girlfriends that way. We were all thrown together as bridesmaids for a bride we all confessed later we despised. We survived the wedding from hell and now are kindred souls. I would not trade our Woo Girl dates for anything. Better than therapy. They inspire me.

  2. That’s a lovely photo! I just got a Nikon D70 from my husband and am inspired to roam and take photos. I love your people photos best I think.

    And it’s always embarrassing examining our behavior. I think it’s heartening to know someone who has some books and tv work down the road still feels insecure. Yep, it’s normal. Good entry and sounds like a great night.

  3. Ah, that’s it. You perfectly described that gnawing feeling and uneasy embarrassment that is often brought home after a night out with friends. The telling of stories that sneakily position you as worthy of being their friend. When you put it that way, it seems sweet, and not quite as desperate. I, too, am going to work on not doing that. Keep us in line!! Good post.

  4. I hate that; it’s always unconscious at the time, then you get to the end of a sentence and realize why you just told that particular anecdote. Awful feeling.

  5. Just lovely! Some of my favorite dining memories have been while eating and chatting up new people at restaurant bars. I will always be grateful for an old friend who could befriend strangers like nobody else. She encouraged me to do the same, and it has brought me out of my shell a bit. Totally understand the insecurity and bit of boastfulness too. It feels like you want to make a really good first impression, and it’s hard not to force it a bit sometimes. Can’t wait to hear about paella night!

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