I get some free nights but usually I’ve got something planned with friends.  Last night my plans were cancelled.  What would I do?

I contemplated all the usual places: Target, any one of 5 grocery stores, the bookstore.  Then it hit me.  I’m going to do what guys do – the sports bar!  Why not?  I figured it would be interesting, but I had no idea.

I brought my Mac in so I could do a bit of work while eating.  You’d think I’d brought in a cute dog that everyone needed to stop and pet.  I ended up with one too many “lines” about my computer, my work, my work clothes (Really?  Guys still say those things?  Yes they do, says the employment lawyer).  I eventually shut it down to focus on the TV and my food.

As I was talking to the bartender, a couple sat down.  They didn’t look happy and weren’t talking with one another.   At some point, she got up to use the bathroom and he turned to me and started chatting.  I couldn’t, as you might imagine, resist asking a few questions.  Turns out they were fighting.  She was upset about some plans they were making for a trip. She was scheduled to meet him half-way through the trip but she was frustrated with his being gone so long before she got there (guys weekend sort of thing).  Hmm, right up my alley.

When she came back, I realized she looked familiar.  I’d met her at the health club.  We started chatting about running, kids, etc.  Then the topic turned to their “date” night.  She immediately said that they were having an oh-so-enjoyable discussion in the car on the way over about a vacation.  She talked about almost never getting a vacation because of the kids, yet he seems to get more vacations and didn’t worry about the kids.  Yes!  I’ve heard/experienced this one before!

I told them a story about a relationship I’d been in that tanked for a number of reasons, but not the least of which was vacations.  I told them to pay better attention to the feelings behind the argument – she wanted to get away but felt guilty about the kids.  He didn’t feel guilty and didn’t really acknowledge (or understand) how she was feeling.  I suggested that they put themselves in the other’s shoes and then respond.   Long story short, they decided that he would take only a few days with his guy friends and she was going to join a few girls and go for a spa weekend another time (now that’s REALLY up my alley!).  We laughed about the bartender not doing his job as the therapist, they grabbed my check and paid for my dinner.  They stayed for dessert and I left for Target (You didn’t think I was going to spend all my time in the bar, did you?).

So, I guess it really was a free night!

Have a great day!