Quite often, I have found myself wishing, “Why couldn't I have been born Rich instead of Beautiful?”. Despite my stunning callipygian physique, I am often found wanting for those nice stacks of hundreds that others use to heat their houses with.
Though, honestly, I don't ever want to be “Rich”. Rich, to me, sounds frightening. From everything I've ever been able to see, it makes people crazy, and not the normal kind of crazy, a contagious crazy that affects them and is transmitted to the people close to them. Very few I have seen have been able to resist this virulent strain of silly and my hat is off to them. Me, I'd rather not take the chance.
As such, I have made it a lifelong project to seek out the best in life with little or no price tag. They say the best things in life are free... that's somewhat true. Sitting around, laughing with a group of friends after a long hard day at work is a very, very satisfying feeling. Doing so while whipping across the water in a million dollar yacht is probably more fun... or so I suspect. But it's not so much more that I feel like I'm missing out. In the strange, analytical lobe of my brain, I figure it breaks down :Me (50%) + Friends (25%) + Beer (10%) + Hard Days Work (10%) = 95% of the fun. Environment and amenities add about 5% onto that equation. Let's be honest here, even a yacht can't make up for crappy beer.
I offer up, as proof of this equation, my dinner last night. After a long, crappy weekend full of disappointments, my Bride and I got a last minute call from our friend Corrie who was in town and floated the idea of dinner.
Shouldn't go, should save money....
Bugger it, crappy weekend.
Elements Of A Good Dinner Out With Friends.
1.Everyone must be in the mood for or have the need for a Good Time.
Ulterior Motives are such ugly things. There is no networking, there is no kibitzing, there is no feuding or fuming. Open heart, open mind, loosen collar, crack knuckles, focus on nothing.
2. Good Food and an Appetite.
This is not the time for your diet. If you are going to cheat, do not cheat at 3:00am in front of the fridge where it benefits no one but you. Save your splurge for Right Now. Order by taste, order by what sounds good, what's your favorite, what you are dying to try, just don't order with calories or carbs or fat or appearance in mind. Order too much and take home leftovers, they will make you happy the next day with good memories. Also, this is not the time for fussy, fancy food. The food should be mutually accessible and non-threatening. Taking the fussy eater out for sushi is a buzz-kill. Last night we ate Russian at our favorite local eatery Arbat.
I have a rant building that will explore the evils and goods of sweet, sweet alcohol. For now, let us say that I am a big believer in the social lubricating powers of a modest amount of hooch. To drink and to be a little buzzed is a pleasure. It's a pleasant, legal euphoria that one deserves from time to time as reward for hard work and BDW (Bullshit Dealt With). So long as it handled responsibly, a few cold beers are a balm to the soul. Last night we drank Baltika #2 and our mandatory shots of Vodka (it was a Russian restaurant after all).
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will be blessed with a night much like mine. Laughter, both at ourselves and others, expressions of admiration and regard, relaxation, happiness. It's sweet, it's fleeting, but it made my weekend.
There is no palace on earth, no four stared chef, no yacht big enough or venue fancy enough to improve upon three friends, sitting around a tiny Russian restaurant, drinking cheap Russian beer, eating Pelmeni and telling dick jokes.