Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Holiday Party and Sushi

So, I was recently invited to a holiday party. After all, it is that time of year. 

When I got the invitation, I seriously debated whether or not I should go. The party was for a gay social group my ex and I belonged to many years ago. After a number of years in the group, and even serving on the board of directors for a while, I got angry, frustrated and bored and dropped out. My ex wanted to continue attending events and I encouraged him to do so, but he didn't. And all of this took place prior to our marriage in 2008.

Post-divorce, I contemplated going back for socializing but chose not to for a variety of reasons; 1) I'd left in anger, was it still there? 2) Did I want to drive into West Hollywood once a week after a long day of teaching and commuting? 3) Did I even want to get involved again in an activity I'd grown tired of? 4) Was there anyone in the group I really wanted to see again?

As I contemplated those questions, I came up with; 1) maybe, 2) probably not, 3) no, 4) yes. But we could arrange to meet outside the group. And she and I tried a few times, but our schedules didn't seem to fit.

It was she who actually invited me. 

As I contemplated going, new issues arose; as I said, this was an organization my ex and I belonged to. Since my life was moving forward, now in vastly different directions- would I be taking a step backwards? Would they ask about the divorce and my ex? Would this bring up other painful memories? Would they even remember me? And these fears weighed very heavily on me, and I really didn't want to go. But I wanted to reconnect with this friend and her girlfriend and maybe this was our next best chance.

On top of all this, my ex had actually returned to the group almost immediately after the divorce, so many of the members already knew of our split. And I wasn't sure I could face them after he'd been there.

Plus, on top of all  this, there might even be *gasp* new people there who didn't even know me then.

I grew up not liking fish. My mother never knew how to cook it well. Years later, a friend introduced me to nori, the seaweed used in wrapping sushi. She ate it plain. It was horrible. Therefore I never ate sushi. Fish and seaweed, together? Ugh

Vegetable sushi
A couple of years ago, a colleague introduced me to vegetable sushi, no fish. Not bad, and I got over my distaste for nori. After all, it blended in with the rice and vegetables, and the soy sauce and wasabi also helped hide it. So, I went and tried some of the fish pieces, and found them to be okay. While I'm not as adventurous as to try eel, sea urchin or jellyfish, I can now enjoy (some) sushi for a meal. 

I got over myself.

I took the step and went to the party.  After all, a step forward or backward means I'm not standing still. And life can be like a cha cha- a few steps forward and a couple back.

Some of the people there remembered me after they recognized me. I mean, it's been about nine years since I was last there. Plus, I was heavier then, my hair was bushier, had less gray and I styled it differently. Also, I didn't have a beard. No one asked about my ex, except to refresh their memory of what he looked like, -Short? Squat? Dumpy? Yes, yes and yes! Their words, not mine!

Will I continue with the group? Who knows- the fatigue of teaching plus commuting and my loathing of driving anywhere beyond the corner market haven't changed. My friend and I have pledged to try and stay more in touch, and see each other more often. 

But, what's important is I took a step forward, I ate the sushi and it wasn't bad. I just didn't care for the octopus. But, I did have a good time at the party.

But, am I ready to try menudo?

I'm not so sure...

Another step for another day....

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