Side note: This is not a club-bashing post. If you take this opportunity to bash clubs or clubgoers or complain about clubs, I will delete your comments. My loyal readers know I can't stand club complainers. This ain't that.
I looked up in the beginning of November and noticed I hadn't been out since Labor Day weekend AND I think only went out one day that weekend. You all know I like to party, so it's surprising, even to me. But I didn't feel anything missing. Something must clearly be wrong.
Then it dawned on me that I've been going on A LOT of lunch, brunch and dinner dates with friends. Oh boy, I think I have a new pasttime. I don't have to wear tight clothes or shoes that hurt or buy a lot of drinks or have a hangover or deal with thirsty dudes or deal with an 11 to 1 female to male ratio or deal with hating women or loud, ignorant bouncers or DJs who don't play the chorus of my favorite songs. YAY!
I can actually enjoy good food while simultaneously strengthening friendships and creating new memories. Scheduling meals is like my new favorite thing to do. If I had a bigger place, I'd throw dinner parties, but baby steps people, baby steps.
Anyone who knows me knows maintaining relationships is very important to me.
Laugh all you want, but going to the club with my girls has been a way to keep relationships strong for a while. The thing people don't realize is that the club is virtually free for women. If I have a ride and we find a free parking spot and the club is free and it's someone's birthday (so they bought a bottle) or men are plentiful and buying drinks, then all I have to do is get dressed and put on make-up and I don't even really need to buy new clothes. (Family, I can remix the hell out of an outfit.)
So generally, if I wanted to spend time with my girls, I could always say meet me at the club for such & such's birthday and then we wouldn't have to spend any money. We make memories, meet new friends, roast people, it's an all around good, inexpensive time. This isolated some people though, because everyone doesn't like to party the same way and inevitably you're going to run into someone who's just not going to come.
But meals cost money. And I know you think, yeah, but you gotta eat, but let's be serious. Cooking a meal at home is far less expensive than going out to eat even once a week at a reasonably priced restaurant. But as my net worth increases, the way I spend my time is changing because it's a sound investment for me to go to lunch with a friend and the time is more intimate than the club and while we don't have any "I can't believe he said that to you moments" we do get to catch up on life and I really really enjoy that.
Also, from time to time the club is unexpectedly expensive. If I have to take a cab there, there's a cover charge, I have to buy my own drinks, buy a meal after the club and then take a cab home, that could be a $100 night. And I'll say 50% of the time, the fun of the night isn't worth all that. I've never shared a meal with a friend that wasn't worth the cost of the meal or even 10X it.
So yeah, as random as this post is, planning meals is my new favorite thing. It's so simple, yet so fulfilling. How do you maintain and nurture your relationships with friends?