45. Dinner with friends

Wait, your what?

After Nook and I broke the news to my friends visiting from abroad, and consumed a few celebratory beers (of the Belgian variety, so, um, not exactly known for being low in alcoholic content), we trundled on our way to our dinner reservation.

It happened to be my favourite Mexican restaurant known for absolutely incredible margaritas, which myself and friends during the years typically ordered by the pitcher.  A great many visits to this particular establishment had a bar bill well in excess of the food bill.  Some would say that we're doing it right when that happens…

As our group arrived, quite merry and joyous, we happened to bump into some friends of mine.

Indeed, a group of three female friends.  One was the wife of a colleague, the other the long time partner of another colleague, and the third was a friend of theirs -- the three of them took it upon themselves to try to drink bars dry from time to time, and as luck would have it, they chose this restaurant, on this night, to make their latest attempt.

There was a brief series of hellos and greetings as my friends, Nook, and myself headed upstairs to our table.  But there was clearly a look of confusion upon the partners of my colleague's faces.  Who was this woman with Chair?  Why was he holding her hand?  What was this?

Now, this particular friend knew that I tended to keep my private life private, but she also knew that there was a story here, and my knowing that she knew meant it was just a matter of time before she popped upstairs to try to get the gossip as to who this woman was and what we were all doing together.

So I decided to make it easy.  After we all sat down and ordered our drinks, I excused myself and went back downstairs and knelt down beside my friends and explained.

 

"Hi there.  You know that group I just came in with?" "Yes!  We were going to ask…who was that woman you were holding hands with?" "Well, you see, that would be my fiancée and we just got engaged a couple of hours ago."

 

Bombshell: dropped.

 

These friends had no idea that I was seeing anyone, no idea that I was likely the (re-)marrying type, and certainly no idea about Nook and what all had been taking place the last few months.

I'm pretty sure they were the very definition of surprised at that moment.

And I'm also pretty sure that after I went back upstairs to celebrate the day that phones were pulled out of purses and calls made and the rumour mill kicked into high gear.

Nook, my friends and myself celebrated for many more hours.  Adult beverages of many type were consumed, as well as a bottle of sparkling wine courtesy of the owner of the restaurant (I was a bit of a regular, he too was happy for me).

The day was ending.  Nook said yes.  We celebrated.

The next few months were going to take a lot out of us, we knew that, but for now, we were on top of the moon.