This was to be my first weekend since James left and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in my apartment and mope...which is exactly what I would have done if I stayed in Greenville. So it was off to Raleigh for some time with the girls.
On Friday, Jamie had invited me to join her, some family, and the female half of the wedding party at the spa and for lunch. I had a pedicure reservation waiting for me when I arrived and that was SO what I needed. This was better, and longer, than any pedicure I've had before. It was so lovely that I think I could have sat there all day. The spa was extremely nice and I wish I could have afforded to have more done (i.e. a massage). Afterward, we went to The Twisted Fork for lunch and it was delicious. I had an amazing Thai chicken salad. I was debating on whether or not to get dessert (they have incredible desserts at this place - I've tried the creme brulee before and it made me want to slap my mama) but the waitress brought our checks before I could act on my urges. It was probably for the best though, honestly, since I am trying to eat a bit better (of course, my eating was crap the rest of the weekend). As I was leaving the restaurant, my mom called to tell me she was talking to James on Facebook chat. I was a little miffed at this because I was clearly no where near a computer. So I passed on a few messages to him through her before getting over the phone. Everything happened sort of quickly then. I had already been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the wedding talk at lunch (probably wouldn't have bothered me any other time) and hearing that James was online but I couldn't talk to him upset me all the more. At that moment, Beyonce's "Halo" came on the radio (I was in my car and, for some reason, this song gets to me) AND it started raining. I broke down. It passed quickly but I didn't like feeling weak like that. I've been trying to keep that under control. I know I won't be able to all the time but that didn't feel like the day to lose it. I pulled it together and drove to Hillary's house.
Hillary and I didn't do too much that afternoon - browsed around Quail Ridge Books and Whole Foods and then just hung out at her house for a bit. We did end up seeing The Hangover that night. I have to be fair...it was a hilarious movie. The humor reminded me of Wedding Crashers which I could watch over and over. After liking it so much, I felt sort of bad. James had tried convincing me to see it with him but, because I didn't think it was much my style, I didn't go with him. He was right though. Really funny movie.
On Saturday, I went boating with Sara, her mom Ellen, her uncle Buddy, and her aunt Pam in Oxford. I didn't think I'd ever been on a boat but when I remembered a brief trip I took on Ben's grandparents' boat years ago. That hardly counts though, right? We were on the lake for about 3 hours and it was so relaxing. Spending time with Sara was great too. She's been in Europe this summer and I had not seen her since May. Even before she left, we were rarely able to spend one on one time together because of our crazy schedules. I loved catching up and cruising around on the boat with my Lil Sis.After boating, I met up with Ashley, who had just gotten into town, and Hillary for dinner at Moe's. We then got ready to go downtown, with Travis as our driver. Our first destination was the Hibernian Pub. I was a little wary about this. The Hibernian is where James and I met and I hadn't been there since that weekend. I was worried I might get upset, especially if alcoholic beverages were involved. When we first arrived, my eye definitely fell on the table where James, Kendall, and Tadd were sitting that night. I think I may have wanted to sit there had it not been filled with women. We found a place in the corner and I felt like I was handling it pretty well. We ordered a few drinks but ended up leaving after a short while because it was so HOT. The night was very humid and it felt as if the air conditioning wasn't even on. Just sitting, we were covered in sweat (gross, I know, but true). So much for trying to look good. Our next destination was the Red Room. Fortunately, we knew one of the hostesses and she let us in for free. Perk. This was the kind of place I had been wanting to go all along because there was dancing. All I wanted to do was let my hair down a bit. So we danced. We danced until we were soaked...as was everyone else because it was also very hot in there. What was up with the air in these places? One guy attempted to dance with me and Ashley told him we were all married. It worked. I was sorry for the night to end...it isn't often that I'm able to see my Meredith girls. I hate that I took all that time in the past for granted.
So I survived my first post-deployment weekend, thanks to my friends. I've had pretty good communication with James thus far...via e-mail and Facebook chat mostly. Surprisingly, he gave me a call today. I was at Snow Hill and had just stepped in the room with a patient when he called. He left a message saying he'd arrived in Afghanistan safely, that it was the ugliest place he'd ever seen, and that he would call again soon. Standing in the bathroom, I bawled like a baby. Just hearing his voice made me emotional (yes, I realize it's only been a week) but I was especially upset that I'd missed his call. Fortunately, he called back a couple minutes later and we were able to talk. How GOOD it was to actually talk to him. I plan to get my hands on an international calling card so I can speak with him, especially if he ends up not having much internet access. I can't believe it's only been a week. Not to be pessimistic but...this year is going to suck. Thank God I have good people to depend on.