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Playing in the Band

Posted on: 12.14.2006 12:13:36 PM Posted by Last Girl Standing - Sarah Preston What a great response to my first blog entry! Thanks to everyone who posted comments. To the guy who chimed in about the potential “creepiness” of spilling all the details of my dates: You have a point. It’s definitely scary, and I’m toeing a fine line here. (Full disclosure: I know this “Anonymous,” and he’s only looking out for my best interest.) But I assure you, I will always get the guy’s OK before writing about any of my dates (though, of course, I won’t let him read the content ahead of time); so, yes, “Doc Spinal Tap,” as this particular friend dubbed him, knows about the blog.And, as Anonymous also pointed out in his comments, I spent Monday night watching the Bears game with the boys at State Restaurant and Caf‚-in a baseball hat (all right, you caught me-I can’t go “all girlie” all the time). State is a great spot for watching sports, btw. Dozens of flat-screen TVs, not an obstructed view in the house, and it’s BYOB. And what a game! My hand still stings from all of the high-fiving. (If you haven’t yet seen Chicago magazine’s parody of the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” check out senior editor Jeff Ruby’s “Super Bowl Mumble.” It’s hilarious.) This was my first night back with “the band"-you know: the gang, the party posse. Between taking time off post-surgery and a recent trip to Cabo San Lucas for one of my best friend’s weddings, I hadn’t hung out with the boys in a while. They’re like big brothers to me (although I’ve had a crush on a few of them and even dated one once). There’s an understanding between us; we share a certain twisted sense of humor. Case in point: Over the summer, we all joined a coed softball league through Chicago Sport and Social Club; our name was Team Lush. We spent more time picking out our $80 custom-made jerseys than practicing for our games (we won, like, three). But we sure looked good on the field! Since it had been a while, Monday felt like a reunion of sorts. Although I’m usually the cruise director for our group outings-by default, it’s my job to make the plans, pick the place, and organize the night-this time, someone else played bandleader. We all met at State, with our own six packs, bottles of wine, and one flask of whiskey in tow. But one-by-one, as everyone poured in, I realized the dynamics of the group had changed a little. What was supposed to be a small-ish gathering turned into 20 people or more-about a third of whom I had never met. When one of the new girls reached her hand into the plate of chicken wings, I started to wonder: Is my position with the band in jeopardy? It was the first time I’d ever felt like I was on the outside of the inside jokes. Had I really missed that much in the couple of months I’d been out of the loop? I even caught a little grief for being “quiet"–no one’s ever accused me of that! But good friendships are like riding a bike. Once you dust them off, even after a little time has passed, you’ll find yourself pedaling again. As the night wore on-and the Heineken Lights disappeared-I began to feel that same familiar chemistry with my friends (and I even liked the newcomers). So now it’s Thursday, and while I’d normally be going to see DJ AM at Reserve, tonight I’ll be seeing the doctor. And I’m having growing pains. Have you ever felt torn between keeping one foot in the party and one in your personal life?

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