out of 5. I am OBSESSED with @state48brewery’s Suncast IPA. Not only did it fuel tonight but it has a fluffy mouthfeel, it’s not too bitter, and it makes me giggle a bit. It’s become one of my favorite beers since being back. I look forward to my Friday afternoons after work where I take my growler, get some pizza, and catch up on all the TV I missed that week. Restaurants are still struggling so please support local and do takeout. If you can tip more than 20%. We are only going to survive this together.
Date Rating: out of 5. No it’s not a typo! Hear me out. Casually dating this year has been utter shit. I thought I’d get more thoughtful offers but instead I was being asked to drink wine in parking lots and come over to hotel rooms. 🤮🤢 So I thought I’d take a hiatus. I deleted every single one of my dating apps, broke things off with every guy I was even remotely talking to and didn’t entertain any DMs or “Oh, you’re back in Phoenix?” texts. If I wasn’t being offered what I regularly gave myself, there was nothing out here in the streets worth my time. So my girl Erin, hit me up last night asking if I wanted to play the game “We’re Not Really Strangers” I am a cancer moon and scorpio rising, I LIVE for emotional sappy shit and getting to know people’s secrets. Erin and I have been friends for 8 years now, what couldn’t I know about her? Of course I said yes. I poured some beer, put on her Spotify playlist of her most listened to songs in 2020 and lit a candle. I can set the hell out of a mood for a date!
Erin I have many meaningful conversations usually about self love, dating, and more recently race but last’s night was our most beautiful. The first level just solidified how long and well we know each other. She guessed my karaoke song (A Whitney Houston classic!) and I guessed her favorite childhood TV show (Pls listen to PB&J Otter remixes on SoundCloud for some nostalgia) and it was a bunch of surface level fun. We basically just laughed and reminisced.
But Level 2 really did connect us. I realized in almost a decade of friendship we’d yet to really touch on family and those similarities. It was eye-opening and in just a few questions, we were closer. I know that sounds cheesy but that’s what I love about people. You never know someone 100% so finding out something new even after so much time has passed just reminded me that any relationship takes work. I could be asking my loved ones much more intentional questions so I can be a better support system to them.
So Level 3 was based on reflecting and I wanted to at multiple points. I think we had one “easy” question and then I asked her something along the lines of “what’s something you feel like you’ll never understand about me?” And she was honest and said she’ll never be able to grasp what being a Black woman is like. 2020 has made us face a bunch of ugly realities. We struggle with individualism and being alone, we aren’t as empathetic as we thought, and we harbor implicit biases. As a Black woman with plethora of friends of all backgrounds, this summer I really had to look at my circle and ask myself if I was holding them accountable. Did I even care to? Was it my responsibility? It’s been difficult to navigate. What I loved what Erin said is that she may not understand but that will not stop her lack for actively trying and educating herself. We spent 40 minutes just talking about what our circle of friends looks like, what affects race has had in our friendship and how it will affect our friendship as we get older. It’s uncomfortable but one of Erin’s best qualities is that she’s confrontational so she’s not going to shy away from a conversation that’s tough. I had started reading Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman which touched on it for bit so I’m eager to see how I can apply it to my own friendships.
The rest of Level 3 was really about praises and analysis. Because we’ve essentially grown up together, we’ve seen each other go through a bunch. I loved that I we could point out where that growth had taken place and where we could do better. I can take a compliment but she was so candid and vulnerable with me. I don’t think I had heard just how much she admired me like that before (she told me I light up any room I walk in) I was grateful the game allowed me to also give her her flowers as well. There’s not really settings where you can do this randomly. In such a hellish year it’s nice to hear how much your loved ones care about you and WHY they do. It’s motivating, it’s humbling, and I’ve been glowing for the 10 past hours. My friends always give me amazing examples of what healthy love and communication looks like for me. I am so blessed that I’ve been able to witness her grow into this beautiful woman who loves herself and lives in the moment. Who really had one piece of shit year and flipped it into a life of self-discipline, investing in herself, and having more fun. Erin, you’ve inspired me baby! Thank you so much. Who would have thought a friend date could have you feeling on Cloud 9. Get the game y’all, I promise it’s worth it.