All week, and while I was in Florida, it has been cold and rainy here in Milford. Whatever evidence of fall I was hoping to see has been washed away by over 11 inches of rain. The golden leaves I’d so hoped to see on the millions of trees surrounding my town have dismounted and are, instead, littering roads, parking lots and cars. The only time I’ve spent outside in the past week has been under an umbrella. Fall happens to be my favorite season, and I’m a little peeved that the best part of fall – the beginning – is being drenched, and therefore rendered unenjoyable.
Weather this crappy tends to make me lethargic. I can’t even inspire myself to go to the gym. When I was in Florida, I decided that, upon my return home, I would get back into my workout regimen: At least an hour a day, five days a week. But, so far, I have been able to excuse my way out of that by citing my persistent cough and still-runny nose. I reason that I would A) get everyone else at the gym sick and B) collapse in a heap, blue in the face, because I cannot breathe. But, really, it’s just that waking up when it’s still dark outside, working through an entire day when the sun refuses to shine, then witnessing nightfall by seven o’clock makes me lazy. It calls for little activity beyond lying in a comfortable bed, wrapped up in my blankets and my boyfriend, and watching movies. If a vodka-cranberry and a pack of Marlboros are nearby, that’s always a bonus.
But regardless of the weather, Milford will be bustling this weekend. The Black Bear Film Festival will descend upon our town, packing our restaurants with tourists and using our one small, decrepit and ancient movie theatre to show independent films. The Shawnee resort will be hosting a balloon festival, which, according to my boss, “attracts thousands of people, nationwide.” Clearly, for my small town, this is huge.
My plans, however, do not involve either festival. In fact, my big excitement for the weekend is a dinner date this evening with my boyfriend. One of the two restaurants we like and frequent in town closed a few weeks ago because it was sold. The new owner, a former bartender I’ve known since long before I was legally allowed to drink, redecorated the interior and tweaked the menu and reopened this week. I’ve been dying to go. In the shower this morning, I asked Billy what he thought of dining there tonight.
“Sounds good to me,” he said, rinsing his hair. “Why don’t you make reservations?”
As luck would have it, the owner came into the bank today for change.
“Hey, Kenny, what number do I have to call to make reservations for your place?”
“You don’t have to make reservations, Laurie. But I’ll put you down. How many?”
“Two. Why don’t I have to make reservations? I thought you’d be packed – You know, with Black Bear and everything.”
“I am. Our books are pretty full, actually. But you always have a seat at my restaurant.”
I smiled. Apparently, not only does it pay to be nice to bartenders because they can give you good strong drinks and "forget" to charge you, but they may also own a restaurant one day and deem you worthy enough to always have a seat.
So, despite the rain, I’m going to dress up and enjoy a night out with my man. I’m certain our friends will show up there, too, and that the evening will be lovely. The rest of the rainy weekend, I will spend inside shopping malls and my boyfriend’s house. That's it.
And I intend to continue doing very little until Mother Nature decides to let up and give me some damn sunshine.