UNSWEET TEA

  • Alia

Close to You

I never counted on movie night being the success that it was, and not for any of the reasons I would have considered it a success.


A selfie taken on movie night as we were getting started watching Now and Then.

I LOVED every single moment of it and, now that I sit here and type this, I can say that I dreamed that I'd be in this moment a LONG time ago. I know that because of the randomness of looking up at the TV right now and remembering watching a show that I am watching for the first time. Such is premonition.


As my friends gathered, I knew I had an issue with the availability of the theater. I thought, for sure, that we weren't going to be able to finish the movie in the time that we had because I had been short sighted. Luckily, we were able to watch the movie and have laughs and tears. A lot of my friends asked if they could bring anything and the big laugh of the night is that no one brought food, we all brought adult beverages. So, we ordered takeout! After the movie, in the poker room, we all had a great conversation until we took the party outside to the courtyard. Conversations were had, feelings were shared, we all got closer to each other and, I can say, I have never felt more grateful. In the end, 8 women who might have only had one or two people in common with the others all stood on common ground with each other. I plan on doing this again monthly and a pool party is scheduled soon because I really want my friends and their kids to be able to enjoy the pool before summer.


What I learned that night is that, everyone, EVERYONE has our "shit." This isn't particularly revelatory as my entire education has been dedicated to that realization. However, the processing, the very calculated decisions to work on that shit, to be better, want better, dream of better and reach for it is all different and we are all on a journey. Who you have around you as you travel is what's most important. Making friends, as an adult, is a decision you make. It's purposeful and goes way beyond "Oh! We like the same things, we love the same color, let's be friends." Adulthood comes with trauma and feelings. Adulthood is "shock and awe" in the sense that things happen to you throughout life that you never saw coming, it's shockingly awe-ful: the trauma we all have. Then, you survive it, however you can manage. Some people close themselves off completely, others are slow to trust, but make an effort. Some people try to remain unaffected, but then let all of their unprocessed trauma explode onto others via projection. What I have seen is that, friendship in adulthood is complicated because of all of the baggage that we bring into it, things we make other people responsible for as if they should have known, as if they had been there all along. This is where communication comes in. Communicating to new friends quite literally clues them in on pieces of you that you cannot assume they know, which can't be done overnight and only comes with a decision to let people in one moment at a time—and when to do so. There is a destination getaway in our future for all of the friends that were with my on movie night, two in NWA, two in Houston, one in Dallas, and another in NC. I'm truly hoping that I can pull that off.


On the heels of my girl's night, I got a call from my play brother (a man who has been in my life for 20 years,) who needed a companion to dinner when two friends from school finally became engaged after 10 years! So we went to a restaurant called Red Door. What I loved about this experience can't even really be put into words, primarily because everything about it was wonderful. My friendship with this man is rock strong and I just adore him to pieces. He was my prom date, I've seen his babies be born, and he's my protector. We shared plates of crab cakes, grouper, and a duck salad that really knocked my socks off. The food was amazing! What was even greater was the teamwork used to knock that food out, a 2:1 ratio in dividing up the food we were served left us both full. For the health aspect of this:


Lobster-Blue Crab Cakes Pan Sautéed with Tuscan Peasant White Beans & Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc

Baby Spinach and Arugula Strawberry Salad with Roast Duck, Red Onion, and Roasted Pecans

Bene Vita Pan Seared Grouper with sides of Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges and Roasted Asparagus

Bene Vita’s Number 1 Seller, Super Fresh, Panko Breaded with Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc.


While these recipes aren't the exact recipes used that night, these are the recipes I plan on using when I try this at home. I'm Black, I need an explosion of flavor, so I'm going to use cajun seasonings and less breading in the crab cake. Friendship means everything to me and I am so thankful that I have been able to strengthen all of mine.

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