The clock ticked on past the time that I was expecting Paulette for dinner and I felt worried. Finally, just when I had made up my mind to call her, her distinctive voice floated in from the hallway.
She was cheerfully informing another resident of my fiancé’s apartment building about how lost she was. I laughed with the relief of knowing that she was fine and had to remind myself what a self-sufficient and outgoing person she is. Actually, as it turns out, it was my fault that she was late. Apparently, when I had invited her over for dinner the week before I gave her the address of the apartment building but forgot about the apartment number! She and my fiancé hit it off pretty quickly as they joined in poking fun at me for my oversight. The evening progressed well from there.
We chatted about all sorts of things as we always do, with her just as interested in my life as I am in hers—even though I keep telling her that she’s the focus of this project and I’m just the one with the privilege of introducing her to the world. Paulette being Paulette, she easily included Ben in her careful questioning and I found joy in watching the two of them chat away about life.
Over our bowls of lentil soup we discussed everything from our respective childhoods to the dynamics of our extended families and the places that we had traveled. Finally we ended up on politics, as all conversations invariably do. Filled with political fervor she invited Ben to come to a rally with her the next day, which of course, he did. That night is a golden memory for me because I spent it watching two people whom I love dearly enjoying one another’s company. We covered a myriad of topics and I learned more about each of them by listening closely to their conversation.
When Paulette left at the end of the night, we heard her exuberant voice coming in from the hallway once more as she let a person through the front door and told him or her, “I sure hope you actually live here!”
We burst into laughter, mutually thankful for having made a priceless friendship with such a plucky, beautiful woman.