The refreshing invitation

May 9, 2009. On the way home from getting groceries before the store closed, I was invited to join a few young men on their night out. I gracefully evaded the invitation, and when walking away I asked myself why.

They were nice men, polite. I’d fallen into conversation by falling into step with them as I left the grocery store. There were three; they were visiting from San Francisco. They had come to the Windy City for a bachelor party — that consisted of bar hopping downtown. They were quite tame for fellows on such a celebration, and they expressed their love for the Windy City. They invited me to join them in the next hop to the next bar. It was all respectful as we walked among the downtown crowds.

“I can’t crash a bachelor party,” I joked. “It’s for the guys.”

They exchanged glances among each other, and told me they could make an exception. Yet we shortly reached a corner, where they turned  and I decided to continue straight.  I wished them a fun evening, and waved goodbye. They thanked me and merged with the crowd going the other way.

Now Jacquee, why did you do that? I asked myself as I crossed the street. I was already smiling at the warm regard they gave me. I knew I’d have been in my element as a gal amongst the guys, a lady amongst the gents.

They took me by surprise, I replied to myself – on my way home with a drawstring pack of groceries on my back, already determined to go home and write. Not that I can’t be spontaneous.

As a matter of fact, being spontaneous is a strong part of my character. So is hiding myself to write. However, there was no deadline tonight.

Had I turned with them, instead of departed — which I could have, that direction was also on my way home — they might have tried a little more polite persuasion, and I might have acquiesced, and we’d meet at a place I’d recommend, and we would have had fun as we talked about Chicago and San Francisco and life.

It was out of character that I stepped away so fast, I realized. Yet, no despair. It was also a sign that — if I keep my eyes open, and more on my toes again — I’m in for a great summer.

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