Sunday, February 11, 2018

Investing in Friendship

A few Fridays ago I stopped by a friends' apartment where I was greeted with sliced oranges seasoned with special salt purchased from their trip to Mexico city as well as a sampling of mezcal.  The mezcal was supposed to be less earthy, but there definitely smoke seeping through my glass.

He put on a record which included some eclectic loungy tunes.  His partner chuckled as I made jabs about the music.  As I sipped, I declared "man, you guys really know how to relax me, this is just what I needed to unwind on Fridays."  Though I declined special espresso beans, I felt my body absorb their good energy.  They were hosts that made sure I was comfortable.  No detail was missed.

After Jimmy arrived, we headed out to Honda-Ya for some izakaya.  Jimmy and I usually avoid izakaya because we're never really satisfied, but we realized we were doing it wrong.  In order to truly enjoy izakaya requires ordering everything and not being concerned about the price tag/value.  Too often, I put "value" or "price" on food/experience.  Noodles should cost this, pizza should cost this, meat on sticks should cost this, but what I didn't account for was the value of company. 

Our friends ordered everything that sounded delicious.  The plates stacked up.  Jimmy and I watched them bicker about ordering California Rolls.   Jimmy and I laughed nervously, but as always the bickering turned into teasing, turned into affection.  This couple in front of us argue so much, but it's because they're honest with each other.   And the honesty surpasses the criticism of food or music preference.

We got the group together to sing karaoke after dinner in our usual VIP room- a playlist that included high school rock, Japanese pop, Bjork and Rihanna.  At the end of the night it clicked...

...that I need to invest in friendship the way these guys do.  By hosting, by caring, by being honest, by putting value on good company.  I want to be less calculated with my generosity.

2018, I told myself that I want to be better.  I've already failed in a few ways, but it's a work in progress.