Saturday night in Springfield the line at D'arcy's out on Stanford was out the door, so we went to the Dublin Pub at Town and Country Shopping Center. The wait there was going to be twenty minutes.
I heard the shriek of a toddler, the kind of shriek you get from a child that has just discovered his or her voice. Then I head another.
There were at least three small children in the Dublin Pub amid the throng. Those young twenty-something married couples and their children, unable to shake the old free-wheeling lifestyle, come back to the old haunts, inappropriately with their new kids.
There were several large flat-screen televisions on the wall showing sports, and the music was competing in volume with the conversation. Every table was full and the crowd in front of the door waiting was making it difficult for people coming and going.
It was early, only about six o'clock in the evening. We decided to try the Tasti Thai restaurant just a few doors down. The place was nearly empty. It was quiet. There were a few people at another table, but that was it.
We had a good conversation and good food. Unfortunately it wasn't a date for me, I was out that night with my mother and my sister. Still, an excuse to get out of the house. Otherwise, I have no reason to go out because I'm single, and my friends don't live in this town.
Someone my age, 44, doesn't make friends easily, and it's worse when you live in a town where you once had a history as an elementary school student, but then moved away and lost track of everyone over the years only to move back and discover all your friends have left town.
I always wind up asking this question: What can a single middle-aged man do in this town without feeling scrutinized by people who know each other? It wouldn't turn out like the movie starring Steve Martin titled "The Lonely Guy," maybe I should revisit that movie for tips.
Back to the Tasti Thai restaurant. I'm wondering if all the other Asian cuisine restaurants in town are like this on a Friday or Saturday night? I'll need to bring a date to find out because I don't imagine they would seat one person at a table. They definitely don't seat one person at the Buffet King on Veterans Parkway.
Wish me luck. I'll work this map into my site soon too.
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