Anyone who knows me knows I'm a horribly social creature. I like to talk. I like to listen. And I really really like to talk. I crave people the way a chocoholic craves, well, chocolate.
But I spend nearly every waking moment in my little house. I work here. I sleep here. I watch TV here and I eat here and I blog here. I get to talk to my three children, and to my wonderful au pair who makes my life so much easier. And they are patient souls who listen and talk and sometimes even listen a bit more.
I am, however, slowly going crazy.
So last week I got out. I got way, far out. I went to San Francisco. And then I went to Ottawa.
In both places, I met people whose names I recognize from emails, whose voices I know intimately from countless phone conversations, whose humor has been the highlight of frequent late-night chats. I was surrounded by people. I talked to them. I listened to them. I went for walks with them. I ate with them, too. And oh, was that fun! I had fresh-caught scallops (though my daughter, the wannabe marine biologist, would be disappointed because I did not first ask if they were ocean-friendly - they were too yummy to worry about). And, of course, Ghirardelli chocolate. I had brilliant, bright green olives - not the browny green you normally see, but a vibrant pine green with a surprisingly brineless, purely olive flavor. I had whole, crisp baby artichokes while my companions had pig cheek and octopus. I know, my choice sounds a little lame by comparison. I am not normally a food wimp, but I was really drawn to those artichokes.
And I had people. No, no, not for dinner. I'm not that fond of fava beans. But I got to know long-time acquaintances in a whole new way, over coffee, over cocktails, over wine. My friend Ange - that is her real fake bar name, which I promised I'd put in my blog - has even said she'd send me a list of half-decent wines so I won't continue looking like a complete ignoramus when I go out (this is what 13 years of marriage to a teetotaller will do to a girl).
I'm home now. Back at my desk. Back to my quiet little life. But that very loud chocoholic-style people craving that's been plaguing me, it's not quite so loud now. Crazy will just have wait a few more months.