Months ago, I saw this meme over at Sparky Duck’s place and then yesterday at Piacere, and it got me thinking about some of the best nights of my life–always fun to think about, so feel free to play along.
5 Best Nights of My Life
(so far, and in chronological order)
1. Mom at The Wabash, Summer of 1993. I vividly remember and cherish the first time my mom and I ate in a restaurant that was a converted train compartment sitting in a parking lot of a motel in Durham, North Carolina called “The Wabash” (I don’t think it’s there anymore).
The steak and potatoes were delicious and the dimly-lit, cramped atmosphere tremendous; it really felt like we were on a train, headed somewhere exciting. All we needed were period costumes (and don’t think I didn’t consider it for future dining experiences).
I just remember feeling grown up for the first time in my life–like a woman having dinner with my mother. I was going into my senior year of high school, and it would only be another year until I was on my own, and in that train compartment is where it hit me.
2. The night after college graduation, May 17, 1998. Specifically, a party hosted by one of my very best friends, who also happens to be from a nearby town in Pennsylvania (our high schools were rivals)–we just really “got” each other among fellow students at a university very different from where we grew up.
There was reminiscing, laughing, drinking, and absolutely no worrying about how we were all going to get *all* of our stuff packed and out of our places the next day–but the best was my friend’s dad’s toast, which did wonders in easing the realization that we’d never all be together like that again. I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember how I felt–and it warms my soul every time I think of it.
3. At home college graduation party, June 20, 1998. A couple weeks later, my brother and sister-in-law kindly hosted a party at their house for my family and hometown (lifetime) friends. It is one of the last times that my girlfriends from high school and I (without significant others) spent hours upon hours together talking, laughing, drinking (of course), late-night swimming, and then taking an ill-advised walk up a highway. Guess you had to be there.
It was also the last full day I spent with my grandfather, who passed away three days later, hours after I had moved all my stuff from his and my grandmother’s house to Philadelphia to start my life there. I like to think he waited until he was sure I was OK on my own. Thanks Pap!
4. The night after I found out I passed the PA Bar Exam, October 18, 2001. Also known as my 25th birthday. Bar exam results happened to come out on my birthday, and man was there reason to celebrate. That whole day was awesome, in fact, from repeatedly checking the website with my co-clerk in the Judge’s Chambers (and on the phone with another friend in a firm) to receiving a dozen yellow roses from my niece and nephew.
The evening was spent with my closest law school friends at a local watering hole (shocker), and it finally, finally felt like we were finished.
For those who haven’t gone through it, it’s hard to explain how anti-climactic law school graduation is because you start studying for The Bar a few days later, still seeing everyone from school for the next couple months until you take that horrid two-day test (three days if you take two bars together like I did). It’s only after finding out that you passed that you can close that chapter in your life. And what a chapter it was.
Incidentally, my grandmother passed away two weeks later–again, I’m pretty sure she waited until my life was somewhat settled for the moment. Thanks Mam!
[Finding out I passed the NJ Bar a few weeks later wasn’t nearly as exciting.]
5. First date with P. May 9, 2005. Really fancy here, so brace yourselves. We met in the piazza after having dinner separately, strolled about the square, and then sat outside under the grapevines of one of the local bars the rest of the evening.
We talked, played cards, and talked some more, and then since the bar was closing, P walked me to my house, gave me a kiss on each cheek, and left me with those stomach flutterings you get when you know something good is happening.
OK, now I’m not going to tag anyone since I was never tagged myself. But tell me, what are your five best nights? I thought this would be a lot harder than it ended up being, so give it a thought and you might surprise yourself–and make yourself really happy with memories in the process.
Leave them (or one or two, etc.) in the comments or write about them in a post at your place–just be sure to let me know where to find your list!