5 Best Nights of My Life

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.

Perkins Library, Duke University by Lanana on Flickr

Perkins Library, Duke University by Lanana on Flickr

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.]

Piazza Castello, where P and I met

Piazza Castello, where P and I met

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!

26 Beans of Wisdom to “5 Best Nights of My Life”
  1. KC

    What a great meme! You have such beautiful memories. I especially love the ones about dinner with your mom and your first date with P. I think I may do this meme too. If so, I’ll let you know.

  2. Ryan

    I might try this one too…but I do think it will be very hard to narrow it down..

  3. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    Thanks for sharing your memories with us. The romantic in me really likes the P one.

  4. Dee

    Oh my god..this is making me all nostalgic!!!
    All your nights were beautiful:)
    Each meaningful and fun …I liked the one with your Mom a lot..it kinda spoke to me!!
    Maybe I’ll do this meme later. I have to think real hard (30 years is a long time!!)

  5. sognatrice

    KC, I hope you do it. As I said, I thought it would be much harder to do, but they all just flowed…and it was so fun to write it!

    Ryan, lucky for you that you have so many to choose from!

    NYC, I know what you mean–the romantic in me would like to relive that night again and again and again…first date innocence is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

    Dee, makes me nostalgic too! Isn’t it great? I had 31 years to go through, so it’s not too hard 😉

  6. Jen of A2eatwrite

    Oh, I loved this, and it brought good memories to me, too. I will definitely post something on this. What a lovely idea!

  7. Karina

    This was a great meme. You have some wonderful memories there!

    I actually already did this one, so if you’re curious you can find my answers on my blog (it’s the second entry in the Memes category).

    It was a lot of fun to do, but I think it was pretty hard to narrow down to five, I’ve already thought of nights I missed in it.

  8. Karina

    Oh, right, and I was also coming over to tell you that you’ve got an award over at my blog to pick up…see, I was so sidetracked by your answers to the meme that I forgot! 😉

  9. Figs Olives Wine

    What a fabulous meme – you left me smiling. Your 1st date with P sounds unbelievably romantic.

  10. Perky

    Wow! Great memories! I can really relate to many of them! Especially the law school graduation — SUCH a let down and then right into the maelstrom of Bar Review. Ugh!

    By the way, which law school did you go to???

  11. Shameless

    These are great memories Sognatrice. Makes me think about my own. Oh, now that would be a post! 🙂

  12. Taffiny

    those are really great.
    I couldn’t help but realize while reading them though, that I have no idea what mine are. think…think….think..

  13. qualcosa di bello

    i don’t know about you but i found this a rather hard meme…i love my life & have lots of “bests”! i like how you added the “so far” thing – it really does change as you live. one of my originals when i was brainstorming involved graduation stuff too, but then if you factor a husband & children & etc…well, you get the picture!

  14. Roam2Rome

    This is my favorite post from you 🙂

    I find love stories and graduations very inspiring 🙂

    The open possibility of new paths 🙂

  15. stefanie

    Great idea! And you know how I’m always looking for things I can list in five-point form… 🙂 I might have to do this for a Friday Five soon (provided I can come up with two more nights for my list… the first three came to mind right away).

  16. Confessions of Cleopantha

    Very heart-warming. Memories are so precious. Thanks for sharing your world with us. l didn’t know that you studied law and l always wondered how you met P. It is so romantic.

  17. metalia

    I *LOVE* this idea, and your nights were all great; I’m going to put my list together, and let you know when I post it!

  18. Kelli Estes

    Wow, your list makes me want to sigh like I do when I finish a good book. I find it interesting how a list like this can reveal so much about a person, and yet only hint at all that is still left to be uncovered.

    I may do this one myself after thinking it over for a few days. Thanks for the great idea!

  19. sognatrice

    Jen, can’t wait to read your list!

    Karina, thanks and while I’m picking up the award, I’ll poke around to see your five best nights 😉

    Amanda, so glad you enjoyed!

    Perky, I can honestly say that I wasn’t even really happy that day because I was already dreading the next few months…oh well. I went to Temple in Philly. E tu?

    Shameless, do it, do it!

    Taffiny, I think they’ll come to quite quickly once you really think about them. I had to start typing and then everything fell into place…like with most of my writing 😉

    Qualcosa, wouldn’t this be a great meme to do every five or ten years, just to see what’s been bumped, so to speak? Or just to add to the list…hmm….

    Roamer, you know, looking at all my memories, they really were all about new beginnings (albeit sometimes when other things were ending). Guess I’m fond of those too!

    Stefanie, I know you can come up with two more, and maybe you won’t believe me, but I really did think of you while writing this–wondered if you had done it yet and I missed it.

    CleoPantha, you can also check out this post for the *real* story of how P and I met 🙂

    Metalia, can’t wait! I’m so happy you’re playing 🙂

    Kelli, sigh away, please! I’ll be looking for your list!

  20. Sparky Duck

    well you saw mine, way way back, but this was a fun one too. One that gets your own memory going about things in college and HS.

    of course, the sport person in me would ask about which two rival HS’s

  21. sognatrice

    Sparky, well we weren’t each others’ hard-core rivals, but it was always a big enough game every year, especially football–the Red Tornadoes of Mount Carmel and the Pottsville Crimson Tide (PA).

    If you’re not clear on which side I fall, Go Big Red!

  22. amanda

    This is a lovely post, the memories of your mum and the first date are beautifully written. Obviously its a post about youyou but it gets me thinking about meme. I’d love to do a post like this but I’m not sure it would get through the rigorous vetting procedure over at our place!

  23. sognatrice

    Amanda, hah! I do hope you’ll give it a go anyway–I love posts/memes that get people thinking, and I’m hope this one is bringing up some good memories 🙂

  24. Italianissima

    sognatrice – I sometimes read your blog also through Raquel. Sometimes I wish I had moved back to Italia…but then I would have never met my wonderful husband. I am from outside Philly also.

  25. a far away friend

    You have quite of way of sharing your memories with us…you seem to always get me teared up when I read them. I couldn’t even begin to comment on my “five best”…but, you got me thinking. I have a great pic of that college graduation party night. Just the girls, no strings attached. Fun, free times!

  26. sognatrice

    Italianissima, you definitely made the right decision staying in the States–what a beautiful wedding you’ve just had 🙂

    Friend, my photos from that night are somewhere in storage at home–if you happen to have some handy and can scan them, I wouldn’t mind seeing them (hint hint) 😉

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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