Tuesday….Stacy texted me. Dinner at Philippe Chow in New York City at 8:30 on Saturday night. Perfect, I thought. What a great weekend this will be!
Saturday…I was annoyed with my husband because it was 8 pm and he was still our hotel room on his iPad with his shirt hanging on the chair. To be fair, it was a long day. Our twins celebrated their 23rd birthdays with a boozy brunch (their words not mine) that lasted until 1:30 pm and then we spent the afternoon with cousins who live in Brooklyn.
Being on time is important to me. Stacy chose the restaurant and was driving to the City from New Jersey. It would be the first time we would actually look each other in the eye. So the last thing I wanted was to be late. I’m not a late person by nature so my hubby’s casual “it will be fine” attitude was not helping.
I turned on Waze in the cab and watched as the little map App alerted me of an 8:33 ETA. OK, I thought. Three minutes late is not so late but still, late. When we got out of the cab I was so excited I forgot to close my car door and had to go back (another minute late.) This was the big moment. After a year of working together, and working together well, Stacy and I would soon be more than our daily FaceTimes, texts, emails and phone calls.
Nervous energy propelled me from the first floor bar to the top floor one. I scanned the entire restaurant. No sign of Stacy.
“Where are you?” I texted.
“At the bar!” she replied. I narrowed my eyes. Perhaps I overlooked her (I’m going blind in my second act.)
“Is this the only one?” my husband asked me. I have one of those husbands who is good at detective work in that smug way. Can’t be, I thought. I’m so organized. I’m a planner. I texted Stacy and scrolled through our messages (100 away from the one about the restaurant.) I clicked on the link and read it slowly this time. You guessed it. There were two. And Stacy and her boyfriend were at the one downtown, near our hotel, a 30-minute cab ride away from where we were standing.
I felt awful. They drove into New York City and I would be really late, 35 minutes late to be exact. Luckily we had a cab driver that was willing to risk his own life and ours to make it to restaurant faster than Waze had predicted. A half hour later, I jumped out of the cab, ran a block (could not wait for the cab to turn the corner) and raced down the stairs. This sister restaurant was bigger, more like a club, but I could see her from the minute I hit the last step.
I ran. I walked quickly. I can’t remember which one but it doesn’t matter. We were together finally hugging like old friends. I could tell immediately that she was every bit the person I thought she would be and had been since day one. I could see it in her smile. I could feel her warmth in her laughter. I didn’t want the night to end. Even though it has been a year since we started Living The Second Act, it felt like a beginning. A beginning of a wonderful friendship. Just goes to show that it is never too late to take chances.
My friends all thought it was strange that I have been in business with Mimi for almost a year and we had never met in person. I didn’t find it weird at all – she lives in Boston and I live in New Jersey. I always knew we would eventually get together – it just hadn’t happened yet.
A “typical Stacy” event never goes exactly as planned, which is exactly how my life seems to go. It makes for good stories.
My boyfriend and I were meeting Mimi and her husband for dinner in NYC. I asked my restaurant savvy friend for a recommendation because I am not up on the latest places. After choosing one of her suggestions and making a reservation, I sent a link for the restaurant to Mimi. We were all set. At least I thought so.
I am always running late, but my boyfriend has a traffic-phobia and makes sure we leave extra time when we go into the city. We arrived 30 minutes early but happily sat by the bar to people watch while we waited for them.
Mimi texted me when they were in a cab and I told her where we were seated. She texted again when she arrived at the restaurant. My eyes were on the door but I did not see them walk in. Strange. Then I got another text.
Which restaurant are you at? Uptown on 60th?
I gasped and responded, No downtown on 16th!
The restaurant had two locations and I did not think to point out which one when I sent her the link, and Mimi hadn’t asked.
My boyfriend rolled his eyes at me. These things always seem to happen.
Mimi and her husband were great about it. They jumped in another cab headed downtown and when they walked in the door 20 minutes later, we all laughed about it.
Once we were finally together, the night was fabulous. I felt as if I have known Mimi forever, even though it was the first time we had actually met. Some divine intervention seems to have brought us together to create an amazing business and friendship.
Mimi L. Golub is the Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Living the Second Act, an online magazine for women in their 40s and 50s who are seeking the truth. Mimi has written for numerous publications including The Huffington Post. She is the author of the someday-to-be-published novel, Boxed In. Mimi is also the writer and a staff editor of From Our Kitchens, a nonprofit cookbook that was released in 2018. In her spare time, Mimi loves to workout, drink tequila, and volunteer with many local causes. She lives in Newton, MA, with her husband and has twin girls who have left the nest. You can find her former work on: tequilainbed.com