Thursday Night Martini Night
So, this is my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
It was a Thursday afternoon about 4PM at the dermatologist’s office where we all worked; the year was 2003. It had been a long hard week of surgeries, office visits, wound checks. I was in the insurance billing office. I had dealt with happy patients, kind patients, unhappy patients, explained EOBs (explanation of benefits) to patients who didn’t understand their insurance and were still unhappy when the explanation was given. I was just a face on a problem they had and so I got the brunt of their frustration.
My computer had given me trouble on a multi-thousand-dollar claim transmission; Medicare would not give me a live person to talk to, and, there was the staff to contend with. By the most part we got along together as a team but, when you bring in all the other people and circumstances, as in any work place, tensions can run a little high sometimes, to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong; there were some good moments too – like when I heard the patients pray with each other outside the door of my office as they were all going through in-office surgery that day. I heard the tears of joy when they found out their skin cancers were all “out.” I got to tell little older ladies that they didn’t owe me any money and watch them tear up. And, I was just ornery enough to flirt with my little, sometimes really handsome, Medicare men.
But, that evening I had just about reached my limit. We never worked on Fridays, the office being closed, so I yelled out of my door … ”I need a martini.” All over the office came echoes of “Me, too … Me too …” So I slowly proceeded down the hall, to the next office, the front check-out window, the nurses station. “Really.” “So do you all want to join me for a little drinking?” “Somewhere,” anywhere.”
That’s how it all began. Yes, we gossiped about each other, we talked and laughed about our co-workers and complained about them. But, mostly, we were our co-workers. So once we got our first drink out of the way, we began to let our guard down a little, share a little, NO, A LOT of our personal lives, and really became knitted together as friends. We shared laughs, tears, new grand babies, divorce, new boy friends, illness, healing. For years, Thursday night Martini Night was a goal, an event to work for each week. Sure, our lives changed, people moved on, but who could ever forget Martini Night.
To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know THEN what a martini really was. But, now, 8 years later, I do. Cosmos were the favorite of most, sometimes there were other libations consumed, even beer. And, the food … OH! the food!. Cause, you know, everyone has to eat when they drink. It’s part of the charm of the whole evening.
Now I am retired from the office, retired from the work place period. One of my co-workers has moved on to the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina where she bought an Inn, renamed it, and refurbished it with her buddy, Partner Jim — The Gear Head Inn. They are happy, busy Inn Keepers.
After about 8 months of Ms. Inn Keeper being gone from Orlando, I called her up on a Thursday night. Yes, I missed our little get-togethers and her company, sharing our lives, and I wondered if she did also. I reminded her it was Martini Night and asked her what she was doing. When I asked her to go make a martini and call me back so we could “drink and talk” again, she cried. See, she was a little, no, A LOT home sick and wanted the old company as much as I did.
So, the Martini Night tradition continues to this day. Let it be known to everyone, that on Thursday nights at 6 PM we are on the phone together sharing our lives and drinking our martinis. When I visit there, Thursday nights are celebrated together again.
Friendship is GOOD! Friendship is a gift to cherish!
And always remember my dear friends, martinis are like women’s breasts. One is not enough and three is too many. Amen!