So. Earlier tonight I was working rather late- I typically meet with my adviser Tuesday mornings, so Mondays never seem to end when I want them to- so by the time I cycled home via the grocery store it was 8:45pm. As I was gathering my things a young Dutchman approached me and said something I didn’t catch, I responded with my best “sorry, mijn Nederlands is niet goot,” and he switched to English with one of the more unusual things I’ve been asked lately.
“Sorry, but my friends and I are at the restaurant next door, and we’ve ordered too much food. So we were looking for someone to join us for dinner to share it- might you be interested in joining us?”
Now when getting home from work near 9pm on Monday night things in my world are often more uninteresting than I’d prefer, and the following came to my mind:
1) Said Dutchman did not appear, at first glance, to be a serial killer,
2) I know the restaurant in question- it’s a few doors down, so nothing crazy is going to happen there, and
3) Most important, it is 8:45pm and I have yet to start making dinner and have nothing else going on besides catching up on TV shows, so why not say yes anyway?
“Give me ten minutes,” I promised- I had ice cream to put in the freezer and flowers to put into water first- and then headed down to the cafe to meet Stijn, Liz, and Mihkel for the first time and have dinner with them. They were students who worked in the cafe part-time, and what a dinner it was: samples of the kitchen’s best, from venison steak to salmon quiche to horsemeat brisket, with several matching beers to each little sample, all while discussing our various travels and studies and adventures. They were delighted because they had someone new to hear their stories and had always wanted to try randomly inviting someone to dinner, I was delighted because a lonely late night had turned into something extraordinary, and we all parted with exchanged hugs and phone numbers and promises to do it again in the future. (It’s funny, I think, how this will be a good memory even if it ends with an “and then we never met again” or an “and then we stayed friends for decades in the future.”)
Cheers to ordinary nights becoming extraordinary ones- and may I never become a woman whose first reaction to such an invitation is to turn it down.
So, tell me: would you have said yes to an impromptu dinner party like I did? Or invited someone like this yourself?