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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

FWOOMP. That is the sound of me spontaneously combusting.

Word of the day: spontaneous.

Life, these days, has been a bit hectic. Maybe a super very much crazy lot hectic.

Life, these days, is more work than play. That may seem hard to believe given how often I talk about bourbon and cookies, but days tip far more in favor of responsibility than recreation.

Remember my whole diatribe about how much I crave routine, and how cranky I get when it’s disrupted before 9am every morning?

The other thing I get cranky about is being stuck in routine.

I mean, to everything a season, right?

So when Ralph went off the reservation this evening and said, Hey, let’s go to that new cocktail bar and have a drink, I had to take a moment to process it.

There was a mild smell of smoke and a tiny fzzt, like a lightbulb blowing out. I thought, simultaneously, Really? And there’s no way and Sure, why not and Yes! and No!

And…. really?

I mean, it’s Tuesday. And work. And we’re tired. And when will I fold the towels?

If we had planned to do this about two weeks in advance then put it on the calendar then worked to clear our schedules then debated possibly going next week, then decided no, we’ll do it this week, then made contingencies, then it would not be so eye-blinking.

But to throw it out there like that, on a Tuesday?


So we went.

We went and we had brand new cocktails and met brand new bartenders and took brand new photos to document the occasion.

Even though it was Tuesday, even though I have to get up at six tomorrow, even though the towels still aren’t folded and we didn’t put go to cocktail bar on the calendar, even though I very seriously considered whether I really wanted to get out of my sweat pants and walk down all those stairs into the cold, that little word nagged at the back of my brain.

Be spontaneous.

Do it! Just do it! Walk down ALL the stairs and break that routine’s back!

There is a fine line between routine and rut.

So even though my sweat pants are very comfortable (Amazon Essentials. 21 bucks. You’ll never want to take them off. You’re welcome.) I voted in favor of being spontaneous.

I have to tell you, it felt pretty good.

I feel like this is the part where I tell you a story about that time we were spontaneous and the amazing/hilarious/one-of-a-kind thing that happened. But I can’t actually remember the last time we did something totally off book.

I mean, sometimes I get really crazy and drive all the way to Whole Foods on a Tuesday just to get a single red pepper for dinner. So there’s that.

If we’re out running an errand and there is nothing else on the calendar then we might stop for a cocktail or an ice cream. Maybe even go to a movie, but those are usually planned, pre-purchased and put on the calendar, too.

It sounds like we’re very boring people. I guess I can’t speak for what anyone else thinks, but I don’t feel like we’re boring people. We have lots of hobbies and interests and we like to do lots of different things. The problem isn’t what we like to do, or what we want to do, it’s what we do do.

Because work and life and responsibility and towels and very comfortable sweat pants.

The last time we were spontaneous, we discovered Olema. Today we discovered the Amendment XVIII Cocktail Bar. It’s been a long time between those two things, and a lot has not gone the way we planned or thought it would. A lot of it wasn’t within our control. Injuries, shifting work requirements, an entire pandemic. Some of it was, but got plowed over by inertia and general malaise.

We’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Like, a lot. It will make an excellent topic for a future word. For now, though, not only did we spontaneously decide to get out and do something new and fun, but I spontaneously ditched my original word in favor of this one.

I do look forward to getting up and going through my morning routine tomorrow. But I kinda like the idea that I can take it into my head to, oh, I don’t know… put on my coat and walk down all the stairs to somewhere new.

A lot has not gone the way we planned or thought it would. We’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Today, a little bit of that leaked out at the seams.

I think I’ll poke at that a bit and see what I can rip open.

Photo: my Déja Vieux, a twist on a whiskey sour.