I don't want to bore you with our daytime activities (me at work, Cayden at Starbucks), so I'll just fast-forward to what went down after 5 p.m.
Remember how I ran that 5K the weekend before? Well, I had a feeling that once I finished it, I'd stop running for good. Things were heading that way. I hadn't ran all week, and that was unusual for me. I'd gotten used to running four or five times a week. But I'll have to admit, I was thoroughly enjoying my little running hiatus. No random pains, no asthma attacks, no incessant craving for a full-blown spa pedicure complete with hot stones and a orange-peel rubdown (OK, who am I kidding? I'm always craving that).
But Joyce and Joey asked if Cayden and I wanted to join them for a run after work, and for once, it didn't sound like the worst thing in the world. OK, maybe I missed it. A little. I pictured Cayden and Joey about a mile ahead of us while Joyce and I leaned against trees, fighting for oxygen. It sounded a little fun.
But when it started raining outside and the temperature dropped into the 40s, it no longer sounded even a little but of fun. Sounded like torture in a frozen, wet hell. Luckily, I wasn't the only one who thought so. So what else does one do when one can't run of a couple hundred calories? Eat a couple thousand. OK, not really thousand. So group run with Joey and Joyce became group dinner with Joey, Joyce, Cayden, Carson, Rae, and Rick. My favorites.
Cayden needed his Tex-Mex fix and I needed some more free hookups, so we went to On The Border. Joyce works in their corporate office, so she has this magic card that pays the bill so we don't have to. Which works out quite nicely for me because I don't really like paying bills.
We chose the On The Border in Addison because that's where Rae and Rick live, and it's a good central meeting point for everyone else. Also, I was thinking about moving to Addison so I could pay cheaper rent and try to save some money for a plane ticket to London at some point, so I wanted to show Cayden the area.
"Can we start with queso with meat and jalapenos and a guac live?" Joyce asked the waiter.
A few minutes later our table was filled with baskets of warm, salty tortilla chips, small bowls of salsa, bigger bowls of queso, and plates of freshly made guacamole. We tore into it like we'd never eaten a day in our lives.
Through stuffed mouths passed plates, we talked about work, kickball (Joey and Rae were on my team), and our potential move to Addison. I'd originally planned on moving to downtown Dallas, into the Merc building with my friend Maddie. But I was barely able to pay the bills in my Knox-Henderson apartment, so there's no way I could afford to move downtown. So instead I'd be moving in with Joyce and our college friend Terry. (BOOMER SOONER!)
Outside of Dallas, Addison is probably the best place to live for people my age because there are a ton of restaurants and bars (though they're usually swarming with possessive cougars), the rent is cheap-ish, and it's only 20 minutes outside of Dallas. The bad thing was, in rush hour that's more like 45 minutes. So I'd be on the road for an hour and a half every day. Oh, and heaven forbid there's a fender bender that shuts down two lanes and adds two hours to your trip. You all know what Road Rage Whitney is like. Imagine that twice a day every day. She's a bitch.
"I wonder if we can find a cute house around here," Joyce said between bites of queso.
"I really want a house! Or I want to live in Rick and Rae's apartment complex. It's so cute!" I said with a mouthful of guacamole.
"Yeah! Move in by me so we can have a legit running group! And we can happy hour together, and watch our TV shows together," Rae chimed in.
TV. Oh what it would be like to have a TV again. Right now I have a giant old-school CRT TV with bunny ears. Oh, and it only gets five normal channels and then a variety of Spanish and Jesus stations. If I want to watch ABC, I have to stand on a chair and hold the bunny ears at a 45-degree angle and watch the TV screen through a mirror on the wall. It's a lot of work, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't done that to watch Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters.
But for the most part, I just watched my shows on my laptop. Yes, the one with the giant crack in the middle of the screen from my brother stepping on it. Terry bought a 55-inch flatscreen 3-D HDTV for our new place. I was so excited I almost pissed myself.
"Oh my god. This is so good!" Cayden said, scooping another queso-dipped chip in his mouth.
"Really?" I asked, trying to decide if he was being sarcastic. I wasn't a huge fan of OTB, but the whole free thing made it taste much better.
"Really! I can't say this until after my meal, but I think it might be better than Mi Cocina."
"Take it back!" I yelled, gripping his thigh under the table. "Take. It. Back." I squeezed harder. No one disses my Mi Cocina.
"I take it back. Until after my meal. Then I might reinstate it."
"Aw, a lovers' quarrel," Carson said from across the table.
That's when I realized I hadn't yet had one fight with Cayden. Even when he broke up with me and smashed my heart into a billion pieces, we didn't fight. Even when I almost ended things with him that morning in London, we didn't fight. Sure, if we saw each other all the time I'm sure we'd find all kinds of things to fight about. But for now, I found it amusing that our "fights" were about which Tex Mex place served the best chips and dip.
We went around the table placing orders. I ordered a chicken fajita and Cayden ordered a Big Burrito. I said a silent prayer that that burrito wouldn't kill our sex life later that night.
"So, you guys are going to run another 5K so I have someone to run it with, right? The Turkey Trot is Thanksgiving morning." Carson asked.
"Count me in," I said. That's what I needed. I needed to register for another race so I'd be forced to keep running. I also really wanted to be there for Carson as she did her first 5K.
"I'm down," Joyce added.
"I want to, but I'll be in Florida. But I'm running 5 miles on Dec. 5. I'm going to die!" Rae said, looking completely defeated.
Running 5 miles sounded like my nightmare, yet I was oddly tempted to volunteer for that one, too. But then my sizzling fajitas came out before I could offer.
"You could do it, you know," Cayden said quietly to me while everyone started their own conversations about the hatch chili soup and tilapia tacos.
"Do what?" I asked.
"You could run 5 miles by then. I know you could." This time it was his turn to squeeze my knee.
It was sweet of him, but if I already wanted to throw up after 3 miles, I'd probably vomit, shit my pants, and then slip in my own poo and break my tailbone if I tried to run 5. Now, I'm all about embarrassing myself for a good laugh, but I don't think I could recover from that.
"We'll see," I said, smiling. But one day I do want to run a race with him. Sure, he'll finish 30 minutes before me, but at least he'd be there at the finish line to help me get the cap off my inhaler.
Halfway through his Big Burrito, Cayden gave me a hesitant look. I shot him a look back that said, "Use your big kid words."
"So, don't hit me, but this is better than Mi Cocina."
I knuckle punched his thigh under the table, but he was expecting it, so he flexed and I ended up being the one in pain.
"Ass," I said, smiling.
"So, Cayden," Joey said, "are you going to get to play kickball with us Thursday?"
Cayden nodded. "Whitney always talks about how much fun it is. I'm really excited!"
"We're pretty awesome," Joey said.
I mean, how could we not be awesome? Our team name was Teammates with Benefits. Everyone else in the league assumed we all got drunk and had massive orgies after our games. We are a pretty attractive bunch, and we do like our beer, so I wouldn't be opposed to the whole orgy thing if not for the perfect boyfriend thing. But in two days, Cayden would get to be a real-life Teammate with Benefits.
"I hope this rain dies down so we can play," Rae said.
I was A-OK with the rain canceling my group run, but if it canceled kickball, Mother Nature and I were going to have words.
Turns out, the weather was the least of my problems that Thursday night.