dishing over dishes: dinners with friends can soothe the soul

Last night I went out to dinner with one of my best girlfriends, a habit we try to keep alive at least once every other month at our favorite Thai place in my neighborhood. Like many TV shows built around friendships, some of our most profound and revealing conversations happen in the bright cozy confines of the main room, often over sushi, potstickers, or fortune cookies. Part of unshakeable platform that makes up our bond is the fact that divulging to her the quiet thoughts bothering me in my head for weeks somehow immediately makes me feel lighter and more motivated to face them head on. In fact, our friendship was born of confessed secrets, during the semester she went abroad and I wrote many a lengthy email detailing the college dramas I was facing, from the boy I was secretly in love with to my fears about my major, while she in turn wrote about her doubts regarding settling down with her boyfriend and finally learning who she was. One of the only things missing from our friendship is judgement, and having a person sit across from you to hear the worst about you and love you anyway is priceless. As a married friend, she's a window into the truths about being wed, which is invaluable for someone searching out exactly what she's expecting when she signs up for forever. Originally chosen out of proximity, the restaurant is now referred to as "our place" and has seen countless glasses of wine, mugs of tea, and sometimes cups of water almost untouched because of the layers of stories being shared. The dress code is non-existent, varying from after-client meeting dresses to fresh-from-a-marathon-training-run tank tops. Cancelling is okay, for the simple fact that rescheduling and following through is a given--I can't remember a two month span where one of us didn't remind the other we hadn't met for a while, and within a week we were face-to-face over our choice of low-sodium or regular soy sauces. These dinners are like a fresh rain for my soul, allowing me to bounce options and problems off someone who knows the best version of me and who can remind me who that is when I am faltering--nights that help me feel renewed to start the week with a clean slate. They fall under the category of the those simple and true (but also monumental and vital) blessings we have in life. Whether in a group or one on one, making time for important friendships outside of romantic relationships, especially as the bond grows older is absolutely crucial. Do you have a special meeting place with your closest friends?

And check out some of the most iconic meeting places from TV shows across the's a classic practice that seems to span any age group.

men of a certain age

sex and the city

golden girls


how i met your mother






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