In Los Angeles, people are always busy.
Busy in a meeting, busy on a conference call or even busy on a conference call trying to arrange a meeting.
I honestly think I have a better chance of coordinating dinner with the President than I have with some of my friends these days.
When I finally get people to meet up for dinner and a little human interaction, it’s a battle to see who can stay off their phones and concentrate on being present and enjoying the moment. I have always promised myself that I would never be one of those people, too busy to make time for his close friends.
One day, while I was rushing into Starbucks to grab my morning latte and start my morning, I realized how long it has been since I spent some quality time with my boyfriend. It took me a moment to calculate the last time he and I went on an actual date that wasn’t work related.
At the exact moment, I received a text from a girlfriend of mine who’s very short message read “Dinner soon please, its been too long.”
As I scrolled up to read our past messages, it was riddled with the same banter of hello’s and promises to catch up.
It was just then that I realized, I had become part of the world that was too busy to make plans with anyone.
My epiphany had me beside myself and I instantly was on a mission correct my course.
Two words came to mind right away… Double Date!
Now, I will be the first to admit that double dates can be a bit risky. There is an art to finding the right mix of four people and the right activity to make for a successful evening.
But tonight I had the perfect plan with the perfect group of people. It was all about taking time to relax and unwind as well as reconnect.
I made reservations at a new place in town called iPic. It’s an upscale twist on a movie theater and dining experience. Making it’s new home in the lobby is Tanzy, an Artisanal Italian restaurant that practically casts a spell on you from the moment you walk in the doors.
Right away I can tell we are in for a treat.
The hostess escorts my boyfriend and I to our friends who are enjoying a dink at the bar. I begin to breathe in the ambiance as If I am moving in slow motion. The music is mix of lounge and dance with a twist of jungle beats.
As we walk pass several diners, I notice a large sculpture made of driftwood that is a canopy to half the dining room. Above the bar, more plants and succulents drape over us like a curtain.
We are not in Kansas anymore Dorothy.
With warm hugs and kisses, my friends and I greet each other. The hugs are almost long enough that they communicate a message of appreciation right away. I could tell that all of us needed a little getaway.
As we take our seats, we all agree that Tanzy has swept us off our feet. Every bit of the ambiance slowly chipped away at every bit of worry that we had from our week.
Going out with another couple is very interesting. You get a snapshot into how their relationship works and how sweet (or crazy) they really are.
But Gina and Zach are a sweet couple. They debate on wether or not they should share a plate or get something different. They eventually opt for independent samples of tonight’s offerings.
Gina, staying true to the Italian blood in her, orders samplings of their hand made pasta, while Zach, being the man orders the New York steak.
My boyfriend and I almost order with the same instincts, I sample the pastas and he orders the salmon over a bed of clams and mussels.
As we wait for the main course we are treated with wine and a cheese plate, a sampling of fresh buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and all the trimmings. At this point I have died and gone to food heaven.
We begin to catch up with each other like people at a high school reunion would. Getting updates on each others life, career and dreams.
It’s at that point where I had that slow motion moment again. I looked around at each of us smiling, raising our glasses to toast our gathering and the small kisses on the cheeks that agreed with our happiness.
Not once did any of us pick up our phones to check an email or send a text.
The dinner at Tanzy was fabulous, from start to finish. I will be the first to admit that I had preconceived ideas about a restaurant and movie theater night out. I feel like if you’ve been to one, you have been to them all. But this experience was different… it was over the top.
From dinner we headed into iPic, a premium movie going experience from start to finish. But forget your dreams of slushies and goobers. Their concession stand is fit for the lobby of a W Hotel. From cocktails and beer to chic small plates like Spicy Salmon Tartar and Mahi Fish Tacos- each can be enjoyed in the lobby while you wait or directly from your seat.
As we were escorted to our chairs, we each began to feel a sense comfort and delight as we are settled into our own personal leather recliner. We huddled with blankets and pillows as an attendant was quick to offer beverages and complimentary popcorn.
It was at that point we all look at each and agreed, we would never go anywhere else again.
During the movie, you forget where you are as there are roughly 50 seats in each theater. Each premium chair can fully recline while still allowing room for the other guests.
Gina and Zach were cuddling like high school sweethearts while the BF and I enjoyed our movie as if we were at home. We were all so very relaxed, it was just what the doctor ordered for the busy people that we all were.
As we wrapped up our date night and said our good byes, we each made a stern promise that we would see each other again soon.
Those last few minutes together truly punctuated the importance of not only reconnecting, but disconnecting.
If you don’t take the time to foster and care for your relationships, wether they be good friends or your significant other, you could miss out on the important quality time that is necessary to your longevity.
All relationships need you to be 100% present while trying to nurture them too. So turn your phone off, explore what your partner or friend has been up to, and take in the experience.
I highly doubt that If I was the least bit distracted I would have appreciated all the little nuances that made tonight’s double date night a success.