For all the great and wonderful things that I’ve experienced here in Memphis, I’ve got to admit that it can be a bit of a lonely place if you’re single in the city.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of ways to connect with peers and like-minded folks–such as New Memphis Institute’s programs, Meetups in Memphis, and Choose901’s suggestions on 70 Ways to Make Friends in Memphis—but they mainly slant to professional and platonic connections rather than the romantic. When you become a man (or woman) “of a certain age,” you start getting those looks from others. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I’m married or if I have kids from well-intentioned folks, only to be met with looks of bewilderment when I confirm I have neither. And while I’ve definitely been busy with my new job and extracurricular activities to even think about my lack of a plus one, I was reminded of the saying that to get something you want you often have to do things you don’t want.
I’m a natural introvert, and despite all of the blog posts I’ve written am more likely to be found in my house on my couch watching tv or reading a book, especially when it’s a bazillion degrees outside. (Thanks, global warming!) But I was invited to join a new friend of mine to go to the 21st Annual Overton Square Crawfish Fest this past Saturday afternoon, and try as I might, I couldn’t think of one reason not to go.
While I do consider myself fairly adventurous with food, I don’t think I’d ever had a crawfish in my 33 years of living on God’s green earth. I got to the festival, and within 20 minutes had a face full of these unique tasting creatures. While I can’t say I’m a crawfish connoisseur now—I just found it was so much work for so little meat—I enjoyed the camaraderie from brothers and sisters in the edible struggle who were at my table. I met fellow educators, some medical students from UTHSC, a native New Orleanian who was giving me pointers on how to suck the heads and eat the tails of the crawfish correctly and how to identify when a crawfish is bad (it has a straight tail rather than a curved tail), which once again reminded me an the menagerie that is our city, something that had escaped me since my time of visiting Mollie Fontaine Lounge.
After losing feeling in my lips from the spices of the crawfish, I needed something to cool them down and frankly to cool me down, too. (It was nearly 80 degrees outside on Saturday!) And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I came across Mempops, all natural handcrafted popsicles. I had a delicious banana nutella pop, but I cannot wait to taste some of their other flavors as they are available seasonally like grapefruit, honey apple, and avocado lime!
There were great vendors at the festival including many of Memphis’ talented artists and non-profits, and all-in-all it was just a great day to be out hearing the sounds and seeing the sights of the city. It kind of reminded me of a quote from Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. She says, “Eventually all the pieces fall into place…until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.”
Here’s to letting all the piece fall into place and knowing that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I am doing. Thanks, Memphis.