I have spent entirely too much of my life being anti-social.
It's not that I don't like people - okay, I dislike some people - but that's not the real problem. My dilemma has always been twofold. I've never really had a great "social filter" when I'm interacting with others in person. This may be due to the fact that I spend large chunks of my time having lengthy conversations with my dogs, who seem to find everything I say to be perfectly appropriate. My blogging alter-ego is much more measured than I can manage in real time interactions. In person I tend to come off as intense and overly candid, probably because I am intense and overly candid. Most of the time I also completely forget I'm disabled and have very little patience for people that are terrified of offending me by even mentioning it. As a result I think the package that is me can be a little intimidating and possibly off-putting to deal with.
My other problem is strictly logistical. I'm disabled, I can't drive, and I live miles away from any form of public transportation. This means I have to rely on others, usually my better half, to get from Point A to Point B. - and he's not my chauffeur; he's my partner.
But ultimately these are excuses and inconveniences that can be conquered with the right motivation and a little effort. I don't have the luxury of spontaneity for my social outings, but the right company and the right place are the kind of impetus that planning ahead and venturing forth worth it. Thanks to this blog I've made a few local friends and, for the first time in my life, have connected with other disabled women whose company I enjoy. It's great to be able to hang out over drinks or a meal and communicate, commiserate, absorb, and advise.
But you need the perfect place to do so. Fortunately, I found it in Pinewood Social.
Pinewood Social is one of Nashville's newest dining and socializing experiences. It's become one of Nashville's must-visit culinary establishments and was recently featured in USA Today. Unlike so many places that become the buzz-du-jour, this one actually lives up to the hype. The spacious brick building is divided into multiple lounging and dining areas with a central bar and a small bowling alley in the back. The inside is reminiscent of an old factory with polished cement floors, whitewashed walls and high ceilings. Despite it's size the ambiance is cozy and relaxed with a friendly feel and the service is attentive without being oppressive.
The food is straight up good. The menu is upscale and offbeat without being pretentious and my two visits yielded no disappointments . I could've made a meal out of the Fried Broccoli with Lemon Zest and Almond Garlic dipping sauce. Then again, I happily dug into a Pork Belly Salad with Poached Egg. I also sampled their Smoked Trout Omelette and a slice of Cherry Crumble pie. I'm in good company when it comes to my opinion on the food. Pinewood has recently been nominated for The 2014 James Beard Award in the category of Best Restaurant.
My outfit is what I wore to a leisurely Saturday afternoon brunch here with my new friends Beth and Ali. It was still pretty chilly that day so I wore my black Covered Perfectly top underneath a blue Wearable fit and flare jacket. My black Style&Company jeans are courtesy of a one-day sale at Macy's. Beth also has Cerebral Palsy, uses a wheelchair, and can't drive, so I had to use my walker to accommodate her chair in our vehicle. That meant I had to wear flats so I pulled out my King of Pop oxfords from Shi. They worked perfectly with the afternoon's curated playlist, especially the Michael Jackson. The Fossil heart charm watch marks a shift towards more Springlike jewelry, even if the temperatures outside don't share the sentiment. Remember the Stitch Fix necklace? Here it is again, and I really love it.
The only song that could've been more appropriate is Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out" or maybe Pink's "Get the Party Started". Either way, this year I'm determined to be more social, and do both.