When people meet my family, only the small few survive the experience, let alone ask for another. We are loud and wild and we make the whole world a playground. I’d like to think that I possess the tact and grace to maintain my spawn, but unfortunately, I am as much a part of the chaos as anyone else. But thinking back on the encounter, I dare say we are not a forgettable crowd.
I recently had the opportunity to meet my neighbors. Now, I am not the overbearing kind of person to bring folks brownies (because they are half-eaten before they even get baked, and then the other half manages to be consumed in 2.3 minutes, the couch receiving the blunt edge of the chocolate carnage)or inviting people over for bar-b-q's (which requires chisels and mallets to break of the lovely carcinogenic cocoon). With my trusty sidekick of a husband out at work , “Hey ! Let’s go meet some fresh faces!” just doesn’t get done as much as it should. But I have been known walk over and introduce myself to relieve them of my Houdini-esque dog on occasion, which usually includes the children as well. Without the runaway dog, I have to resort to the kiddos. I find that they are a fabulous ice-breaker. Who can start a conversation about a pine cone? I ask you!
Linda and Harry are wonderful. They are at the cusp of retirement, married for thirty years with no children. Linda still says she is not from the area, that she moved here to get married but was originally from three hours south. Harry has lived in the same five mile radius his entire life, save the time he spend serving in the military.
Linda is a soft warm ocean breeze of a woman. Soft sandy hair and a soothing tone to her voice that can only be compared with Tupelo honey. Her other half, Harry is the polar opposite. Gruff, large with a commanding presence and giant voice. Both dripping with southern hospitality. We talked for two wonderful minutes. I stayed for twenty five more, but it was dealing with the children.
The first two minutes, lil Freckles stands obediently slightly swaying and Manimal JR. eying the cat, potted plants, and objects that look delicious(or at the very least passable through a GI tract).
The challenge of multi-tasking a polite chat with new acquaintances while shuffling children away from award winning Himalayan Cats as well as fine china is not just a challenge, but a feat of strength, stamina and patience. And it also requires a great bit of poise and selective hearing.
As the time edges towards five minutes, Freckles' sway evolves into a large swing, using her school backpack as a weight, narrowly missing delicate glass heirlooms and Manimal Jr. starts cornering animals and licking the plants.
They were delightful people, and I do hope to see them again....
By the end of our delightful time, the little manimal was playing a riotous game of 'gotchyourboob'. This is a game where he tells the world, or whom ever is closest, about his favorite toys; mom's boobs. And then he begins to show his undying love by singing the 'booby' song, peeking down my shirt and blowing strawberries on my shoulder. Nothing like the sound of farts to make a short stay even shorter.
By minute twenty of Harry's story of the area, tears were cresting the levy of conversation. The little man had just about had it with the china shop and the little lady was wanting to go home and plug into a website and log off from reality. With every ounce of my tact, I apologized and we exchanged emergency numbers and were off.
Such lovely people.....
Since our first introduction, I have heard not a peep from our dear neighbors. But I'm sure that there is a perfectly logical explanation. Maybe, like us, the little scrap of paper was placed conveniently over the recycling bin in their home, only to be swept into the abyss by a light breeze like ours did. Maybe they have been too busy seeking therapy for their traumatized cat, who fell victim to the overbearing love of the sticky fingered little man. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure we will be invited over for tea sometime soon.
What a delightful couple....