Sometimes Our Simple Joys Are Casualties to Our Awareness
Fascinating experience about a year back.
We visited a friend. He invited us to his house. We’d never been. The plan was to get together for dinner. We brought dessert (Susan makes killer desserts. The main course is often the vector to her dessert concoctions).
We arrived, rang the bell, the door opened, we were greeted. The dessert was put in the kitchen next to a big bowl of salad (talk about nutritional contrasts), our coats were taken (it was mid-March) and then…
And then our friend gave us a tour of their house.
A quick race up the stairs and “This is the guest room. This is the our bedroom. This is Virginia’s office. Here’s the upstairs bath.” Back down stairs. “This is the kitchen. This is the dining room. This is the living room.” Through a french door. “This is our deck. We’ll be dining here, tonight.” There was a chiminea, thank god for warmth (we planned to do some stargazing. I didn’t realize he meant during dinner). Quickly back through the french door and “Here’s the downstairs bathroom and that brings us back to the kitchen.”
How nice. We were almost out of breath.
But we weren’t done.
“And in the basement…”
We only came for a friendly dinner. We’re not here to purchase. What was this about?
The entire time our friend smiled. Virginia chuckled (we learned later she’d been through this before and had learned to enjoy the experience). It was an odd smile. Not happiness so much as joyful. Almost proud or prideful.
We were smiling and thoroughly confused.
Some three hours later, on our way home from a pleasant evening, Susan asked, “What was that about?”
The cultural anthropologist in me was already on the case. “I’m not sure. Some kind of tribal thing, I’m sure. I’ll ask when I think it’s appropriate.”
Now, something you need to know; if you’re Joseph’s friend, your actions, thoughts, words, statements, language, behaviors, … everything becomes storyfodder. Do something that intrigues me and I’m going to ask you questions about it.
Hence about three months ago, during lunch, “Bob, remember that first time we came over?” He nodded. “Was there a reason you gave us a tour of your house?”
Bob stared at me. “I gave you a tour of our house?” I described our first five minutes visiting. “Wow. I don’t even remember doing that.”
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