We had guests at the Compound this weekend. A family of four. This meant eight people in a household normally designed for four. You can imagine the productivity in the house went absolutely to shit.
The guests were perfect, surprisingly. One is a badass who works with the State Department and has probably toppled three governments and assassinated a few dictators, if not drug lords. He’s currently studying Spanish for his next job in a country where we’re not building a wall and making said country pay for it. As you can imagine, he’s a completely nice, wonderful guy who has nothing but love in his heart.
His wife is the perfect person for his next assignment. A Spanish teacher, she’s taught everywhere from Africa to Australia as her husband travels. Their two kids are the epitome of everything you’d want in kids: bright, looking into science and engineering, athletic, and inquisitive. She speaks Spanish to her kids just as much as English, and the kids responded in return.
I expected the two days to be a shitshow. No sleep, complaining kids, no help whatsoever. Again, there was a surprise. They did the dishes. They helped with the kids. We took everyone to the zoo yesterday and they graciously paid for all the people needing tickets. They were gracious when we made them dinner.
Today they leave, and life returns to normal. I’ll actually miss the lot of them. It was a nice visit, and one that forced me to relax a bit. Yesterday I got the first chance to really “play” and relax. The four guests were completely wonderful, and the time flew by to the point I didn’t even realize what hour it was and when the kids needed to be in bed.
The weekend was a nice reminder that not all house guests are like viruses. You can have a select few that are good and will give you a good time when they come by. A select few might even make your life easier when they show up. It just depends on the person or people who show for a few days.
Still, horrendous curmudgeon that I am, I waited to figure out when they would leave, what time, so I could put on my nice happy smiley face, wish them a good day, and then get back to my normal business of being an utter bastard. That’s what my people do. We act like we’re the nicest on earth and preach civility until someone acts a fool or tries to be a dick, then the lawyer kicks in and we respond accordingly.
Our short time with the guests was a nice reminder that it’s okay to let our guard down occasionally around those we can trust. The trick, unfortunately, is figuring out who you can let your guard down when they’re near so the wrong person doesn’t get the chance to stab you in the back.
Sometimes you can actually have fun when people come to visit. It’s a nice reminder that there are good folks out there, especially for those people like me in a profession where you see the worst in everyone. Unfortunately, these moments come few and far between.
I’ll actually look forward to these guests coming back. They did all the dishes.