Monday, May 20, 2013

Kind Sentiments & Funny Stories

I returned home from Barcelona to find a couple of nice messages waiting for me.  In a world where I'm often confronted with pain and negativity, they were welcomed surprises.

  • A colleague of D's told him to tell me that he would like to travel with us one day.  That he wanted to hang out with me during the day so we could hit some galleries together (he is quite artistic) or just follow me around if I needed my space and then spend time with D in the evenings to drink at all the beer gardens (was referring to Munich but would be open to any location of our choice).   And apparently, he'd like me to help them with their finances because he couldn't believe we had accounts for stuff like roofs and cars etc.  That came out after he kept telling D how sorry he was when D told him we had just gotten our roof done at home.  He assumed it was a traumatic incident financially.  D finally had to tell him I had it saved for it in one of my accounts long ago.  Ditto for the cottage roof we had done a couple of years ago.  And there is money saved for a future air conditioning unit at home and septic system up north -- The next 2 biggest things that could go wrong.  He couldn't believe people do that.  They are expecting their 2nd child and are completely unprepared.  So if I could help out asap, that would be great.  The funny thing?  He's never met me!  How would he know we'd even get along, just based on what he's heard?  I was flattered nonetheless.  I think we'll start with having them over for dinner first. 
  • Since signing in only once into the machine that is Facebook, I've been getting all these messages.  There must have an area that announces who is back because I've done nothing with my profile other than answered some long outstanding emails.  Anyway, I received a message from an old friend of D's from his university days.  We only met once, 7 years ago at a Christmas party and bonded over Bourbon (to D's disgust) of all things.  When I do drink, it tends to be the hard stuff.  No fruity mixed drink for me.  Well, he sent me an email asking if we were wanted fugitives because we had been keeping such a low profile?  That he really missed my travel photos but was sure there was a reason behind the change and to say Hi to D.   His message really touched me because out of all D's friends, I would consider him to have the most balanced family life (super Dad), the most "manly" job (coast guard), but not much of a talker.  So for someone like him to send a message was a big deal and I didn't miss catching that.  He's turning 50 along with some of D's other buddies and one the wives has approached D to help organize a guy's trip to Europe (probably Munich) as a birthday celebration.  None of the wives have ever been to Europe nor wished to go, which really surprised me.    
  • This happened in Barcelona -- I was trolling around my favourite seafood bar, looking for an open seat when I finally found one.  This was my 2nd attempt, 4th day at it -- Hadn't had much luck.  Unbeknownst to me, spring hours were different from summer hours (opposite of what made sense).  So feeling pretty proud of myself, I hunkered down and was going over my order in my head in Spanish when the waiter came over and told me they were closed.  I had missed last call.  I must have looked appropriatedly shattered because the Gentleman beside me said a bunch of things (in Catalan so no entiendo here) and gestured at me but to no avail.  He then leaned over and said in English,  "I told him to please, give her some food!"  I burst out laughing and thanked him profusely.  That made my day. 
  • This requires some background info -- One of our neighbours at the cottage is a single middle age woman who had her eyes set on D from the day she arrived.  I'm used to D getting a certain amount of female attention but this was ridiculous.  In fact, the first time she had us over for drinks, she leaned over to tell me she gave D double the amount of alcohol in his margarita and proceeded to look him up and down while I was sitting beside her!  Completely inappropriate.  I can tell you we've kept our distance after that evening.  D said he felt like he needed a shower after.  But often she would elicit D's help to move things etc.  He being a helpful soul, would always say yes.  Meanwhile, I'd wonder where he had gone for 45 min.  It's a good thing I'm not the jealous type nor am I one ounce threatened (I'd like to think if D was going to cheat, he'd at least pick someone I'd actually be jealous of...) but really?!  Makes us women look bad.  Even our other neighbours (mentioned in next story) have offered to set her up with potential long term mates... There is a consistent stream of new men invited to her cottage and she seems to be able to sniff out when I'm not around.  In the last couple of years I haven't been up much due to my travelling.  D would come up here when I'm away.  It wasn't until my last trip that it all made sense.  She invited D over for a bonfire since his "girlfriend" wasn't up.  D answered "I'm not sure about any girlfriends but MW my wife is in Barcelona and I'm sure she wouldn't want to hear about any girlfriends...".  To which she replied "Oh, wife?!".  It's been peaceful ever since... (I know I've referred to D as my husband more than once over the 9 years we've been neighbours.)  On this same topic, the only time I've ever felt longer than usual stares were in Reykjavik.  The women and men there stare with intensity (non blinking) way longer than we've ever experienced.  To the point where we'd turn around just to see and still find them staring.  Normally we're pretty oblivious to attention like that but it was impossible to ignore.  Intense geology, intense culture we're thinking. 
  • Final cottage story -- Our other neighbour is Italian.  Sometimes we have difficulty understanding what they are saying because of heavy accents.  So D and I were heading out on our walk yesterday and L, (the wife) came running out to the road to ask me how I was.  I replied with "Great, L, how about you?  How was your winter in Florida?".  So she filled me in and asked why we didn't buy in Florida.  To which I said I preferred Europe.  "But you cannot go all the time..", to which I just smiled and nodded...  She continued with, "So how are you?", "So you OK?", "So you are good?".  It finally came out that because she hadn't seen me for a while, only D mostly, she thought I had taken ill.  I assured her I was really fine.  To which she told us that they had recently lost some old friends and now there weren't really anyone around from their group so that is why they started going to Florida for a couple months, next year for 3 months.  Life is too short to wait.  We agreed.  I really appreciated her concern.  D complained that he never gets to experience those types of conversations.  I told him if you don't give, you don't get back. 


  1. Have to agree there, MW, you don't give then you don't get back.

  2. Speaking of giving, how is the situation for your family in Syria? Are things stabilizing at all? Have they had to move?