Have you ever experienced weird times when you come into contact with people by coincidence - or maybe your paths cross with people that you haven't heard from in as long time? It seems that it only happens during a short period of time. Like yesterday.
I started the day (at around 2:00) by visiting my friend, Fatima, and her family for lunch. I hadn't been to their house in probably 8 months. Their immediate family (brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, kids) has grown to 92 (the most recent, 10 days ago). They are always extremely kind and welcoming and treat me like a member of the family. Their mom used to draw water from a well as a girl (here in Kuwait) if that gives you any indication of her age. She always cooks for everyone.
Going to their house is a circus (or similar to an Italian dinner party). Everybody is shouting over each other to be heard; kids are running around screaming; food is being brought in and cleared out by people. It is madness. I love going there. No matter how much time passes, it is as if no time has passed (except there are more kids running around). We always manage to catch up where we left off.
The first time they invited me was 1993 when I first visited Kuwait. At that time, they were trying to hook me up with one of the brothers. Unfortunately, it didn't work for us. He's now married to a really nice American girl and they've got 2 kids. Anyhoo, sometimes when I visit for lunch, I wonder how I could ever fit into family life (as in with kids and stuff). That lifestyle is so foreign to me. You know - school, routine, lots of people. I don't know that I could ever do it. I like to visit that lifestyle every now and then, but then I go home.
Being off 3rd Ring Road, I decided to go to Ikea to buy More Crap I Really Don't Need. I was watching a lovely exchange between an American lady and her about-5-year-old son. He looked up at her and said, "I love you, mommy," and she responded with an "I love you too." It reminded me of my sister and her son. It was such a sweet, endearing moment that I probably wouldn't have thought twice about otherwise, but I was still reflecting on the family thing. It was already a great day, and watching the pretty lady and her son just made me smile (making passers-by wonder why I was walking around alone with a shopping cart with a stupid grin on my face). As I got up to the check-out counter, the same woman and her son were in front of me. She turned and said my name and it was STINNI!!!!! I have been talking to her on the phone and exchanging e-mails with her for years (I'm a blogger because I stumbled across hers). It was so nice to finally meet her (and Stinni, you DEFINITELY DON'T need botox, girl! You look great!) I wanted to run over and hug her, but I'm never sure to what degree of touchy-feely other people are and I didn't want to weird her out on our first meeting.
After Ikea, I had about 2.5 nanoseconds to take a shower before Bunny came to pick me up to go to SheeshaGirl's house for a dinner party. Unfortunately, we showed up late because I forgot that Bunny's car window was broken and put it down by accident. We had to go to a mechanic to put it back up. Ooops. (Why doesn't he just FIX it???)
I don't know what I really expected SheeshaGirl's house to be like, but I was blown away. It is full of antiques and books from her parents' lifetimes of travels around the world. It was gorgeous and I felt so at home there. Her 2 big retrievers made it feel even more like home. The food was also awesome and I'm sorry, but I don't believe that SheeshaGirl did it all herself. There were about 12 of us and after dinner and desert, we sat around and basically had a SheeshaGirl/SailorMan roast. I felt really bad for them at some points. Jeff was going after them like he was a stand-up comedian. I don't think he came up for air once (or will ever be invited back there!) Several times, Bunny went to their rescue and led them out for smoke breaks. I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard - almost into an athesma attack.
Bunny and Naz were recruited (as they are GEEKS) to help fix SheeshaGirl's home PC ("It's hosed."), so they stayed behind.
5 of us piled into Brazilian's 4-wheel-drive-uphill-in-reverse Corolla to go to a house party in Fintas. The place was really cool - it kind of reminded me of a trendy club in DC (that I can't remember the name of right now); very nice decor. As soon as I walked in, someone shouted my name. It turned out to be a guy I adore who still works at the KGB. He introduced me to his friends and cousins. About an hour later, another cousin walked in and recognized me from San Diego in 1992 (it used to be my favorite Sprintime vacation spot). I couldn't believe that he recognized me after all this time (I'm WAY cuter now! LOL), but my philosophy is this: You always remember the crazy people (call 484-3900 to look up YOUR old friends!). It was so nice to meet up with old friends.
We started to make our way to the gate at around 3, by way of the saj stand outside next to the pool. As Jeff said, "I crave these things; it is what keeps me coming back here." (Yeah, sandwiches, company, "refreshments", and dancing too!). I stopped to play with their 2-month old German Shepherd puppy and we headed home.
DesertDawg is the jealous type and knew right away that I had been with another dog. She gave me The Look and kind of turned her nose up at me. I had to spend extra time playing with her and her new stuffed monkey (which I am thinking of naming "Lulu" just for shyts and giggles!). (Thankfully, after "cheating" with another dog, I didn't receive any doggy gifts in the morning.)
I fell into a happy slumber just as the sun was coming up. It was a really wonderful, happy day.