I just had the most interesting conversation with a business acquaintance of mine named James W. He set about to describe my influence in his family’s satisfactory and straightforward lives; where traditions are paramount and routines are a religious experience.
My presence in this self-proclaimed Nirvana was described as set forth below, in what I think was meant to be a complimentary fashion. What do you think?
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You make our day to day more interesting. A breath of fresh air. You add even more enjoyment to an already happy home.
You add color and dimension.
OK. I’m still on board. Though, here’s where it starts to get all Comedy Central…
I have to admit, we began to question whether it was going to be OK to have you around because things are quite fine as they are. A little boring, maybe, but solid. Foundational. And, well, you do have a lot of energy.
A lot of energy? Is that what you call exuberance for life expressed in each moment? OK. I’m still listening.
Your expressiveness is, at times, so much so that we began to wonder if we dare do it (have me around), because it is so good as it is. We somehow feared you might spread your… well… let’s call it your joy in unexpected ways, and that in the doing your mere presence might upset our stable apple cart of a lifestyle…
What a crack up! To me, that’s like saying. “Yes, I’m happy, but I’m only allowed to be so happy. Must make sure I don’t cross my daily happiness threshold!”
…you know… if it’s not broke don’t fix it kinda thing?”
Too much happiness? Too funny! Then he compared me to a house.
Let me try and say it this way. Let’s say we wanted to freshen up the place. By no means do anything as crazy as, I mean, a remodel, or something of that nature, but, say, adding a coat or two of paint to some of the walls – maybe even in a more risqué color like yellow or mauve. Or, say, moving around the furniture. Or, planting some nice small, yet tasteful flowers along the walkway out front. You know. Nothing to big or gaudy. That would be a nice change. Right? You know, make things a bit more beautiful around the homestead?
So now I’m paint, furniture, and small flowers? LOL.
I’m sure he realized at some level of reality he should STOP TALKING, but my silence (with a bit of a smirk) seemed to encourage him to “try again.” This time it was going out to dinner with the spouse.
They often eat out, planning the escapades for certain days of the week, at a certain time, to restaurants found on a certain, acceptable short list. Having accompanied them on a number of occasions, I can confidently note they order the same consumables every time, as well. Both of them. He, salmon with a lemon twist, broiled. Steamed vegetables. Water. Hot tea. No sugar. She, pasta with a basil tomato sauce, side salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Water. Two Stoli martinis, each with four olives on the side..
With you around, it is like going to a new establishment and ordering something I’d never tried before. Nothing too spicy, of course. Bold, right?
Oh brother, I’m crying inside with laughter now.
You’d think the fun would end here, but No ho ho! Next up, he swung towards a general overview approach, remaining classically conservative.
You just liven things up. he said. …and we’re steady with it. We’d like to continue on with this arrangement (referring to my consulting work for them), now that we can see having you around won’t “throw it all off.
Throw it all off! Ooo. Hmmm. That sounds marvelously mischievous and right up my alley!
We trust you. See your value. Feel protected.
“Psychically protected,” I whispered under my breath. Value added like coupons for free soap at the laundromat. Like moving forward in a calculated, smart, and intentionally slow manner as one does when they evaluate the purchase of a new dishwasher.
What did you say?
“I said, Gee thanks!”
And, believe it or not, he continued!
Having you here is like adding some dimension, some color, some detail. And we like it. Don’t question it. You are the vitality in our otherwise comfortable day.
Full circle back to color and dimension. Yes, but of which dimension? LOL. I felt it was time to change the subject.
“Hey, thanks! Good to know. So, we still on for dinner? Where do ya wanna go? I know a good dumpster we can dive on 5th and Flower.”