My seatmate for my California flight was returning from Germany, where he’d been stationed in the Army for the past two years. Kirk and I talked about a little of everything and the two and a half hours flew by.
At one point, in relation to something I can’t recall, he said that “everything happens for a reason” – likely my least favorite saying in the world. I asked, “Are you serious; like the things that happen are special or magical in some way?” I’d gotten comfortable enough with him to call him out on what I consider to be doggy doo.
“No, no. Not that,” he replied, and I was somewhat relieved. “I mean, each thing that happens to me affects other things for me down the road. I guess I could have said, ‘Everything that happens in my life affects me in some way’, more or less. But the other sounds better.”
Kirk’s a smart guy who leads with platitudes. (For the record, I believe the only “reason” things happen is because something else didn’t happen instead.)
Soon after we landed and stepped outside the Bob Hope Airport, a lively carful of his friends pulled up to the curb. While I waited for Leann, Kirk invited us both to his welcome-home party in a few days and we exchanged numbers.
“Who is this again?! Some guy from the plane?” Leann didn’t seem excited about going to Kirk’s party. “Well where does he live? Valencia?!? Susan, that’s really far.” Uh, he said it’s twenty minutes. “People always say ‘twenty minutes’. Without traffic maybe. But there’s always traffic. Always.”
So we didn’t go to Kirk’s party. But a few days later, I found myself with a spare day between my visit with Leann and my next stop in SoCal, so I gave Kirk a call. He said if I wanted, I could come hang out with his family and sleep in his parents’ RV parked in the driveway (which doubles as a guest wing apparently.)
The Google maps image of their address indeed showed a motor home in the driveway, next to a cute, suburban house. “That’s where they’re going to murder you,” Leann cautioned. I combed Kirk’s facebook and decided that no one who has this adorable pic of his parents posted could murder anyone.
And I was right. (See? A murdered person couldn’t type this.) I had a great time! I was greeted at the door by 3 wild pups. Well, one puppy, an old codger-dog and a shy wallflower doggie. Office Space was playing on the TV – one of my favorite scenes where Peter’s “explaining” his role at the company, namely how he zones out every morning for 2 hours.
I had one of the most excellent burgers I’d ever had from Fatburgers, then stayed up late talking to his mom about how sketchy a couple of the girls were at Kirk’s welcome home party. (The word “strippers” was thrown around.) Mom told me that Kirk was quite welcoming of all types of girls and that their expectations were quite low when he told them someone “from the plane” would be coming by. Once when Kirk left the room, his (fraternal) twin, Kyle, let me in on a scandalous detail about Kirk and one of the girls.
Kyle’s the “intellectual” of the duo. I told him to drop that moniker and to embrace “nerd”. He’s a stubborn one, that one. Here I am with the twins and Mr. Grumpy-Dog. Kirk’s on the right with some disgusting dip shoved into his bottom lip. Gross!
The mobile home was cold like a fridge, so Kirk slept out there while I slept like a baby on the sleeper-sofa. After a leisurely brunch of eggs benedict and bloody marys (favorites!) the next morning, I was off to my next stop in SoCal.
**Note: I’m behind on my blogging. Bear with until the weekend. I promise to be caught up my then.**