Prelude: Two bloggers arrange a 5 day visit after a couple of years of e-communication. They have never met. They have never spoken. Most say they are out of their minds. They retort - "Yeah, and?"
Enter Lizard Eater: A cute as a bug Texan with impossibly long, pretty hair and the pariah of her high school reunion because she looks so young. She comes bearing gifts - LOTS of them. Toys for children, shirt for hubby, funny car hats for me, food, and something that looked like a weapon from World of Warcraft (yeah right, as if I would know) but which benignly mixed hot chocolate.
Boring Plot Twist: Of course we didn't hate each other. Didn't dislike each other. Only found more things in common. She does have this freaky fruit aversion, but even that didn't keep us apart. More fruit for me.
Divine Intervention: We had the most beautiful weather while she was here. Cool, breezy, beautiful cloud patterns with plenty of sunshine. Have you ever seen a Texan weep for joy in May? Put them in 70 degree weather and hand them a free beer.
How to win me over for life:
Blurt out that I look like UU Barbie. (God bless that sweet, blind woman!)
Be discreet in your blog posts about my napping habit. (Reclining at both outdoor music venues, fell asleep in the car, on the sofa, in the recliner, in my daughter's bed.)
Wait until the end of the visit and then with diplomacy gently pronounce, "Your bout with viral meningitis is definitely nearing completion. You make SO MUCH MORE SENSE now than you did when I arrived!" (It sounds sweet when she says it.)
The Cupcakes: She's known for her cupcakes. Big deal these cupcakes are. She doesn't brag, but she does admit that people place orders for them by the dozens. It was the lack of bravado that made me beg/cajole for her to bake cupcakes on Friday. I am not overstating it one bit when I say: those were the best cupcakes I have EVER had in my ENTIRE life. (And, yes, my NYC friends, they are better than Magnolia.) We chose chocolate with chocolate icing. Absol-flippin-magni-stupendo-licious. She claims the caramel ones are better. I'm a bit of a Puritan and not sure people are allowed to be that happy, so I am sticking with choco choco delight. This was the point in the visit when the children started calling her mama and the husband tried to steal her return ticket home.
Ordain her now: I introduced this gal to the full breadth of my "eclectic" friends, neighbors, family, and congregation. With ease she bantered with the musicians. She talked sex education with a retired priest and his wife. She entertained my children, charmed my parents, helped my husband out when I was on my latest nap. She laughed at my best friends' jokes. (Not funny ones either.)She fell in love with our minister emeritus only moments after I said, "Liz, you are going to fall in love with our minister emeritus." AND she beautifully read the poetry of Lynda Hull and Mark Doty at the evening service. She's a Texan with theatre experience, four children, and a lifelong UU. Seminary education ain't got nothin' on that.
Boring Plot Twist 2: She will tell you that I was a great hostess. She lies. I did not make a single meal while she was visiting. Luckily, several meals came in from my mother and the church care committee. And it turns out that cupcakes can be a full meal.
God's work got done, too: We are religion geeks, after all. We talked theology, religious education, polity, ethics and more; all with my feet propped up on the couch and her in the recliner. That is the only civilized way to do something that geeky. We also compared music libraries of apocryphal holy music. Her best contribution: "Jesus loves me, but he can't stand you" by the Austin Lounge Lizards (I think.) My best contribution: "Whiskey or God" by the Texan Dale Watson.
Closing Credits: We boo hooed at the airport. I cried all the way home. I then took another nap and slept ten hours. We have plans for Houston in the Fall or maybe meeting in Mississippi. There's always New York. And the children want her back where she belongs - in the guest room - as soon as possible.
Photos to follow as soon as I can find the camera. And the thing to plug into the computer. And get the internet to stay up. This could be awhile. Check out her blog "The Journey" while you wait. I've paid her good money to say nice things about me.