Stranger in the House
strange man is coming to live with us for the next three days.
don't know very much about him. I don't know his exact shoe size, for example. I'm not
sure what his favorite food is, or what kind of music he listens to
these days. I don't know what time he gets up in the morning. I don't
know what his career plans are at the moment. I have no idea what he
likes to do for fun anymore.
don't even know the name of his best friend.
you ... he's not a total stranger. I talk to him on
the phone at least two or three times a week. (He's got a deep, warm,
friendly voice that always puts me in mind of my ex-husband, for some
reason.) We exchange the occasional e-mail. We usually remember each
other's birthday. He came to my wedding last summer -- handsomely
dressed in a brand-new shirt and tie -- and he kept me company/made me
laugh/held me together while I nervously waited for the ceremony to
begin. If we didn't live a thousand miles apart from each other, he's
the kind of person I would probably enjoy hanging out with.
... I'm nervous about this weekend. What if things are awkward between
us? What if we run out of stuff to talk about? What if he hates being
if he hates ME?
tells me I'm being silly. "This is your chance to get to know each
other again," he says reassuringly. "We're all going to have a great
hope he's right. The truth is that I'm actually pretty darned fond of this
strange man who will be sleeping on our sofa/emptying our
refrigerator/riding around in the backseat of our car for the next three days.
He's got beautiful brown eyes, a wicked sense of humor, and one of the
kindest hearts I've ever known. He gives a mean neck-rub, usually when you're least expecting it (and
most in need of it). Plus he reminds me a lot of a little boy
I used to know, a long time ago: a little boy who wore a Size 9 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtle sneaker and who considered Spaghetti-O's one of
the four major food groups ... a little boy who woke with the birds in
the morning, and who stomped around the house singing "Hangin' Tough"
in a sweet soprano voice ... a little boy who planned to be Batman when
he grew up, and who liked to build backyard forts and snuggle on laps
and shoot one-handed hoops from the back porch before dinner ...
and whose best friend's name was "Mom."