A surprise, especially a happy and pleasant one, is always welcome! It has a unique way of brightening-up one’s day and enlivening one’s life. It makes the time all the more valuable as it adds a sense of both joy and purpose. Surprises are generally completely unexpected and usually happen without much notice or preparation. The surprise can be beneficial in many different ways – some immediate and some when the unexpected slowly erodes into the past.
Such is the case for a “surprise” that occurred in our household and lives this past weekend. Aaron, my spouse, received a telephone call while at his work this past Thursday from his aunt who lives in Canada. Her son, a 19 year old student at McGill University, wanted to come spend a week with us in the Washington, D.C., area of the United States. Would we be willing to entertain him?
Aaron responded in the affirmative and then sent me a text message informing me of the upcoming visit from his young cousin. I responded my confirmation and asked when his cousin was expected.
Approximately a half hour later, I received an apologetic response to my reply. It seems that no sooner had Aaron sent me his text than his telephone buzzed. His cousin, Michael, had called him. He was in Roanoke, Virginia, visiting with Aaron’s parents and could be in Arlington (where we live) Saturday morning. He would like to spend a week with us in our home. He ended his text with a question: Was I okay with this?
No problem was my reply.
I immediately pulled our vacuum cleaner from the closet and began vacuuming our one bedroom condominium home. I wanted to make sure the place was spotless for our guest.
I’d met Michael only once before, back in 2012. He was a somewhat awkward and quiet teenager then. I wasn’t really certain what he was like now. However, he was a member of my spouse’s extended family and I was determined to make his visit with us as enjoyable as was humanly possible. Fortunately, my summer semester class at my university was over and I had all my days free from any pressing responsibility.
By the time that Aaron had returned home after work that Thursday night, he was visibly impressed on how our condo looked. It was indeed “spotless” except for the next batch of laundry I had waiting in our hallway. I was exhausted and could take care of that task very early Friday morning.
Michael arrived late Saturday morning. My first impression of him was how very handsome he appeared. He was smiling and obviously very happy. While Aaron helped him bring is luggage inside, I watched them while waiting to assist. I admit that I thought it odd that he had only an canvas overnight duffel bag to bring inside. As we climbed the stairs to our third level condo, I could see that both he and Aaron were engaged in a very serious conversation.
Once we were inside our home, Aaron gave Michael a quick tour throughout while I poured a lemonade glass for all of us. We sat at our dining table and Aaron proceeded to sign to me their conversation.
Michael remembered meeting me back in 2012 and understood that I am Deaf. Although he knows some basic words in Canadian Sign Language, he’s excited about learning some expressions in American Sign Language (ASL). He’s very comfortable and willing to write down any conversation with me. Since 2012, he has accepted the fact that he is same gender loving (gay) and that he’s also a bare practitioner (naturist/nudist). Now, I know why he has only one overnight canvas duffel bag.
For the remainder of a rainy Saturday afternoon, we spent the time together clothes free and exchanging updates in our lives. Over dinner in a local gay restaurant, Michael shared with us that he’d love to see the Washington, D.C., tourist attractions and to spend whatever time available with the both of us, two proud nudist gay men who were related to him (with me being related through marriage).
It should be a very productive and fun week! A very pleasant and wonderful surprise, indeed!