. . . and another departure (but a good one!)


-- चार हजार तीन सौ पंद्रह --

After I posted yesterday's entry about hanging out with Uncle David and Mary Ann, who stayed at our place for the first time, on Saturday and yesterday morning and early afternoon, we never went out again. But! After some back and forth similar to that which occurred before brunch, now about dinner, Shobhit and I made pizza for us all to have for dinner. Mary Ann made some mention about "waiting on them hand and foot," but Shobhit did not want to go out again and have them pay for yet another meal. I would have been fine with that, but then, I have no shame. Besides, as they pointed out, we're saving them quite a bit in two nights of hotel costs by having them stay with us.

And by all appearances, they seemed perfectly comfortable, which rather pleased me. Surprisingly so, even: Mary Ann was in the guest bathroom and said, "Who cleans your place?" I was like, "We do," and she said, "Can you come clean our place?" She literally said our place was "perfect," which, let's be honest, was ridiculous. Hell, just have Gabriel come over; he'll zero in on every nook and cranny that's covered in dust. My only point is, our place is hardly perfectly clean. I had even slightly worried about how I can't seem to get the guest bathroom faucet free of weird smudges, or at least I haven't tried hard enough, and hoped they didn't notice. Clearly they didn't.

We baked the last of the five pizzas we got on sale at QFC a couple of months ago. I was sure that would not be enough for all four of us (like, two rather small slices each) and so I also baked to of the extra Tandoor Chef Naan pizzas we had in the freezer -- the latter two were basically for Shobhit and me; he ate the jalapeño one and I ate the margherita one. Uncle David and Mary Ann, for the most part, split the QFC pizza -- on all of them, we added fresh chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, mushroom), veggie pepperoni, and extra mozzarella. Of the eight slices of the QFC pizza, Mary Ann had three; Uncle David had four; and Shobhit and I split the last one. They both commented on how good they thought it was, Mary Ann more than once.

And then, shortly after dinner -- after watching an episode of The Family Guy that Uncle David and particularly Mary Ann seemed surprisingly into -- we all took up my suggestion of going to the roof of our building to see the sunset, which two of the skyline shots in this very entry are pictures of. (The first shot, above, is the view from Magnolia earlier yesterday afternoon, from across the street from Grandma and Grandpa Minor's old house.) Naturally I also got a photo up there of the two of them with the skyline behind them, which I posted to Facebook, and seems to be especially popular with their Facebook friends.

We also gave them the "grand tour" of the rest of the complex, including the community kitchen, the movie theatre, the yoga room that opens up to an inner courtyard in the west building, and three of the rooftop decks on the west building (yielding the photo seen at the very bottom of this entry, a vantage point of the skyline from one of our rooftops that I can't believe it seems I have never taken a picture of before). We came back up to the condo and watched a little more TV -- including this week's episode of The Simpsons -- before I went to bed.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ पंद्रह --

It's been really interesting getting to know Uncle David as an adult in a way I never could before, between their 2015 visit and this visit. (Remember, before 2015, I hadn't seen him since I was 20, and that was for Grandpa's memorial service. They returned again when Grandma died a year later, but there was no memorial service for her and I stayed in Pullman.) It's somewhat jarring, because he looks incredibly like Grandpa, but their personalities are really nothing alike. Grandpa died at the age of 83 and that is only 12 years older than Uncle David is now, but a key difference here is that Grandpa was 63 years older than I was, and David, by comparison, is 29 years older than I am. So even though Uncle David is a bit old himself now, at 71, it's far easier to relate on a peer to peer level with him.

Also, Uncle David has had some mental health issues in his time, which I won't go into detail here because it's not my business to do so, but I only mention it because of the contrast to Grandpa. I mean, Grandpa was in the army during World War II, never stationed overseas but still, that kind of thing probably makes a difference. For all I know he had plenty of issues of his own, but he certainly never let on, perhaps in large part because of the generation he was from. Also, we never discussed this during this visit, but I remember Uncle David mentioning in 2015 that he kind of struggled with his relationship with Grandpa -- the opposite of Mom, who loved Grandpa but had a terrible relationship with her mother. It probably also makes a difference that Uncle David is five years older than Mom, and that's a fairly significant difference.

Uncle David did mention at one point yesterday how proud Grandpa was of being a WSU alumnus, and Uncle David had no interest in going to college there, much as Grandpa would have loved him to. My decision to go to WSU had zero to do with Grandpa -- in fact I didn't even know much about Grandpa's time there until after I made that decision -- but it sure delighted Grandpa to the hilt that it's where I was going. The details I always remember about Grandpa telling me of his time at WSU, which was in the early 1930s, was that he had a friend who was the single person on campus who owned a car; and that he worked at the cafeteria for 34 cents an hour.

Anyway. The way I remember Grandpa is of a man who exuded confidence and authority. In retrospect, that could also just be considered stubbornness. After all, I remember when I went to Sun City, Arizona for Christmas in 1990 and mentioned that our bathroom had no shampoo. It didn't even occur to him to find me some shampoo, and he insisted that just using the bar soap to wash my hair was fine. I still bristle at that. Uncle David, by contrast, spends no time being forceful about anything ever, and seems more like a regular, nice guy just making his way in the world as best he can. There's something endearing about it.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ पंद्रह --


-- चार हजार तीन सौ पंद्रह --

. . . Aaaand now! It's 1:20 pm as I write this, and I've just returned from riding my bike home for lunch and then riding back again, something I have never done before -- and honestly I've impressed myself by doing it in a turnaround time of only 80 minutes. The bike ride home takes about 25 minutes, as it's at least half of it uphill, at least three quarters of those hills rather steep; this makes it easy to get down here from home within between 15 and 20 minutes. I altered my route back slightly since it was mid-day and traffic was heavier; I didn't want to ride on 4th Avenue so I took the bike path on 2nd all the way from Pine.

I was home maybe ten or 15 minutes before Uncle David and Mary Ann left. Should I count that on the Social Review? Probably not. They both get a point each for both Saturday and Sunday and we spent all of those days with them.

As they were gathering their luggage by the front door, I spied an American currency bill in Uncle David's hand. I could not see what the value was, and I made the slightest start at the sight of it; he wasn't about to try giving me money, was he? Then I rationalized, surely they just want to have cash on hand at the airport.

And then, only a couple of minutes later, Uncle David approached with his arm outstretched and I thought he was about to give me a hug. He slipped the bill into my breast pocket. I looked down and it was . . . $100! Jesus Christ.

"I can't accept that!" I said, genuinely shocked. "It's way too much!" No matter how much I protested, though, they refused to take it back.

"We researched hotels in the area," Mary Ann said, "and this was the cheapest we could find." Very clever. She then noted that they never did buy us a wedding present -- we got married five years ago -- so perhaps we could use it to buy ourselves something of that nature, and just let them know what we got.

Having no choice in the matter of taking the money, I actually rather liked this idea. I texted Shobhit about it and we both agreed we would get alcohol with it. We had asked not to get wedding gifts, after all -- Shobhit and I had already been together nine years by that point and really had everything we needed -- but people really wanted to come with a gift of some kind anyway, so a bunch brought us booze. And we were all over that. So, using the money to buy liquor actually fits perfectly with one of the themes of our wedding. And I bet they'll get a kick out of it when I send them a photo of our liquor bottles (of which there likely will only be two or three, large ones from Costco).

I walked with them down the elevator and into the garage to their rental car. Even after basically training them on how to use the spare set of keys, they never did leave anywhere this morning. They just had the coffee Shobhit left for them, and I guess they'll have their first meal of the day at the airport -- food apparently included in their business class tickets.

I helped heave their huge suitcases into their trunk, and we hugged goodbye. I said, "Hopefully we'll come see you in Australia sooner than later." Then Uncle David said, "Once you have an idea when you'll be coming, let us know, and, we'll help you out however we can." I thanked him, not knowing exactly what that meant, but it was still nice of him to say.

I opened the garage door for them with my fob, and they were off. Another visit with Uncle David and Mary Ann, over and done with. I do hope the next time we see them will actually be in Adelaide.

-- चार हजार तीन सौ पंद्रह --


[posted 1:33 pm]