Headed out to West God Bless Virginia today to visit a friend's family. Well, maybe he's not a friend. Yet. This is going to sound way more illicit than it is, but here goes: he is my nurse when I go to NIH. I'd spend hours there some days, and he was the guy helping me out, setting up my meds and blood and whatnot, and we just started talking about our kids, significant others, etc, and really hit it off. He would make my 8-10 hour stints there fly by, mostly because he was so funny and just not your average nurse--male OR female. I would tell him about how I hated that my meds were causing me to gain weight and he was able to be both a nurse and a guy:
Nurse response: Oh please!; you're gonna have to take a lot more meds to get fat
Guy response: Hatin' your back porch, are ya? Well, let's see what we can do to not make it a full-on veranda.
Back to Nurse response: would you like to try some exercises and techniques to help you reverse the trend you are feeling is occurring?
He's just a cool person, and we talked around the issue of us getting our kids together to play, since his son is about the same age as The Bambina. We went back and forth, and finally settled on today as the day. And so off to West Virginia we travelled, wondering the whole way what to expect: would there be a bible study group in the living room? Would there be an Amway group ready to give us the gospel of wealth via laundry detergent? Worst case scenario: Nikken. The disciples of those health magnets that are supposed to cure arthritis, diverticulitis and myasthenia gravis at the same time.
Total freak out ensues. Oh dear god, what are we doing?! What if The Bambina ain't havin' any of it? What if we get there and have nothing to talk about now that he's not taking my vitals every 15 minutes? I am driving myself and my child to WEST VIRGINIA to hang out with a guy I know in only one context and whose children might be horrifying rural ruffians who try to get The Bambina to light firecrackers in the butts of cats and squirrels! He might be terrible at home! What if his fun, cool, former military outdoorsy guy persona is just a cover for his posse comitatus membership? What if his "lovechild of Ethan Hawke and Jason Bateman" looks are a mask he wears in the city, and he really looks like the lovechild of Marilyn Manson and Kid Rock?! I AM INSANE TO BE DOING THIS!!
So what happens?
The most boring, not-even-remotely-blog-fodder outcome: He's lovely, his family is lovely, his baby son was adorable, his 4-year old son was a gem to The Bambina, playing with her and carrying her stuffed dog, and trying to get us to roleplay Star Wars with him and his multiple light sabers. We walked down to his lake front and sat in his canoe, let the kids play with the oars, and then went back to the house and ate taquitos.
SOOOO not my impression of West Virginia, and so not what I expected from the day. Which shows that sometimes making the crazy decision to get out of your comfort zone, to do something that feels weird but that has potential, is sometimes the sanest decision you can make. As long as that decision does not involve lighting firecrackers up the butts of small animals...