Barbara: I had to work in a stranger’s house the other day. A whole slew of us were hosted by this gorgeous, maybe late 60s woman (age guessed at not by looks—which were FABULOUS—but by age of grown children) and her husband. Well, their place was heavenly, set in a garden-oasis, beautifully manicured, eclectic taste, photos and paintings covering every square inch of wall. The whole place just had a kind of cozy charm. To top that off, the host and hostess watched our work-related shenanigans with elegant grace, only occasionally sidling over to chit-chat and answer our myriad questions about the up-keep of such a magical property as well as proffering photo albums that showed the garden in its various beautiful states and garden-parties filled with happy revelers. It was all so, I don’t know … idyllically normal??
But then! Near the end of the day, I had a quiet moment to really look at some of the photos that lined the MAIN hallway—through which, remember, dozens of strangers had already trod––and, yes, there were several of the requisite photos with children and grand-kids and black-and-whites of yesteryear—but smack in the middle of all these, with a true “place of honour” so to speak, was a very large framed photo-collage filled with several images of our gentle host and hostess and their friends in what I can only describe as full swinger-mode! She in hot pants and bikini top, thigh-high suede boots, he (and several of the men) wearing their ladies’ bras. Lots of dancing in the photos, but the grinding kind, you know with (clothed) crotches in people’s faces. Two-on-one kind of action. You get the picture.
It was one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks moments—where the superficial idea you had of someone suddenly shifts dramatically. Not just because of the swinging, mind, but thanks to the unadulterated (no pun intended) joy in sharing their private fun with all who enter their home—even complete strangers! It kinda made me jealous. Not the swinging part—that’s not my scene—but their freedom from the constraints of “normal” (“normal” in this dictionary meaning that most people wouldn’t necessarily collage and frame their excesses, then hang them in the entrance hall for all to see). And yet these two were all the best parts of “normal”: gracious, kind, and benevolent. As you can see, the whole “affair” really fascinated me! Oh, the many faces of regular life!
Deb: I love it––photo of the great-great-grandparents, a christening, a grad, some swingers, a baby photo ...”One of these things is not like the others!” Boys and girls, can you find the one that doesn’t fit?