Home is Where You Keep Your Fire Extinguisher

After my last blog entry regarding Bob’s housewarming party, I figured I should follow up with how the party actually went.

We pulled into the very “suburban” appearing neighborhood and searched for the address.  As we found it, we also noticed that inside of the garage of the home across the street was a full sized kettle grill with high-leaping flames shooting from it.  A petite woman of oriental descent was sitting near the inferno, and a couple of children were dancing around in the garage.  It was a curious scene.  One that was apparently due to the scattered sprinkles the day had brought.  Throughout the evening, we waited to hear emergency sirens and expected to look out to see the neighbors’ home engulfed in flames.

Bob greeted us at the door and introduced us to the four other people who had already arrived.  There was another couple (engaged to be married) and two young, single women.  After some introductions and wine pouring, Bob took us on a tour of his beautiful new home.  When I mentioned in the previous post that Bob owns virtually no possessions, I was not kidding.  Two of the bedrooms upstairs would have had nothing in them if it weren’t for two small cat carriers that he said matched the walls of one of the rooms, and a stray cat toy tossed into the other.  The large bonus room over the garage was completely empty.  The tour didn’t take very long.  There is only so much a person can discuss about blank walls and bare rooms.

After our tour, another couple arrived.  Over dinner, conversations ranged from wedding planning and bachelor parties to work related subjects and the enjoyment of the tasty dishes everyone had brought.  After dinner, Michael introduced the card game “Oh Hell” and everyone played the game.  During the card game, another person arrived.  Another single male.  With his arrival, the dynamics of the group changed.

After the card game ended, the housewarming guests left, with the exception of Michael and me.  We stayed to visit with Bob, and to wait for the fire trucks to show up across the street.

It was then that we were treated to some of Bob’s inside information on the other guests.  It seems that Bob, while not interested in either of the single girls at his party, is slightly miffed that one, or perhaps both, of the girls may very well be interested in the last lone male to arrive.  Bob realizes that the girls are both just slightly over half his age, and are not the “type” of girls in which he is normally interested.  He also has his own love interest (who did not attend the party – that’s a whole different story).   Still, this did not stop him from expressing a very deep-seated disdain for the younger late-arrival.  Matters are complicated because Bob works with the fellow and perceives some workplace based power struggles.

Bob lamented over whether or not to drop out of “the group” in which he is not even sure that he is a full-fledged member.  His anxiety over the matter seemed to overlap into other parts of his life, even resulting in one statement made that he was considering deleting his Facebook account.  I asked him why.  He said that he only has five friends who care to read his posts anyway.  He proceeded to list off those five people.  When he was done, Michael said, “Bob, you only listed three people and your mom.”

Michael and I did our level best to help Bob work through some of his concerns.  Bob knows that some of his worries are exaggerated in his own mind and possibly exacerbated by rattling around alone in a large home with only his cat to talk to.  He also knows that he can call on us when the cat isn’t giving out helpful advice.  It was a nice evening spent with an old friend.  Hopefully Bob enjoyed himself too.

I think the next time we go over to Bob’s, I’ll wear flame retardant undergarments and carry a fire extinguisher.  I’m still worried that the neighbor is confused that “Housewarming” means “House burning”.

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