I have a friend who happens to be Australian. What? How is that possible? Well, you see, there's this magical thing called "the Internet" and I meet lots of people. Shawn is someone I met, gosh-golly, six years ago, give or take a few months. This is his third visit to the good ol' US of A. He'll be here for the entire month of March (and I mean this literally, he arrived on March 1st and will leave us on March 31st).
Now, before you get all excited, let me just say a few things about dear ol' Shawn. No, he does not have a kangaroo as a pet. He does not jump wildly onto crocodiles. He does not shout: "CRIKEY!" or say "G'day, mate!" constantly. He does not wear one of those hats that are pushed up on one side- they have a name, by the way, but damned if my Google-fu is failing me at 5 AM on a Saturday. Shawn is just a guy who lives in a city and happens to have a really cool accent.
We found out about four weeks before he arrived that he was, well, arriving. We'd been talking about it for a few months- that he was trying to get here and all. But he sent me his flight info around the first of February with a "see you in four weeks!" as a subject line.
What's this got to do with DG? Well, he lives in this house, so he's hanging out with Shawn as well. But, leading up to Shawn's arrival...
Shawn has a day job. He works long hours and has a killer commute that would cause me to whip out a golf club and go all Jack Nicholson on someone's windshield. So, he doesn't have a lot of time to waste on watching movies or TV. Our kids were excited that Shawn was coming for a visit and randomly throughout the time leading up to his arrival, they'd ask me questions about what he wanted to do while here and so on.
Now, DG is known for joining a conversation late. Like when our youngest, Ceej, is talking about her day at school. She'll go on about her class or a teacher.
Ceej: "And then the teacher told us not to worry about doing the homework, just finish it on Monday. So that's cool."
Me: "Yeah, that is cool. Now you can go to the movies with your friends instead of doing homework."
Ceej: "I'm going to need some money for the movies."
Me: "Ask your dad."
Now, DG is sitting right there. He's looking from me to Ceej as if he's following along with our conversation. So, Ceej says, "Can I have some money for the movies this weekend?"
DG shrugs and says, "Okay."
Moments pass. Long moments. We've moved on to another topic.
DG says: "You've got all that homework to do this weekend."
Ceej: "No, I don't. I told you the teacher just told us to wait and finish it on Monday."
DG: "Oh, well, that's good. Then you can go to the movies with your friends."
Ceej: "I know, you gave me money about ten minutes ago."
DG: "No... are you sure?" It is around this time where we say: "Welcome to the conversation." to him.
But this proves we have good kids. Any other kid would say, "Oh, no, you're right, Dad. You should give me some more money."
Back to the Shawn topic of things. We'd discuss Shawn's impending arrival and then move on to another topic. DG would be watching TV or even seemingly involved in our discussion. Then, moments turned to minutes, turned to hours. DG would suddenly blurt out: "Has he seen [insert movie title here]?"
I was supposed to realize, hours later, that he was still talking about Shawn. I was supposed to think about all the male people we know, from our own son, to my father, to random acquaintances and discern that he was speaking about Shawn. I finally made a note of all the movies DG was asking about and emailed Shawn about it. You read that right. He did the random blurting more than once. After the third time, I realized that every time was pertaining to Shawn.
The other day, Shawn and DG watched all six episodes of "Spartacus, Blood and Sand" on "demand" on our cable system. Literally. I don't think they even got up to take bathroom breaks. If you're not familiar with the show, its a made-for-cable action-y thing about gladiator times. I've summed it up as: "Massive bloody violence, soft-core porn, and Lucy Lawless topless."
I lost Shawn the second I described it to him and I shouldn't have expected less.
Shawn has visited twice before and has had plenty of conversations with DG. However, DG is usually "on company behavior", at least at first, and seems to be a bit more "with it" when he's talking to Shawn.
I'll leave you with this tidbit... because its something DG said about Shawn and Australia...
Me: "I think that while Shawn's here, we should do a Thanksgiving kind of meal."
Me: "So he can see what all the fuss is about."
DG: "What fuss?"
Me: "He was here for an American Halloween the first time and he got to be here for a Fourth of July cook-out the second time. There's no holiday that's a big deal in March, except for Saint Patrick's Day, but we don't do anything on that day. So, I figured maybe we could do a big-ass American meal."
DG: "We have Saint Patrick's Day but we don't do anything for it."
Me: "Welcome to the conversation." and I paused then said, "What do you think about the Thanksgiving meal idea?"
DG: "What's the big deal? What does he do on Thanksgiving?"
This is about the time I just sort of sigh and try to move on.