Couch Surfing and My Hip Dad

My dad got home from a fishing trip today and saw that there was a random car with an out of state license plate in the driveway.  After putting his gear down and giving me a hug he says, “Are those couch surfers or do you know those people?”  I love that this is my dad’s response, and he couldn’t have said it any more nonchalantly, like it didn’t matter that there could be two strangers sleeping in the extra bedroom in his house.

I introduced my dad to Couch Surfing after living a very active CS life in San Diego.  My apartment was always filled with strangers from other parts of the world.  These strangers, or instant friends, became more than just weekend guests.  They became a part of my world, some staying for extra days, weeks, months, and it was beautiful.  I made some very good friends at the time, by hosting and meeting other local hosts, friends that I still talk to and friends that I will stay connected with for the rest of my life.

This is the part of Couch Surfing that I wanted my dad to see.  I wanted him to see that CS is not a community full of freeloaders and people that want to steal your precious stuff.  It’s about being comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, and letting other people into your life.  It’s about opening yourself up to others which is something all of us should practice.

So, after hosting a frisbee world champion, a couple of dudes passing through trying to avoid the busy city, a couple of girls that just wanted to go on a bike ride in the forest, and many friends of friends of friends my dad has become part of the Couch Surfing community without even realizing it.  He is now used to and comfortable with meeting new people, and his generous hospitality has extended beyond the realm of family members.  He has grown to trust his daughter and her judgements (I hope!).  Above all, he has learned the importance of hydration and making new friends.  Much of my happiness and knowledge of the world comes from meeting new people, sharing lives, and sharing homes.

That is the type of thing a person carries with them forever, whether they are on the Couch Surfing website or not.  We learn to share from the moment we come into contact with other human beings.  Remember what they taught us in school, “sharing is caring”.  Thank you dad for being so open, accepting, caring, and way hip.

12.9.12 – The Candle Box Fairies

Tomorrow will be my last night here at the Candlewood in Birmingham, AL.  It’s nice to be moving on to a new city, but I am sad to be leaving the little community here, especially the wine fairy.  He magically fills your glass as soon as you sit down at the table and continues to do so for the rest of the night.  You will leave the patio for a few minutes to call your dad, and when you come back, there will be a full glass of wine waiting for you.  There is always some one who will bring you a jacket when you start to shiver even though it is nowhere near Chicago cold at this time of year.  The cigarette fairy visits occasionally, and tomorrow, the steak fairy is rumored to make an appearance.  In honor of my last night at the Candlebox we will be having a party on the patio.  Steak, red potatoes, salad, wine, fairies, friends, and who knows, maybe some karaoke.

People are good.  They are so good that it sometimes makes me cry.  I got back to my room, closed the door, and shed a couple of tears for the niceness (apparently that is a word) that exists in people.  I have been smiling since the day I arrived in Birmingham.  I laugh so much that my face hurts!

I got kissed on the forehead today.  You don’t realize how nice that gesture really is, unless of corse you are female.  Then you know all about it.