the visitors

So after two years of living here my father finally decides to pay me a visit, and it had nothing to do with me. Go dad! We've not had the best relationship and I prefer our interactions keep to a bare minimum. About a month ago he had called and left me a voice mail. It's the usual call to ask how I'm doing despite his really not caring what my answer is. This time was different though and he asked me to call him back because it was important. Ok, so I called him back to see what was so important. He starts asking me all about my work at the sanctuary and wants to know more details. Who is this man? Turns out he has some real estate clients (Chinese Nationals) who are buying houses through him who also happen to love and have dogs of their own. Most of what he'd told me was fairly innocuous, but things started to get fishy with the story as he went on. Over the course of their getting to know each other they had both learned that they had kids (who are unmarried but well into a marry-able age). Oh really!!! Here's where the fishiness began. The part about what I did and now do for a living came up after my unmarried existence was revealed, and that's when they had said they would like to visit. "When!" I asked with absolute dread in my heart. He said he didn't know and that it would probably be months later. Hearing that put me at ease, but it was sooner than he'd guessed I would come to learn. Now to be fair to everyone this may have been exactly as intended. Animal lovers coming to see a sanctuary through someone who has an in there. But if you've picked up on what I did, you're probably wondering if someone is hoping for a love connection here. Just so you guys don't think I'm jumping to conclusions my father had told my sister about all of this and she smelled it too. I had even explained this to a few close friends/coworkers. One in particular said that I should give it a chance. I told her she was freaking high and there would be no chances. I don't let my parents even pick out a stitch of clothing for me much the less a wife.

As a side note allow me to explain a few things. I think my father is desperate for not just a grandchild from me, but also an heir to carry the family name forward. I'm the only male born into this family. Without reliving any painful details of my childhood my father was mostly physically abusive, but on occasion also mentally abusive during my childhood. Hence why we've not had the best relationship.

A little over a month after our initial conversation I received another call from dad. His message stated that they were coming in a week'ish. I called back to learn that they hadn't booked a hotel, or set a hard date. Great! I'd explained to him in our last convo that I would need at least three weeks to put in for, and see if I get the time off for whatever date I'd requested. We managed to work it out and they would come out on my weekend off. I explained that the tour would only allow them to interact with one dog, and that they would have to volunteer if they wanted to work with more. I also explained about a dog sleepover program we have that volunteers can do, so that they could get a hotel room that allows for dogs. He had to find out if they wanted to do this and would have to call me back. When he called back he said that they'd only be doing the tour. Dad also said they'd only be here two nights and would be headed to spend time in Vegas. Ok. I'm used to "animal lovers" and this wasn't what I'd expected.

D day arrives. They arrive late evening where most everything is closed. This was expected and we meet for dinner at the only place in town that's still open. I arrive and say my Hello's to everyone. The mother asks if I can speak any Chinese. I reply in english "only the bad words" he said, and point to my dad. They laugh. The father makes a gracious offer to put me up and provide me with a car/driver should I ever go to Bejing. I thank him for the generous offer but won't be able to take him up on it. I explain that I can't afford it based on what I earn for a living now. Dad translates, he replies "anytime". I know what you're wondering. Yes, the daughter was present. No. Very simply, no. By the way, did I mention just how awkward I was feeling throughout all of this. So after dinner I go home to pickup B so she can see my mom and dad. She loves them. We arrive at the hotel and B goes emotionally ballistic at the sight of them. The family is also there and they meet B. What was telltale was how they were and interacted with her. They barely touched her after explaining that she's bombproof with people and dogs.

The following day I met up with everyone after breakfast and we wound fitting in their SUV. I drove. It was a new Mercedes Benz alphabet class something or other number. I don't recall. What I do recall was how much of a nanny state vehicle this was based on all the safety features installed. As I write this a recent news story broke about how an autonomous car claimed it's first human life. Skynet is born. I digress. We go on the tour and dad translates a bunch of questions/answers throughout. In short they learn and have fun. After the tour we have lunch at the cafe, on premises. Mom suggests/springs on me that we should go to Zion. I explain that I need to return home to potty walk B and maybe turn on the AC since the temps are well into the 90s. My travel trailer sits under a lot of tree cover so things don't warm up until after 1pm. We do this, and then go to Zion.

All we did was drive thru the park, stopped at the visitors center, and then back the way we came. Everyone returned to their hotel rooms to rest before dinner. We ate at the local Chinese restaurant. I warned my parents that the prices were too high, the portions were too little, and the cooking was alright. Everyone agreed with me on all counts. Everyone following me already knows how active I am and as a result consume a lot of calories to keep up with the demand. At dinner I pretty much ate all the leftovers. The initial part was hunger which was satiated, and the latter was that I didn't want it to go to waste. The family thought I really loved Chinese food in light of my fathers lack of translation that I didn't want it to go to waste. This prompted a question about why, if I liked Chinese food so much, didn't I live back in SoCal. My dad was good with letting them think I just liked the food a lot. I explained again that I didn't want it to go to waste, I like Chinese food but no more than any other kind of food. I also explained that there's no way I would ever move back to SoCal because I hate large cities, crowds, and prefer living someplace where it takes me minutes to exit it. I love being able to walk with my dog and not run into another living soul. Dad obviously took the cheap way out and didn't bother explaining all that. I'm glad that their daughter understood english despite not being able to converse in it well. I'm trusting that she explained in better detail at a later time. The looks on their faces sufficed as they at least understood that I would not ever return to live near or with my parents.

Over that last day there were many questions and comments designed to get a feel for me which I'd answered honestly. Unfortunately I had to trust my father's accuracy in translation. He's can be very selective in that regard. I spent a mere few moments talking to the daughter. She is a nice enough person, but as I'd stated earlier. No. My body language and otherwise total lack of interest should have been clear indicators to put that hopeful connection to rest.

In summation, a couple of Wong's does not make me Mr. Right. I'm just sayin'!