I downloaded a podcast about Bhutan before I left 11 months ago. The podcast is a lecture given at Stanford University. I ran across it a few months back. One of the things the professor, Mark Mancall states is that something unique about the country of Bhutan is the fact that the main source of news is gossip.
Damn true! “When should we arrive at the Royal Wedding?” “Well my co-workers say 4am and my friend told me 5:30.”
Most of this information is harmless! And while annoying at times, it can be quite satisfying. The word “gossip” simply holds a negative connotation. I’ve come to believe that no matter how non-dramatic a person is; they still feel a sense of satisfaction in being told “a secret”, and better yet, being “the only one who knows".
So in the spirit of Bhutan, and with a little help from a pal, I decided to spread the biggest “secret” on Paseo Ancho.
It all began with an email sent to both of the rents, stating that I would be home for Xmas…"Don’t tell anyone!”
As for Lauren’s involvement, lets just say I ran into some passport/visa problems and there was a chance I could have gotten stuck in Delhi. Clearly since Lauren and I have a long-standing, unspoken agreement that we are one another’s first phone call from jail, I had to tell her. Lord knows I could very well get that phone call from her this New Years Day, so she better pay it forward.
As for Mere, she did what the youngest child does best and got the shaft, remaining clueless about the entire thing and believing a quality Kathy Adams lie: “We need to go pick up a puppy for your Dad’s Xmas present at LAX.” You have to love the image of a naïve youngest child waiting for a puppy with a bow around its neck.
The snowball started rolling and my lies became continually reinforced by each and every one of my partners in crime. All my conversation ended in, “You are the only one who knows! Don’t tell anyone!” and consequently, so did my partners convos.
Kath had a great time embellishing the lie with rainbows, kittens, and puppies. For the record, she reportedly fake cried at the dinner table after telling my family I was missing Christmas. And of course Kath told Aunt Celeste, because “Celeste can keep a secret” (apparently better than Kath).
Mikey ran next door to the Parks and told Jeff he may need a hand picking me up from the airport if he was out of town and got a surprise call from LAX. But as he is Mike Adams… he had no clue what the hell was going on. Living in a family of women has really allowed him to perfect his delivery of the line, “It’s your world, I’m just living in it.”
Upon moving home, Lauren continued to assert her newly established role as ruler of the hen house, telling everyone around her that she felt they were acting shady and people needed to refocus their energy this holiday season. She also made it real clear that my 2am phone call to let her know I was not detained in India had ruined her beauty sleep. Laur then told Scott Werbs, who told Stacey, who told Jackson, who told Addie, who ran down to the house to find me.
And Mere… well… bless her precious little heart. And cheers to popping that giant bubble of innocence now that she is 21 and the entire family can enjoy personal Fidel's pitchers and pool at the Leucadian.
For the record… Mike Jr. (Miguelito) says he didn’t tell anyone, but if there is anything I have learned from my love of dive bars, it’s that you can never trust a man with a mustache.
Tonight, after all the elaborate schemes had played out, which at one point involved me jumping out of a box under the tree, I sat around the kitchen table and I didn’t drink milk tea or eat ema datsi.
I felt as though I hadn’t missed a beat as delicious sea food was made, banter was had, F bombs were dropped, Mike’s receding gray hairline was pointed out, Mathew Park’s high school love life was made fun of and much more. Not a leaf was left unturned as I reentered my uncensored life. As my “honesty is the best policy”, “I hate you because”, “no bullshit” crew rolled into the night, I was happy to be home. But this doesn’t mean I won’t be back to my mad scheming secret life soon enough.