I enjoy meeting people. Especially interesting people. Especially, especially when you aren't expecting to meet anyone, but you do, and they turn out to be super cool.
Case in point, the girls and I had some down time one afternoon while in Durango in July. My brother's young kids take naps in the afternoons, so we headed back to the hotel for some pool time. I was a less than a savvy packer and forgot to bring a bathing suit with me. My oldest recently took over one of my smaller bikinis, so I decided, what the hell, if I can fit into one of hers, well, I'll wear it.
So there I am at the hotel (motel) pool in Durango hanging out on a chaise lounge in my 11 year old's bikini. It's cool. I'm cool. Who cares, right?
There is no one else around anyway, although one chair a few chairs over is covered with a towel and therefore may or may not have someone coming back to it.
It does. It's a woman, approximately my age, although I don't take a really good look at her at first.
She lays down and grabs her book. I glance over out of curiosity a few minutes later and notice that she's wearing a red bikini. Only, is it a bikini? It looks more like lingerie. Red lingerie.
Could it be? I mean, who cares, and who am I to give it a second thought -- I'm wearing my tween's suit, remember?
I go back to my book.
Soon after my daughter and another girl emerge from the pool and start playing with a kitten that is under this woman's chair.
I didn't even notice the kitten. (Guess the red lingerie threw me off.)
Yes, there is a little kitty there. He's hanging shyly under her chaise.
She, woman-of-the-red-lingerie, looks over and tells me that she went to grab him from her room because she thought he'd like to get out in the fresh air and explore. She's a little surprised by his lack of curiosity-killed-the-cat-ness.
The girls coax him out eventually, then quickly lose interest and run back to the pool. This leaves the woman-of-the-red-lingerie to fetch the kitten, who until now I had not noticed is wearing a man's neck tie as a make-shift leash.
So there she is standing in front of me, in her red lingerie, grasping her kitten by his necktie leash. I like her!
At this point, she lets me know, in a very un-self-conscious manner, that there was a swimsuit mishap with her people (!). Her boyfriend's daughter, the girl playing with my daughters in the pool, forgot hers at home, and was in tears at the prospect of not being able to swim. So woman-of-the-red-lingerie did what any good girlfriend-of-your-father would do, and let her wear her very own black bikini.
Now that she mentioned it, the bathing suit was a bit big on my girls' new friend.
How funny. Her girl in her suit, and me in my girl's suit.
We proceed to have a nice, long chat. We have many things in common, other than our makeshift pool attire. Both divorced, with three children (and a kitten!). Both scheming on how to get back to Colorado to attend the Arise Festival in Loveland that Michael Franti will be headlining (which actually started yesterday). Both struck by how lily white and REI-ish Durango is compared to our respective cities, mine San Diego, hers Albuquerque.
We didn't share everything in common though, she's a belly dancer, whereas I work in a hum-drum office. But there was enough in common, and enough left to learn from each other, that we really hit it off. I honestly wish I would have taken a photograph of her. She was inspirational in the way that a divorced belly dancer from Albuquerque in red lingerie at a motel pool in Durango tends to be.
I sincerely hope she's hanging with Michael Franti right now.