This is George and Alice.
To the untrained eye they look pretty much like everyone else.
They are SO NOT like everyone else.
I'll start with George. He's tallest.
George is a musician, engineer, attorney, quasi-geologist, father to twins, husband. A conversation with George goes like this:
George: That was when I was a pirate.
George: Yeah, pirate. I used to swing in on a rope. Aaaaargh.
There was more to this story, but he had me at pirate.
George: Yeah, that was when I fixed the air-conditioning at the Chicken Ranch.
Me: The whorehouse Chicken Ranch?
George: Yeah. When I was in high school my parents retired and moved to Nevada.
Right. I'd forgotten that the natural progression was, you go to high school, your parents retire, then you're fiddling with the air-conditioning at a whorehouse.
Me: You just happened to find yourself there when the air conditioning broke?
George (with an aren't you simple look on his face): No...my mom sent me. She made friends with a lot of the girls.
George: That was when Ray Charles came to my house...
George: That was when I went camping in Australia and got invited to the male puberty ceremony with the aborigines...
You follow me.
Then there's Alice.
She's a pipeline engineer, mother of twins, wife, and entrepreneur. She owns and operates a Chinese restaurant, a chain of massage stores, and I'm not sure if she still owns that factory.
Alice left China, her traditional Chinese family, her culture, her language, to come to America, alone. She arrived not speaking much English, but still managed to buy and operate a business with thirteen branches.
She is the only person in her family to not have had an arranged marriage. She married her pirate-friend-of-Ray-Charles-whorehouse-repairman-male-aborigine-puberty-ceremony- guest-guy, because she wanted to.
Because, she told me, "He's the best, purest man I've ever known. He's all the way good."
Be warned, if you sit still next to Alice long enough, she'll buy you, remodel you, bring a couple of her cronies over from China to bitch slap you into shape, hang an "Open" sign around your neck, and expect you to turn a profit in a week.
Alice didn't like the food at the only Chinese restaurant in their town, so she bought it, remodeled it, brought a couple of her cronies over from China to bitch slap it into shape, hung out the open sign and its going gangbusters.
Lucky us, we were treated to a feast there with George and Alice, just recently.
The food kept coming. We kept eating. I think they brought about 65 lbs. of food to our table. I thought we'd died and gone to Chinese heaven. If Buddha ate Chow Fun, he got it at Alice's restaurant.
BTW...sometime during the evening, perhaps mid-pirate story, George quoted something from my blog.
Me: George! You read my blog?
George: Yep. My sisters do too. I passed it onto them.
Let me tell you, finding out that George reads my blog and passed it on to his sisters is like discovering Francis Ford Coppola watches the videos of your 1st grader's school play on YouTube and forwards them on to Sophia.
The first time I met George and Alice, they'd attended a company soiree. George and hubby work together.
A little known fact - All Asians know when there's another Asian in their midst. They might not know how Asian you are, or what kind of Asian, but if you've got a drop of Asian blood they will find you. And when they do, you're in the pagoda for life.
Alice found me. My soul sistah. She's treated me like family since that day.
The second time I ran into George, he'd attended a company soiree, alone. Alice had taken a fast boat to China to buy a factory or some such (Alice buys factories in her off time). I had the opportunity to talk to George.
Me: Where's Alice?
George: China. Buying a factory.
Me: Oh, well...nice to see you, at any rate.
George: Can't stay long.
George: Because Alice is in an all-girl Chinese band. She plays the Chinese mandolin (I could be wrong on the exact instrument, but what's a girl to do?) and sings.
Me (not catching on): Oh...well...she's in China, right?
George: Yeah. I'm taking her place.
Me: You play the Chinese mandolin and sing in Chinese? (I let the fact that he wasn't a girl, slide)
George (shrugs): I do all right.
As he was leaving, he told me:
George: You know, I got married really late in life. I'd given up. I didn't think marriage was in the cards for me.
Me: I was speechless, for once.
George: Then I met Alice. She opened up my life in ways I never imagined.
So, no. George and Alice aren't like everyone else.
We're so lucky to know them, to call them friends.
Yep, George and Alice are the cherry on top of our Chinese chocolate cupcake life.