The word ‘spoiler’ has a number of definitions — from that skinny wing on the rear of an auto to a comment that gives away some super-important plot detail of a book or film. There are others. Now I can add one more.
For me, spoilers are guests who, often from the moment they arrive, telegraph joy, excitement, curiosity and generosity. These are the people who really, truly do light up a room with their positive energy, at times with nothing more than a smile, a few spoken words, or merely their relaxed posture as they stand around munching on chips or sipping coffee.
Spoilers are the guests that are so good at being human — folks who have perfected the art of communication and curiosity, and are so obviously comfortable with themselves — that others (other guests, other folks in my my life, even myself) pale in comparison. The spoilers make it hard to interact with less-caring, less-emotive, less-communicative people. And they make you assess, question, and can even influence your own modus operandi and priorities.
The traits? Spoilers are great listeners who aren’t afraid of connecting via a smile or slap on the back. They unexpectedly show up with a bottle of wine or hunk of cheese to share around the dinner table. They effortlessly punctuate conversation with a joke. Sometimes they even skirt the edge of mainstream politeness with a surprise revelation or mild lashing out at the world. They aren’t afraid of their opinions, or others’.
They chop vegetables before you’ve asked. They bounce around the kitchen wiping and locating the perfect utensil as if it’s their house and their dinner on the stove. Spoilers have a tendency to reveal themselves as fallible and ask questions as well as answer them. They share recipes (of food and of living a life) and sometimes hug you so tight on their departure (this, after just a one night stay?) or offer such depth in their handshake that you know what you are feeling is merely the outermost particles of a finely tuned and comfortable-with-itself organism.
There’s a certain question I often get, which is: tell me about the weirdos and worst experiences. People often want me to reveal the gross-out stories and unpleasant on-the-job surprises. I could yammer on I suppose but it would be a pretty short download. (Really, about the worst it’s gotten is a gunked up shower drain.)
Me, I just forget that stuff anyway. It’s the positive material that sticks (and is often a trait or characteristic so admirable I try to work it into my own life routine).
So here’s to the spoilers of the past summer who laughed, joked, cleaned, shared, lifted, asked, offered, soothed (and left behind those four fingers of Sailor Jerry spiced rum. . . you know who you are). I aspire to your senses of style, openness, willingness to share, and adventure.
More spoilers on the way. 🙂