Subourbon Mom

Small Talk with Frodo

Someone told me this weekend at a 4th of July party that guests who go to Bill Gates’ house are asked to fill in a questionnaire about their likes and dislikes regarding music and art. The guest is then given a microchip on a necklace to wear, and when they go into any room, the music they like will play, and the art they prefer will be on the walls via computer screen.

At first I was marveling at the technology and thinking how cool that would be; however, I quickly realized three things:

  1. A home should reflect your tastes, not your guests’ (our tastes revolve around modern sculptures made from piles of flip flops by the door and piles of dirty laundry in the hallway);
  2. I like experiencing new things, including new music and art (how else would I have discovered Robyn Thicke’s peppy and weirdly cougar-ish song “Blurred Lines?”);
  3. It’s healthy and interesting to be exposed to new people and new ideas—you don’t have to like them, but it breaks you out of your comfortable bubble of consistency and familiarity (suburbia).

The third lesson was reinforced at this same party when I met a man named…let’s call him Frodo, to protect this man for reasons you’ll soon discover.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Within moments of arriving, Frodo stood out from the rest of the middle-aged parents/lawyers/accountants and their teenaged offspring that were sweating, talking shop, and drinking lager beer and wine.  Wearing trendy eyeglasses and the requisite khakis and golf shirt, Frodo looked something like a hobbit with reddish wavy hair, big feet, and pale skin. He was younger than most of the adults and older than the teens, but had the energy and enthusiasm of a child—and most impressive, his voice carried even farther than mine.

After making our introductions, Hubby and I sat back and simply absorbed the energy coming off of this quirky weapons software developer. Our conversations ranged from the likelihood of anyone surviving a bad plane crash (He informed Daughter #2, who hates flying, not to worry–she would be instantly vaporized because her body is 97% water and water has a boiling point of 212 degrees—clearly he doesn’t have kids), to gravity and sugar rates in the distillation of various bourbons, to his garbled theory on why Merryll Lynch didn’t fail (hubby called him out on that one—Hubby is in finance and wouldn’t let it go), to what kind of people aliens are most likely to abduct. Several times Frodo mentioned doing “covert” operations, but I refused to bite on that one.

As he spoke, I kept envisioning the Ring of Power drawing him to the dark side—it wasn’t hard to picture this man disappearing into the night and arguing with Golem, or using his vast knowledge and imagination to fight an army of Orcs and trolls. However, by midnight I was exhausted and just hoping he would take it off and make himself invisible.  I wanted to ask him if he’d been to Mordor, but thought better of it (he didn’t have a sword on him, but I’m pretty sure he owns one)  Why ruin a good thing? He was manic, exhausting and fascinating all at the same time.

The best thing about meeting Frodo was that he reminded me how varied and interesting people are. His ideas and energy were a breath of fresh air, and gave us fodder for hours of discussion the next day. So thank you, Frodo, and hopefully the aliens won’t take you before I can ask you about your covert operations next year.

8 Comments so far
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Considering it was my party, I am happy about the positive spin on meeting “frodo”! Thanks for being a perfect guest and sister-in-law and entertaining him!


Comment by Sue Ann aka ridge runner

What a delightful piece, Libby! Frodo is alive and well and lives at every cocktail party on the planet … thank you for putting a positive spin on his meet and greet style. We can all use a little more compassion in situations like this. We can also try to learn something, if only that it gives us discussion fodder.


Comment by cappy hall rearick

Thanks, Cappy! I do have to admit that around midnight I actually fell asleep in my lawn chair while he was talkingand he never noticed! 🙂


Comment by libbyhall

Of course he didn’t notice! That would have been completely out of character.


Comment by cappy hall rearick

I LOVE blurred Lines!!!

Kimberly A. Marcia

Sent from my iPad


Comment by Kimberly Marcia

How wonderful you could turn this meeting into a learning experience, hopefully for Frodo too. Of course, if he changed to ordinary he wouldn’t be as interesting.


Comment by Sharon

You are a better woman than I.


Comment by Susan

That sounds like a pretty interesting fellow!


Comment by Marti

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