Sunday, January 29, 2012

If only for a day

Yesterday I made my annual trek out of town for the rescue's board/volunteer meeting. I bid on a two-star room on Priceline and was upgraded to a Hilton. Yay me! I have now decided to forgive Priceline for putting us up at Chez de la Sucks Ass back in July.

I dropped the kid off at a birthday party at noon. The party was held at a local jumpity-jump joint. I think there were over a thousand birthday parties going on simultaneously. Just walking in to deposit my daughter with the correct party group and winding through the crowd to get back out was enough to make my face twitch. I'm so glad she's old enough to be dropped off at these shindigs and that I don't have to hang around. She gets invited to a lot of parties and my mental health is fragile enough already.

I then hit the road, tofurkey sandwich in hand and a new "road tunes" playlist at the ready. Two and a half hours later, I was at my hotel. I checked in and was given a room on the 11th floor. As soon as I walked into my room, I immediately morphed into my mother and thought, "Heat rises. I'm on the 11th floor. I'll never get this room cold enough for me to be able to sleep well." At home, I have the thermostat programmed to drop to 65 overnight. In a big hotel, it's a little harder to control the temperature - I'm convinced the thermostat on the wall is just for show. I turned it down and hoped for the best. Had I actually been my mother and not just a diluted version of her, I would have pried open the wall unit in an attempt to override the whole system. She has also been known to summon hapless hotel maintenance workers, attempt to pry open windows, and engage in other nefarious tactics to bring the temperature down to her comfort level. I've seen her do it, ya'll. I like it a little cooler, but my mama's not happy in a hotel room until she can see her breath.

I hung out for an hour or so and then headed to the meeting. We had our board meeting first. I was re-elected to the treasurer position for the hundredth year in a row . . . it involves a lot of paperwork and bookkeeping, so believe it or not, I don't seem to get any challengers. We then had our general volunteer meeting. It probably doesn't sound like fun, but we eat, drink, play games, and then plow through some boring policy-related stuff. And then have another round of drinks. A few new volunteers came, which was great because we need some new blood. As much as I'm not big on change personally (I've been wearing the same shade of lipstick for at least a dozen years), I know that the organization will not grow and improve without some new folks. So, I was excited to see some new faces and hear some new ideas.

When the meeting was over, I headed back to my hotel room. The thermostat indicated it was 67 degrees in the room, but I knew better, sister.  I spent the rest of the evening flipping through channels and eating candy conversation hearts. You know I love my family, but it was nice to have an evening to myself. I was asleep by 11, though. Party on, Wayne.

Although most hotels these days offer a free continental breakfast, my friends at the Hilton do not. No worries, though, because I brought some fruit and a granola bar from home. I did look at the room service menu just for my own amusement, though. Four-dollar orange juice? Is there gold dust in it or something? I got my act together and went down to the gym for a work-out. I have no witnesses, but I swear to you I did it - 50 minutes on the elliptical while I watched "Sunday Morning." Then I changed into my swimsuit and enjoyed a brief swim. I felt a little guilty to be swimming without my daughter, so I vowed not to mention it when I got home.

Finally, I checked out and headed home, stopping at Trader Joe's along the way. I enjoyed my 26 hours of freedom and am now back home . . . making the kid's lunch for tomorrow, picking up marker lids off the floor . . . you know, the usual level of glamour that defines my life.

One random closing thought: How come, no matter where you go (and no matter how nice a hotel you stay in), most people fail to grasp this basic concept: LET EVERYONE OFF THE ELEVATOR BEFORE YOU GET ON?  I mean, even if your mother didn't specifically give you this bit of advice, doesn't common sense just sort of kick in anyway? I don't get it. I witnessed several episodes of "I must get on the elevator ASAP because if the doors somehow close before I get on, God knows this rig is never coming back and I'll be stranded on the 11th floor for the rest of my natural life."  Some people's children, I tell you.

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