Conference Adventures

Hello, from yet another conference with the hubs! Now, before you get all worked up with jealousy, we’re just in Dallas. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas is great, but it’s, you know, Dallas. Downtown is beautiful at night, though, as I hope you can tell from the photo above taken from our 17th floor hotel room. I know it’s not the best photo, but try to enjoy it because I almost pulled the curtains down trying to take it.

Those of you who have known me for any length of time may be a little concerned that I am at another conference with R. For those who don’t know me well, you are wondering why anyone would be concerned with me being on a conference with my husband? Well, where to begin…there was the conference to Cancun, where I almost fell off a catamaran, the one to Puerto Rico that I attended with pneumonia, the one to Florida where we flew through what can only be described as a hurricane and I sprained my ankle playing tennis in a ballroom, and let’s not forget everyone’s favorite in Utah, where I fell ice skating, securing a severe concussion. Yep. All at conferences with the hubs. I would also like to say that I don’t truly feel that I am to blame for any of these unfortunate situations, because if you ask me, which no one really has, is it smart to put middle-aged, chubby people on ice skates? I think not.

Now, rest easy, dear ones, I am completely fine, all in one piece, no injuries at all. Just a small stumble while walking to dinner after dark, but I’ll have you know that I did not even hit the ground, let alone roll down the grassy knoll next to the restaurant parking lot…not THAT grassy knoll, just a knoll, that was, you know, grassy. Anyway, I am fine. But in true beautiful mess fashion, I did have a new conference experience this afternoon.

I got up to my room after a nice afternoon with one of our niece’s, swiped my key card across the magnetic thingy, got the green light, tried opening the door, but the door wouldn’t open. Apparently, when the housekeeping staff left our room this morning and closed the door, it moved the latch that you turn when going to bed, you know, the “extra security” measure latch thing, and it was, well, latched. At first, I thought maybe R was already back from his meeting, so I called out for him a couple of times, but he wasn’t there. Then, I thought, “Oh, no! I’m at the wrong room!” so I quickly closed the door, dug around in my purse for the little envelope the key card comes in, to confirm that I was actually at the right room, and, much to my surprise, I was. Hmm. Just for good measure, I tried opening the door one more time. Same problem.

OK, I thought, I’ll just mosey over to the Courtesy Phone and call for someone to come…figure out how I’m going to get into my room. I called the front desk and explained, in my sweetest voice, that I was, in a manner of speaking, locked out of my room, and for once it wasn’t because I’d lost my key card. The woman I talked to actually finished my sentence for me, so apparently this has happened before, and was just about to send someone up to help me, when she discovered that my name wasn’t on our reservation…

Well, that’s not a surprise, I said, my husband is here for some business meetings. She then proceeded to tell me that she couldn’t let me into the room if my name was not on the reservation and that I, and all of the bags I had with me, would need to come back down to the front desk. I then, in a not-so-sweet voice, informed her that it was not strange at all for husbands to bring their wives on business trips, to which she replied, that she was sorry, but she was trying to protect “the guest,” to which I replied, “I AM THE GUEST!”

Needless to say, I got back on the elevator, headed back to the front desk, where I ran into R, because God really does love me, and also because God knew that I might be escorted OUT of the hotel for good had I not run into my “calm down, we’ll get it worked out” husband before I reached the front desk. But, 2 trips from a maintenance man later, we finally got back into our OWN room. That we are paying for. We, the guests.

But, the whole experience got me thinking: do people really break into other people’s hotel rooms? How does that work? I mean, there are hundreds of rooms in this hotel, maybe a thousand. How do these hotel thieves decide which rooms to break into? Do they sit in the lobby and follow the ones who come in with bags from the most expensive stores or just stores they want something from? Do they watch to see what kind of cars people get out of or what clothes they wear? Is this something to add to my “things that could actually happen to me on a trip” list? I really have no idea. But, be warned, hotel thieves: we have a latch thingy on our door, so you’re not getting in! I mean, it sure kept ME out…with a little help from the lady at the front desk…

Hubs-1, Pipes-0

Brrrr, but it’s cold!

Yes, I know it’s winter, but here’s the thing about winter in southeast Texas: WHAT WINTER? Yeah, because normally we don’t have many even slightly cold days in our version of winter, let alone 3 different snows, ice and all that. Case in point: I realized last week that I don’t even know how to work the heater in my car because it hasn’t gotten cold enough to use the heater during the time that I’ve owned my car. Thank God for heated seats.

Anyway, school was called off late last night, so I went to bed looking forward to a day of relaxing, catching up, trying to stay warm and trying NOT to eat all day. But, my day didn’t start off quite they way I planned.

I woke up to the sound of my husband rummaging through something. Nothing unusual about that. R is a morning person, well, actually a night owl, um, let’s just say he doesn’t sleep much. All of his minutes are filled with something constructive. And, me? You can pretty much categorically think the exact opposite of all of that and you’d be correct.

Back to this morning…finally, my alarm went off and R came in and announced that “he had not done a good enough job of winterizing the house, an outside pipe had frozen and we had no water.” Poor guy, his face was filled with shame, as if he’d just committed the unforgivable sin. So, I mumbled something about no big deal, the pipe would melt, etc. etc. etc. But, those words fell on deaf ears because 5 minutes later he was headed off to Wal-Mart to buy something. To redeem himself, I think.

“Here we go,” I thought, unwrapping myself from my cozy flannel sheets and quilt. By the time he got home, I was busy trying to fade into the living room walls, working on my Bible study, when he came in and announced that he was going to try and melt the pipe himself instead of waiting for the temperatures to rise. Uh-huh, OK. The truth is this: R loves this stuff! I mean, obviously he doesn’t want our pipes to burst, but he loves the challenge of trying to repair something, you know, that feeling of victory when that something is repaired. *Sigh…

“Is there something I can do to help you?” I ask, hoping with my whole heart he would say no.

“No, I’m OK, I’m just going to______________________________ (fill in this blank with all sorts of plumbing, construction, electrical engineering, man-speak.)

So, we did this little dance a few more times until finally, R says,

“Hey, I need your help with something.”

Oh. No. This is bad and let me tell you why: because when it comes to doing “projects” together…oh Lord…just think of the 2 most opposite people in the world trying to work together, I mean, isn’t this how wars start? The main trouble is that R is so smart and knows a whole lot about lots of different things. And, he assumes everyone else does too and we should all just know what he’s thinking without him actually saying anything.  Sound familiar, all you wives out there? HE knows what he means, HE knows what he’s trying to say, HE knows what he needs me to do, but me? Normally? Not a clue. Usually, he really just wants me to be about 2-3 steps in front of his instructions and um, I haven’t even put my shoes on yet, get it?

So, here I go, out into the shop off the garage in my fleece PJ pants with owls all over them, big puffy jacket, tennis shoes, mittens and stocking hat. I looked a dream, I tell you. And, what was my job? Well, first it was to listen and look for water when he tried to turn the outside faucet back on. I was supposed to report ANY evidence of ANY water to him immediately, which was why I was on the phone with him during this whole “Hubs vs. the frozen pipe” phase. But, alas, still no water.

Phase 2 of “hubs vs. the pipe,” can only be described as something that would make MacGyver proud. We heated water in the kettle, duck taped a straw to a funnel (no, I am NOT making this up) and now my job was to pour the hot water into the funnel, which was stuck down into the worthless-you-did-nothing-to-protect-the-pipe insulation around the pipe. This phase also moved us outside, so now the entire neighborhood could enjoy my outfit. But, guess what? It worked! The hubs had conquered the frozen pipe! He had beaten winter! He had laughed right in it’s frozen face! Hahahahahahah!

And, after the all important instruction and admonishing phase, showing me the place where the water can be turned completely off and where the tool (that I will NEVER be able to use) is kept to turn said water off, “in case I’m not around,” he took a shower and went to work.

And, I went right back to the couch. And, people say there are no modern-day miracles, ha!