Monday, July 30, 2007

At least there were drink tickets

Thursday was a long day. I arrived at the airport in what I thought was plenty of time to also get a massage at the mini spa across from my gate. Just a 15 minute head and neck massage. Carrying around these boobs isn't easy on the shoulders.

After I was finished, I went over to my gate, and found that it had no mention of my flight whatsoever. Since I was cutting it close, I got a little panicked. When I finally found the right gate, there was no one boarding anymore and they had closed off the walkway to the plane. There was no attendant. It was 10 minutes before takeoff. I got a little more panicked.

I could just hear the conversation I would have with Mamma Loves. "Gee, you'll have to go on to the hotel without me. I missed my flight because I was getting a massage." I was mortified at my stupidity. Little did I know there would be more of that to come all weekend.

Turns out, I hadn't missed the flight. It was delayed. Getting to Chicago on Thursday was apparently the most challenging thing in the universe for everyone. Mamma Loves' flight was canceled, so she was due in even later than I was at this point. Nothing to do but wait. And miss dinner. I'm really bad when I miss a meal these days.

When Mamma Loves and I finally met by the baggage claim, it was just like meeting an old friend. Not that she is old. Or me. It was just like meeting a long time friend you haven't seen in ages. That's better. We got a cab and sunk down into conversation as if it was something we did everyday. I will never get tired of saying how much I love her. Smooches to Mamma.

Upon our arrival at the W, we walked into a dark lobby filled with loud house music. In what was to become a theme throughout the entire weekend, I could so not hear what the girl behind the counter was saying. We got our keys, went up to our room, opened the door, and walked into someone else's room. Complete with someone else's stuff, an unmade bed, and trash all over the dressers.

I go back to the front desk and am told something to the effect of "my roommate has already checked in." Yes. Yes she did. Five minutes ago, with me. We need a different room, or a lesson in your decorating style. Because "lived in" is not exactly an interior design motif I've heard of many hotels adopting. She apologizes, offers us complementary something or another - I had grown weary of asking her to repeat herself over the thumping bass and drums - and gives us another room.

A quick change of clothes and brush through the hair and we are up to the Whiskey Bar for the pre Blogher get together. Just a few bloggers who have made friends online, getting together to meet each other before the sessions start the next day. Just about 150 bloggers in a bar with a capacity of 35. And it was dark. And the bass and drums thumped. And I could hear no one.

I stuck it out for about an hour. Drank a few San Pellingrino's. Moved to a bench in the corner and ate pretzels. Smiled and nodded at people whose mouths moved while they were facing me even though their words were crushed between thumps before they could ever reach my ears.

I met Izzy and Deb that night, and only got to admire how lovely they were. No conversation. Mrs. Chicky, Pundit Mom, Latta, Karrie, and Jessica also said something to me, but I have no idea what. I watched the name tags to see if Liz had picked hers up yet, but after she had, I realized it was too dark to go around and put my nose down to people's chests to see if I could make out what their name tag said.

And have I gotten across how I really could not hear? I cannot pull one person's voice out of a cacophony and focus on it. My ears will not do it. They never have.

With that, I retreated to the silence of the room. I called Guy. I bawled my eyes out, and proclaimed that I had made a big mistake in coming. I couldn't talk to anyone. I don't fit in a big group of women. I'm boring. Throw in fat, ugly, and I really miss WhyMommy, and you have the complete hormonal meltdown.

In his own Guy way, he talked me down from the ledge of self-pity. Just wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better he told me.

Snuggled into the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in, I could believe him.

And the next day, I met plenty of women who had just the same feelings about the Whiskey Bar. Minus the hormonal meltdown of course.