I’ve never really been one of those whiny, complaining, bitchy women although I’m sure I’ve had my moments. Of course I get annoyed and irritated about things (especially stupid people) but for the most part I’m pretty cheerful. However, I must say that since I began blogging my ability to laugh off the annoyances of interacting with others has soared. Instead of getting mad when someone acts like an idiot, or something goes wrong, I now find myself thinking, “hey, I can blog about that!”. And then I start composing a post in my head. The fact that those internal compositions don’t always make it to my blog is beside the point. The important thing is that I have a whole new way of viewing the world and all the craziness that is part and parcel of living in that world. So, here’s a little story about one of those incidents that immediately had me thinking of sharing it with my readers.
This past weekend, David and I had tickets to see “The Phantom of the Opera” in Tulsa. My brother and sister-in-law were going with us and we’d all been looking forward to it. I also happen to adore staying in hotels, as long as they are nice ones, so that was an added plus. We got all dressed up, David in a suit and me in my new *little black dress* and very high heeled shoes. Mike and Miranda picked us up at the hotel and we all went to Steak and Ale for dinner. I did manage to catch the edge of my thumb in the door of my brother’s Hummer as we got out at the restaurant which made me feel like an idiot until Miranda said she and two of the kids had done the same thing. Sort of a design flaw in the positioning of the handle or something. Anyway, we enjoyed a nice meal and then went to the show.
We had seen “Phantom” in OKC a few years ago and it was incredible. I remember practically sitting on the edge of my seat and with tears in my eyes through much of it. It was almost too beautiful. I had very high hopes for this production but was a little disappointed. It was good, and if I’d never seen it before I’m sure I would have loved it. However, by comparison to the other production we saw, this didn’t really compare. Still, we all enjoyed it.
After Mike and Miranda dropped us off at our hotel, we decided to have a drink (or two) in the hotel bar before heading up to our room. Did I mention that my parents were staying in the same hotel? They had come up to Tulsa to watch my brother’s kids while they went to the show. We had been joking with each other that we hoped they didn’t end up in the room next to ours and also that they wouldn’t see us coming out of the bar. I know it’s silly to even care about that at our age but old habits die hard. We never even drank at all until about three years ago after our youngest married but at that point we decided that our kids were grown and we were now old enough to enjoy an “adult beverage” on occasion. As we exited the bar David caught sight of my dad in the reflection of the mirror in the elevator way across the lobby, grabbed my hand and pulled me out of sight. Whew! That was close. And totally ridiculous but there you go. We waited a few minutes and then went to the elevator. By this point David was being a little silly and as we exited the elevator and went to our room he was acting like a spy, peeking around corners and such…really hamming it up. I was cracking up, which is something that happens a lot with David.
We made it to our room without seeing my parents. There had been a wedding reception at the hotel and many guests were staying there overnight. Several were in rooms near us and they were obviously having some post-wedding parties in their rooms. Lots of noise, laughing, running up and down the halls and even knocking on doors. This was about 12:30 or so. It was a little annoying but we weren’t trying to sleep yet so it was tolerable.
Let’s see, how can I word this next part of the story? Remember how I said I like staying in hotels? Part of the reason is the *romance factor*. There’s something about being away from home and all the responsibilities that entails that just naturally seems to put us “in the mood for love”. So we were engaged in an activity we had been looking forward to all day. In fact, it was the sort of thing that would inspire Nine Inch Nails to write a song. And then at a very inconvenient point the hotel fire alarm goes off. We are instructed via P.A. to immediately evacuate the building. Okaaaayyy…
Fortunately we both managed to keep our sense of humor. I mean, it was so completely absurd that we just started laughing as we threw on some clothes and headed for the stairs. I should add that we were pretty certain it was a false alarm set off by one of the wedding party idiots so there was no real fear involved. We found ourselves in a stairwell with a lot of people who had obviously been asleep. It was nearly 1:30 a.m. and there were elderly people with canes and walkers, and families with sleepy young children all trying to get down the stairs from the 7th floor. We made it to the 5th floor and then progress completely halted. We later found out that the people at the bottom didn’t want to go outside because it was raining so they just stood there blocking seven floors worth of hotel guests. About 20 minutes later someone called up from the bottom that all was clear and we began heading back to our rooms. I thought it strange that we hadn’t heard an official “all clear” over the P.A. system but we went back anyway. We then hear raucous laughter coming from one of the rooms where wedding guests were staying. They had never evacuated which looked rather suspicious. David pounded on their door and confronted them. They claimed they didn’t set off the alarm but really had no reason for not evacuating. He threatened them a bit and we went back to our room. We got undressed but then noticed that there were still more fire trucks arriving. We hadn’t heard an official “all clear” so once again, we put on clothes.
The next hour or so was a blur of wedding guests being idiots, David and a man across the hall from us downstairs complaining to the night manager, the manager and security guard confronting and kicking people out (a lot of non-guests were partying in some of the rooms near us so these were the ones kicked out), and just general chaos. While downstairs David ran into my parents, who, it turned out, were on the same floor as us (but fortunately at the other end of the hall). My mom had smelled smoke as they exited their room to evacuate and totally freaked out. There never was any fire — an alarm had been pulled in the adjacent parking garage — so it must have been cigarette smoke she caught a whiff of. No one could convince her that all was safe, though, so she and my dad decided to drive home in the middle of the night. In the rain. It took them four hours, as we later found out.
It was about 3:00 a.m. when we finally got back to bed. The romance had fizzled out and the adrenaline had worn off so we fell asleep promptly. We had failed to completely close the curtains the night before so bright sunshine woke us much earlier than we would have liked. We even managed to make it downstairs for the breakfast buffet by about 9:45. The night manager had told us the night before that the hotel would comp our room and give us free breakfast. The staff was buzzing with talk about “what went down” the night before and we chatted with several of them as we ate our free breakfast. When we checked out they even comped our valet parking charges so the entire stay was free. You’ve gotta look on the bright side, right?
David told me he really appreciated the fact that I didn’t bitch and moan about the whole thing like a lot of women might have. Like I told him, first of all it wouldn’t change the situation. Second, it’s not like we have young children and this was our one romantic get-away for the year. And third, it gave me something to blog about.