Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grace and Waffles

I just ate at a Waffle House for the second time ever. I know, I lead a sheltered life. I did learn that cheese grits can be just like regular grits but with a slice of processed American cheese slapped on top. And the waitresses running the juke box are fond of transitions from modern country, to 80s Bon Jovi, to Vince Gill “Go Rest High On That Mountain”, straight into Vanilla Ice. Some dance moves may have been busted out. Just what the doctor ordered, even for this food nazi.

I’m halfway home from Atlanta, somewhere in small town Tennessee, nestled amongst the mountains along the interstate. Bad, bad, dangerous weather is predicted in Ohio tonight, so I didn’t want to drive all the way home.

There are three things I don’t like when it comes to driving. Driving at night, driving in unfamiliar places, and driving in rain or snow. I still do them, they’re just not my favorite. They cause me stress, and they make me tired. Three of the four hours of driving today were in the rain. Interstate driving doesn’t really count as unfamiliar, though, and it was somewhat light outside, albeit overcast. I was hydroplaning like nobody’s business on a regular basis, however.

About a year-and-a-half ago I went on a business trip with a coworker. Our travel arranger had put the rental car in my name. In my past experience, any employee of the company is good to drive the rental car … all part of the contract, yada, yada, yada. I have no idea where my coworker stands on spiritual matters, but I would not be surprised to learn he has legalistic tendencies. He had no interest whatsoever, no way, no how, in driving the rental car. It might not be okay. What if something happened.

Oy vey. So yes indeedy, following some airline delays and re-routing, we had the trifecta of darkness, rainy / wintry mix, and driving two hours from northern Vermont (there are watch-out-for-moose signs) into Quebec ski resort country. I do not mind chivalry at all. I am highly in favor of it, in fact. In my coworker’s defense, he was unaware of my driving preferences, and we ended up with a hilarious story to tell everyone else.

Today’s trip was a day earlier than planned. Normally I’m pretty healthy, and I’m a former road warrior so travel is no big deal, but I do have some chronic health issues that rear their ugly head from time to time. This morning I wasn’t feeling well, so I bailed early on my conference to start heading home. I went to the front desk to check out early, and I chose the riff raff line, as opposed to the I-stay-in-a-hotel-way-too-much line. I do not know where it came from … but my inner wench totally came out. Well, okay, maybe I do know where it came from. In a past life I may have managed unruly, potty-mouthed construction and factory workers with ease, and vicious rhetoric may be among my natural, God-given talents.

The front desk clerk handling the riff raff line called me up, I told her what room I was checking out of, and then … a guy from the hoity toity line interjected to complain that she should be taking care of him first. Keep in mind there were only maybe four or five people total in any line at the time. I politely invited the fine gentleman to “go right ahead and make a lady wait”. He started to take me up on my offer until I added how special he was. J

So I got checked out quickly, thanked the clerk and told her she was doing a great job, and went on my way. I am certain I lost points in the grace department, and feeling ill doesn’t really make it ok. To do list item number one … keep working on that grace thing …

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