Friday, November 17, 2006

Lessons Learned

Well, there are a few things I’ve learned during our time here in Seattle:

1) Having a non-English speaking member of the house-keeping staff clean your hotel room while you are sitting on the bed in your pajamas checking your e-mail is indeed slightly awkward.

2) Milk Duds that a friend takes the time to mail to you in a care package taste even better than the Milk Duds you buy on your own.

3) Luck decrees that the more items you have to drag from the grocery store back to the hotel room, the harder it will be raining.

4) And the more likely it will be that you’ve forgotten your umbrella.

5) When you don’t normally watch TV, the idea of spending five or six uninterrupted days in a hotel room with a television at your disposal, and no children clamoring to watch Nickelodeon or The Disney Channel, will seem quite delicious. You will realize, however, by the end of day three, that you’ve watched every unsolved crime documentary ever made. You will have learned about Treacher-Collins Syndrome, how police search for missing persons in Florida, the lifestyle of the female prisoner at the North Carolina Correctional Institute, current treatments available for anorexics and bulimics, The View, Family Feud, Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear, Ten Years Younger, It Takes a Thief, Baby Story, numerous football games, hours upon hours of CNN and MSNBC, Barbara Walters Special, Political Countdown, Entertainment Tonight, Jeopardy, Dancing With the Stars (both nights!) Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and more re-runs of Friends, Seinfield, and Everybody Loves Raymond than you can shake a stick at. And while overall this will be enjoyable, especially when you have endless bags of Quaker caramel corn rice cake snacks and Diet Dr. Pepper with Styrofoam cups (Hi, Heidi!) at your disposal, you will realize that if you’re being honest, you’d much rather be in your own living room, watching That’s So Raven with your own kids.

6) I have learned that no matter how adaptable I *think* I am, I am not cut out to be a city dweller. I don’t like walking to fill prescriptions, or walking to buy lunch, or walking to buy a box of Kleenex. I miss having my own washer and dryer. I miss my car. I miss Target. I miss Sonic. With the exception of one brief moment, earlier this week, after I bought a hot chocolate from the coffee shop on the main floor of my hotel (so Seattle clichéd!!) and walked outside to flag a taxi, holding my Cocoa Grande in one hand and my purse in the other, and felt very Marlo Thomas-ish from the opening scene of That Girl when she twirls around and throws her hat up in the air …. Well, except for that very quick similarity, I just don’t make a very good city girl.

Now, before you think I’m complaining about the city of Seattle specifically, let me reassure you I’m not. The area we are in, the University District, is very neat. So named, because U of W is right here. We could see the stadium from Blaine’s hospital room window. And as you would expect from a young, college area like this, there are dozens and dozens of restaurants, stores, bars, etc, all within a few blocks of our hotel. So it’s not like I’m having to walk very far, for anything. It’s just bizarre to me to have to walk. At all.

Back home, I walk (granted, not often) for exercise. I get in my car and drive to the gym and walk on a treadmill, going nowhere. And I like it. Sometimes, in the evening, the kids will get on their bikes and I will walk with them around our neighborhood. I like that too. But walking ….. for the primary purpose of “getting someplace” is just odd to me. Blaine and I walked to dinner the other night. We walked to a store to buy our kids gifts to bring home. I walked to a bookstore the other day, and walked down the street to use the ATM. Public transportation is OK, although I haven’t braved the bus system. And I’m a little sad I haven’t been picked up by The Cash Cab just yet, or is that only in NYC?

Public transportation has obviously enhanced a lot of lives. Sandra Bullock, for one, and her exciting adventure in Speed. And The Magic School Bus, which has helped a lot of kids learn about Science. But as for me? I’ll stick to my mini-van, thank you very much, parked in my garage with its luggage rack on top and soccer association magnet on the back and empty juice boxes and French fry wrappers on the floor. I’m an imposter here in the city, and I know it. Which leads me to number 7:

7) There’s no place like home. Kendrie has lost BOTH her front teeth while we’ve been gone. The Tooth Fairy has depleted Grandma’s stash of one dollar bills even further. It breaks my heart that we’ve missed it. Blaine meets with his surgeons for his follow up tomorrow and we’ll find out just how quickly we get to return there. To my van. To my washer and dryer. To my toothless child…. Best of all, to all three kids and the Disney channel.

PS. Totally not Caringbridge or Kendrie or Blaine or cancer related: If you are a fan of music, specifically, cheesy love songs, go to this site: Frema and join in the Cheesy Love Song CD swap. I think it sounds like a hoot and am totally doing it .... but you have to sign up by tomorrow .... er, what time is it? Today, you have to sign up by today!!!

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