Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Fling


Photo Credit: Stephanie Karfelt


Since I live pretty much in Amish Country, when I travel I tend to go overboard. Normally I’m quite content with some fresh apples, old jeans, and writing my current story. Then I get out in the great big sparkly world! Whenever I travel I manage to find time to stock up on shtuff. From lip balm and lotion (The Body Shop, Oh Baby) to sparkly lanyards for conferences, and – yes – I admit it! I had a fling with The Cheesecake Factory. Oh, it was just salads off their Skinnylicious Menu. Salad is about the best food on earth, and Orange County seems to have mastered the art. Okay fine, my fling may have involved blueberry cheesecake and tiramisu cheesecake (so far). May as well own it, you’ll know anyway because there will be no full body shots on Facebook for awhile. Right now I just hope I can still fit in coach for the trip home. Don’t think I’m kidding. It doesn’t take much to tip the scales.

Slinkylicious, right?

#IthinktheTSAhaspantshrinkingtechnology

Dear Hubby is here with me, wrestling for space on the 2’x2’ hotel desk. Since the conference is one of his, he usually wins. I sit on the bed with my dinner cheesecake and poke fun at the Optical Fiber Conference. He patiently explains Silicon Photonics Design again (I think, I just pretend to listen) and he pretends to look at my new sparkly lanyard. As an intelligent, 21st Century man he doesn’t make any comment about the cheesecake, even though he is well aware that he will be forced to share in my cottage cheese, yogurt penance. Poor guy, he’s lactose intolerant. Let the record show that marriage isn’t easy.

My awesome sparkly lanyard!
And neither is sleeping when you’re staying in the same hotel as a few hundred attendees of a high school cheerleading conference. Yep, the girls in the room next door placed! Yay! I found this out despite the fact that it was 3:00 a.m. my time. It was Saturday night, and this was their first trip without their parents, AND they placed. Give me a dang? DANG! I didn’t get to see their winning moves, but I got to hear them! After I stick my chronic-vertigo self onto a plane that bounces against the jet stream for six hours, my glitter globe head bounces for another twenty-four hours after. Apparently it’s called land sickness and it’s a thing. It’s kind of like drinking until the room spins without any of the fun drinking part. It's hard to appreciate cheerleader enthusiasm in that condition.


The next day I posted something smarmy about the cheerleading conference on Facebook. A friend from primary school saw it and replied that she was at it with her daughter. Yay! A for real yay, isn’t that serendipitous? This conference is about thirty or forty states away from our grade school state. So I ducked out of the engineering conference, and managed to slide through the crowd of billions of cheerleaders and found her. Caught the tail end of the awards ceremony while we caught up. That is a challenging catch up, you know? "Since fifth grade I got married, had children, and I still wile away my time writing stories." My friend moved to a sunny place, and had two children with cool names, one of whom is an award wining cheerleader. She drives through hideous traffic to spend the day watching billions of cheerleaders and keeps right on smiling with those awesome dimples that I remembered. How would you sum up your life in a few sentences? What have you been doing since grade school? Are you still smiling your awesome smile?



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