Tuesday, May 1, 2007
In the Heat and Humidity Capitol of the USA
Here I am in Houston, Texas --
at least it ain't August.
I end up here the first of May every year because the Engineer attends a big conference. Biggest conference Houston hosts every year. Imagine 60,000 engineers, large and small, young and old, all geeky, gathering in one place. The conversation is not fit for mixed company, nor is it understandable by normal humans. But it makes them happy, so it's good.
My role is support staff (as usual.) I hold down the home-away-from-home fort. Take the cleaning in, pick it up, schmooze with the big wigs. We have to go to fancy parties and dinners with Houstonians and poobahs. I most often feel like a kid at a cocktail party, out of place and out of my league. All this while wearing uncomfortable shoes. (Why are uncomfortable shoes a requirement for being properly dressed up?)
The ladies who populate Houston high society are often of a type, slim and elegant with lots of jewels and money and big hair. They get a weekly manicure, pedicure and foot massage. They talk about opera and their children going to private prep schools or Texas A&M (Go Aggies!) They know they're the cream floating on top.
And there I am, short and round and usually looking like someone forgot to iron me after taking me out of the dryer.
But I'm nice. I'm kind and soft spoken. Everybody likes me even if I do look more than a little out of place.
I think when I die it's going to say, "She was nice," on my tombstone. Talk about damning with faint praise. I don't want to be nice. I want to be interesting, eccentric, memorable, intriguing and a heck of a lot of fun. But I don't want to drip with jewels or have big hair or kids in prep school. I guess I'll settle for nice.
As long as I can wear comfortable shoes while I'm at it.