May 7, 2009

S-M-R-T Smart

So I have been debating whether or not to post about my weekend.  However, after much internal back and forth, I just cannot keep these comments to myself.  I am aware that what I'm going to write about may offend people but I cannot not keep it to myself.  And it's probably going to be a long post.  Sorry!

This weekend my parents, husband and Sweet Pea piled into a rented minivan for a trip into Michigan for a family baby shower.  The ride in is smooth and it's nice to have room to move around and be able to move around in the van if Sweet Pea needs something. 

We arrive at our hotel in Michigan around 7pm and my parents go in to check in.  We are warned that there are some interesting people inside when my mom returns to the van.  These words do not prepare me for the people that I will encounter for the rest of the weekend.  Apparently a certain group of individuals that belong to a society of smart people are holding a weekend meeting at the hotel.  This society shall remain nameless, but I figure you all can figure it out.  (It starts with an M and ends with an A).  

In the lobby there is a table set up outside a conference room with a sign indicating prices for something and a note about hugging.  I don't take the time to read these at this point because I'm distracted by getting all our luggage to the elevator.  While waiting for the elevator to arrive a man walks out of the bathroom with a name tag on.  His first name is written THIS BIG so you can see if from across the lobby.  My mom says "Hi Larry!" to him.  I'm embarrassed, if for no other reason than I don't want to make friends with random people in the lobby in the first 3 minutes we are there.  Larry immediately looks to see if we have name tags as well.  Which we don't.  Because we aren't that smart.  We explain we aren't there for the conference.  Just in for a baby shower.  In the mean time, Larry could care less.  And the elevator is still not there.  We see another gentleman with a name tag and Larry looks relieved to see another smart person.  My mom says something along the lines of "we'll see you around and we will probably be best friends by the end of the weekend."  I retreat with Sweet Pea into the elevator which has finally arrived.  Larry retreats as well, clearly disturbed with our encounter.

We make it up to the fourth floor and head all the way down the hall.  And around the corner.  And a little farther down the hallway.  Because apparently our room is at the other end of the hotel.  On the way to our room we pass a suite with the door open.  It appears to be a game room for the smart people.  There are a couple tables with board games stacked 15 high.  Most of which I have never heard of.  Must be smart people board games I think to myself.  Another table has the border of a very large jigsaw puzzle.  Now don't get me wrong people, I love a good puzzle.  I just don't bring them with me to a hotel.  But I'm not a smart person.  Maybe that's what they do for fun?  Moving on...while I notice the games and the puzzle, I also notice a woman with a short haircut and little mohawk (or faux hawk or whatever it is).  Now normally this wouldn't cause me pause.  But this haircut is special.  The top part is blue.  Bright blue.  And the bottom is purple.  Bright purple.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Blue and Purple!  Apparently there is more, as my mom claims the back of her hair was a checkerboard pattern.  I never had the pleasure of seeing the back of this woman's hair the entire weekend.  Although I did see her.  Several times.  And every time I did a double take.  Still Blue and Purple.  Hmmmmm.

After giving Sweet Pea a quick bath and getting all settled in the rain, we head over to my mom's older sister's house.  On the way out, we check out the signs.  The prices are for the conference, whether you will be attending one, two or three days.  And the hugging sign is about their "Hugging Code."  Yes, there is a "Hugging Code."  I just googled it and the sign makes more sense then it did when we were there.  Apparently, you can wear either a green, yellow or red dot to indicate your hugging preference.  According to the sign a green dot indicates "Hug Away," a yellow dot means "Ask first" and a red dot means "No hugging."   Now you know.  In case you ever encounter a smart person.  And want to hug them.

When we return later that evening with Sweet Pea in her car seat, we get off the elevator only to encounter 5 smart people standing around the elevator.  Not waiting for it to arrive, just standing in front of it.  Just blocking our way.  I suppose I should clarify.  There are 4 people standing and one man standing on a Segway.  On the fourth floor.  We say excuse me several times and the smart people finally realize they are in our way and move.  I shake my head and wonder aloud back in the room what the hell was that man doing on a Segway.  

Later that evening my dad and husband head down to the bar for a complimentary drink.  When they get back to the room they are laughing.  Oh great I think.  What now?  They have discovered there is also a hospitality room on our floor for the conference with milk, chocolate milk, cookies and brownies among other late night treats.  Both of them are on the Atkins diet at the moment but they say I'm welcome to go down and get a treat.  I let them know that while I appreciate the offer, I'll pass.

The next morning my dad heads down to breakfast and encounters the Segway man again.  He has it in the dining room.  However, he is walking on his own to the buffet to get his food so it doesn't appear that he needs it.  But I don't know.  So I'm trying not to judge.  But really?  We also realize that Saturday appears to be "Wear your smart people shirt" day.  Everyone we encouter has a smart people shirt on and we can read all of their names from 200 yards away.

We head to the baby shower and Sweet Pea is a hit.  She hasn't met any of my extended family and everyone loves her.  At least that's what they tell me.  My cousin's wife looks great and she is happy to have the attention on anyone but her while we are there.  We all have a great time and Sweet Pea is her charming self.  Quiet at all the right times and soaks up all the love of my family.  The shower ends and we head to another cousin's house for a BBQ with the men of the family.  I realize how much I have missed everyone.  I hate that I don't get to see them as often.  And I vow (in my head) to visit more and invite them to visit me as well.  Because it's a long drive with a baby and Chicago is a great place to visit.

When we finally arrive back at the hotel, the bar is hosting karoake.  And it's awful.  The poor girl singing is not good.  My husband mentions that she sounds a lot like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding.  We all agree.  The elevator is slightly quicker than usual and provides a welcome respite from the awful noise coming from the bar.  

My husband and dad drop us girls off in the room and head out to get dinner as they didn't have much to eat at the BBQ.  While they are gone, a new batch of idiots end up in the hallway.  There must have been a wedding in the area and a groomsman and his girlfriend and friends are now yelling down the hall.  I realize that becoming a mom and getting close to another birthday has made me increasingly less tolerant of drunk idiots.  And these particular idiots are grating my nerve.  I realize it's just 11pm on a Saturday night but I'm tired and I have a 3 and half month old sleeping.  Nevermind that she can sleep through just about any noise.  That's not the point.  The point is you are bothering me and I want you to SHUT UP!  My favorite quote of the night comes as the groomsman passes our room and loudly declares "I'm sooooooo hammered!"  Good for you.  Shut up and go to bed!  No, don't get a cooler and attempt to drag it down the hall to fill it with ice.  Letting the ice drop into your empty cooler and echo down the whole hallway!  And don't let your girlfirend try to help you only making matters worse when you two drop the cooler and spill most of the ice.  Idiots!  They finally make it to their room and after the girl screams several times about God knows what, they shut up.  I assume they have passed out.  And I'm grateful that I have peace and quiet.

The next morning we pack and have our final encounters with the smart people who continually look disturbed by our encouters.  Maybe we are scary.  I have no idea.  I just know that I'm grateful to be checking out and heading home.  We walk out behind the drunk groomsman and his girlfriend.  He is in some sport shorts, a tee shirt and his dress socks and shoes from the wedding.  He is carrying his vest and bow tie and the girl is carrying a bouquet.  The groomsman looks silly enough for me to cause me to laugh at my anger from the night before.  We walk out into the sunshine and see the lady with Blue and Purple hair again.  It's even brighter in the sun.  My dad pulls up in the minivan and I hop in eager to get out of there.  The weekend ends with breakfast with some more family and then a long drive home.  I make a mental note to check with the hotel the next time we go into Michigan to ensure there are no conferences going on with the smart people.

Sorry again for the long post, but I had to write this down.


  1. Sounds like you had a good time with your family.

    Speaking as an autism mum, the dot system sounds great! Aspergers is quite prevelent in "smart" people so knowing not to impose an unwanted hug in advance is a good thing.

    Blue and purple hair? COOL!!

  2. I think that's a great point Amanda. I'm actually thinking of a way to use the dots for myself. Like green dot - I'm free to talk, yellow dot - ask if I have time and red dot - do not disturb!

  3. Am cracking up with your story. Am wondering if the smart people wrote a blog post about the 'regular' people at the hotel that weekend! Can you imagine!!! And good that Sweet Pea is such an awesome traveler!!!

    WAAAAY looking forward to Thursday. Sounds like there's no party after, according to Jen's blog, but we'll get down there early and grab some food and have fun!


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