After a long drive yesterday, Em and I arrived at our hotel. We were tired, hungry, and in need of a bathroom. I opened the door and was surprised to see a lobby full of people. A perky blonde about half-way through the line raises her Bud Light and says, “Welcome to the line!”
I look around the tiny lobby and see two men sprawled in the only two chairs available. Between them is a small lamp table covered in empty beer cans. There is a large white rolling cooler in front of them, and a few minutes later they are joined by a skinny brunette. She lifts the lid on the cooler and helps herself to a Coors Light. This crew is obviously together, and they’re getting rowdy. The perky blonde says, “Hope you’re not in a hurry, we’ve been here almost 45 minutes.” She laughs, and asks for another beer.
This could have been a disaster. I’m generally uncomfortable in small spaces filled with strangers. Instead of my usual reaction, trying to disappear, I took a chance. “So what are you folks up to?”
The beer drinking foursome have been friends since high school. They spent yesterday at the nearby casino, and were reliving some of their “misspent childhood” (their words) by going to concerts of their high school favorites. Last night was Sammy Hagar. They were bragging about how great it was to be without kids for the weekend.
The couple in front of me were playing in an adult volleyball tournament. They were pretty excited to have left kids at home too. We all bond a little over having adult kids.
They guy at the head of the line with the giant guitar case? Yeah, he’s with the band. His companion didn’t have anything to say and just keeps looking at his watch. They took a lot of black cases and equipment boxes on the elevator. The Hagar foursome tried to get the guitarist to play. He smiled and said no. The blonde whipped out her cell phone and started searching for places to do karaoke.
To round out our group, three guys from an LA motorcycle club, a young man meeting his fiancee’s extended family for the first time, and a very confused looking guy in a business suit.
It took us an hour to get checked in. Somehow this crazy eclectic bunch of people managed to stay positive. Yeah, there were some jokes about hopping behind the counter to help out the single front desk person, but we all were polite and understanding of the fact that she had been left short-handed and rooms just weren’t ready. We laughed, we joked, we talked, and some drank beer. It could have turned into an ugly and uncomfortable situation, but it didn’t.
Rock on, Lisa, Jim, Phil and Brenda. I hope Sammy was awesome.