I just returned from the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. It was ... amazing.
I'd never been to a writers' conference before, and in the days leading up to the conference, I was all stressed out. I worried about having to pretend to be extroverted for, like, 3 whole days.
What if everybody was cooler/prettier/a gajillion times more talented than me? What if no one would sit next to me? It was like the first day of junior high all over again, except now I worried not about my locker, but about those pesky electronic hotel keys.
The first day of junior high was kind of terrible. Erma? Erma was wonderful.
I got to shack up with Green Girl, my blog friend of 6 or 7 years. We'd never actually met in person, but now I'm pretty sure she's my soul mate. And I met so many honest, supportive, wonderful people. I enjoyed a weekend of talking about writing with like-minded folk. And I got to see Phil Donahue, who is basically the coolest human ever.
Laura writes about her take-aways from the conference, and learning to maintain a little perspective. Yes. That. I think the trick now is to take the energy we got from the workshop and keep it going. It's tough when you're surrounded not by like-minded folk, but - sigh! - the real world.
I was very excited to see my sweet husband. He picked me up from the airport, and took me out to dinner on the way home. We chatted over salads and he wanted to hear every last detail about the workshop. I am blessed to have such support.
He mentioned that he had vacuumed "every surface I could find." I about fell out of the restaurant booth. Thankyouthankyouthankyou! Considering the 3 dogs / recently reseeded yard combo we've got kickin' right now? Best husband ever! Between dinner and the prospect of a clean house, I was a pampered woman, indeed.
A few minutes later, he casually mentioned that the previous night, he'd been so tired. Exhausted. And when he went to bed, he discovered that 1 of the dogs had either puked of peed on the bed. But it was on my side, and he was too tired to deal with it, so he left it.
And he left it that morning.
And it was waiting for us (read: me) when we got home.
And, well, it wasn't on my pillow, but near the pillow region of my side of the bed.
I sat back in my seat. I folded my napkin. I placed my knife at 1 end.
"Pretend this is my side of the bed," I said. "The knife is my pillow. Where is the dried bodily fluid located?"
My Guy took a draw on his beer and considered. "Well, it's in this region," he said, waving his hand right where my shoulders would go. "But, ehh, you know, it's probably dried by now." He laughed.
I examined my knife and wondered why restaurants that serve booze generally don't provide sharp cutlery.
I sucked down my mojito and thought lovingly back to the Erma conference. Everyone was so nice, and we had daily housekeeping service in our room. One of the housekeepers even stopped me in the hallway to tell me how much she liked my hair. She made me feel like Miss America, minus the painful waxing.
You know what doesn't make you feel like Miss America? Sniffing your bed to determine what flavor of stain is on your sheets. No Miss America contestant in the history of ever has performed this particular trick as her talent. Trust me - I know my pageants.
If you must know, it was vomit. I consider that to be a win.