From the Blog

She’s Still Got It


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Today. I woke up somewhat late. I didn’t sleep well. This might have something to do with the Narrowly-Averted-Though-Still-Panic-Inducing-Near-Tragedy that almost befell me when I tried to check into my hotel last night.

I had booked my hotel through hotels.com a couple weeks ago. They had my reservation on file (I called before leaving Hawaii to verify.) However, my debit card wouldn’t work. Huh.

I did quick mental check and recalled that there was plenty of money to cover the charge. She ran it through a couple of times and still no worky. Huh. I did another quick mental check of the other cards in my wallet and I was not not encouraged. I have three or four bank accounts, but only one that is really active. And that was the one being declined.

I have only one credit card, and I don’t really use it. I try to only spend money that I have, not the money I don’t have. Since I don’t use the credit card, it’s not in my wallet. Fucking brilliant, I know.

I have another somewhat substantial “deep savings” account that I have been drawing off of since I took a $10.00-an-hour job. I call it “deep savings” because it takes three days to get any money out of there. Plenty of money, but will not keep me off the street in Seattle right now. I have a wad of cash – actual money – in my wallet, but she needs a card to charge it to. Real money will not work.

In addition to being dumbfounded about being declined, I begin to contemplate the ramifications of not having another card to charge this to. If I don’t get this hotel room…then what? I don’t know anyone in Seattle. Do I go back to the train station and sleep on a bench? It’s freakin cold out, and it just rained like Noah’s flood in this place, so getting all hobo in a park is definitely out. I’m not a pessimist by any stretch, but this is where my mind is going.

The girl behind the counter is snotty about all of this, which adds to my embarrassment. Surely there is an explanation. So I called my bank and gave them my card number. The woman on the phone looks me up, there is no “block” on my account, so my card should accept the charge. However there is a “hold.” She explained that transactions A, B and C are about it hit my account, and will reduce my balance below what the hotel is trying to charge. Ah. Yes. The unexpected flight, and some other stuff. It makes more sense. And again, I wonder how I have ever convinced anyone, particularly employers, that I am an accountant.

So now I understand, but it still doesn’t help me in my current quandary. The girl behind the counter is waiting, all shrewd and suspicious. I fiddle through my wallet and pull out another card, she takes it, disdainful, and runs it through the machine. And the seconds pass. And we wait.

Just that morning, I was having breakfast at the posh place I was staying at in Portland. Others around me are in their business “conquer-the-world” duds. I was overlooking the river, drinking a Big Fat Mocha, having homemade granola, reading the paper, feeling, well, ADULT. I’m by myself. I’m seeing new cities. I’m deciding my future. I’m reading the paper. That’s really what feels like adulthood. Sitting alone, reading the paper with all the suits. It was nice.

Now this. Sweating through agonizing seconds to see if this neglected piece of plastic from my wallet will get me into this scruffy, worse-for-wear, “historic” hotel. If it doesn’t work, I really don’t know what I’ll do.

The paper from the machine starts printing. “Oh, that went through.” she says. She sounded surprised. Hallelujah. She reverts back to the veneer of hospitality as I sign the paper and she gives me the keys. I turn and escape.

So much for being an adult.

Today, I got a little bit of a late start. My hotel is near the Key Arena and Seattle Center. It’s practically in the shadow of the Space Needle. I started walking. There were fewer things I could hope to see in Seattle without a car. This city is just bigger. I wanted to try to get up to Fremont and see “The Center of the Universe.” But it’s a bit further away, and I didn’t want to cut into the short amount of time I had to see the things I could get to.

Cold. I went with layers. Two layers, actually, which worked fine walking up hills in Portland. I realized, too late, it was not going to work in Seattle. When I got to the top of the Space Needle, it was windy and felt arctic up there. Angry Scarf was doing the best it could, but alas, its maker is not very bright.

Despite the cold, and the $16 cost, I was glad I went up there. Way off in the distance, the Olympia Mountain Range was peeking through the clouds, and covered with snow, reflected the sun back to the city. Amazing. I was thankful for the reminder that this is not New England. Mountains are awesome.

I took a lot of photos, came in and warmed up with a cup of coffee. I decided to walk to Pike’s Place. Only a mile. I was still a little sore from hiking to the Japanese Garden the other day. I have been wearing the hiking/hybrid shoes I bought for work and they have been remarkably supportive. My arches are fallen and my feet are flat as a duck feet. They give me issues. These are the kind of hard-hitting details that you won’t get from other media outlets, folks.

Pike’s Place was totally charming. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was much larger than what I had in my mind. I knew they threw fish around, but I didn’t know there would be so many vendors: flowers, produce, pasta, clothing, art, trinkets, junk. I spent a couple hours there, taking photos, getting some yummy crab bisque, buying yet another red beret to keep my noggin warm. I seem to lose red berets. I’ve bought at least 3 in my life. Maybe I need to try a different color.

I found a cafe, got a cup of coffee, read the paper. This hotel, (I’m sorry, “historic inn”), is not as inviting to return to as the last one. So I started a leisurely stroll through the throngs of Friday night Christmas shoppers. Visiting any city is nice at Christmas time. The Christmas lights and decorations are out, the streets are all packed, people are in a good mood. Nice.

I went to a mexican cantina down the street from my hotel. The place was filling with people going to the Sonics game. I went to the bar with a nod to the other folks sitting there. Got a drink, chatted with the guy sitting next to me a little. He asked if I was going to the game, I shook my head.

Another guy, whom I hadn’t spoken to, got up to leave, saying his goodbyes to his buds. He dropped a card on the bar next to me. “You should email this guy…he’ll get right back to you.” I looked. A history teacher. Seattle Public Schools. I smiled sweetly and thanked him.

I talked a bit to his bud, who advised: “Eddie is such a player.” (“History Teacher by Day, Player by Night!”) I heard him saying he grew up in New Mexico, so I asked him about Santa Fe and Albuquerque. He was chatty, made lame jokes and laughed nervously.

Something about a girl sitting at a bar by herself.

Eddie came back a little later with two tickets in his hand. “I have an extra ticket, you want to go to the game?” Huh. How nice. But, not really.

I’m out of practice, but some things you don’t forget how to do: “Oh! Thanks! I’d love to, but I have to catch an early flight tomorrow.”

He was interested in where I was going and what I was doing in Seattle. Eddie was considerably older than me, not bad looking, reminded me of Samuel L Jackson. Wore the same kind of hat. I gave another sweet smile and thanked him again.

“That Eddie’s such a player,” Nervous Chatty Guy says. “I mean, I can see why, you’re a very pretty lady.” We talked a bit more about Seattle, New Mexico, and Portland. I paid for my drink and my food and said goodbye. He said, “I’m sorry you’re not staying longer,” and kissed me on the hand.

Votes are in. She’s Still Got It.

Comments

  1. Are you back in Hawaii now StillGotItGirl?
    Apparently you stop posting until someone comments so here ya go! ; )

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