Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chick Lit Cheerleader: Heartbreaking Hotel

Introduction by Melissa Amster

When you go away, even if it's a quick weekend getaway, you want things to be perfect. However, sometimes this is not the case. Take, for instance, a van that barely holds seven people and all their luggage making for some uncomfortable seating situations (gotta love those rental car companies). Or in our Chick Lit Cheerleader, Jen Tucker's case, the disaster that befalls her and her husband on their wedding night and leads to a (Fliss from Sophie Kinsella's Wedding Night would have loved this story.)

Without further ado, here's Jen's latest story...

Twenty years ago today, I walked down the candlelit aisle of St. John’s Episcopal Church on the tender yet strong arm of my daddy.  After lovingly exchanging promises and rings, then sealing the deal with a kiss, I walked that same carpeted path excitedly holding onto my husband, Mike.  A beautiful day surrounded by the ones we loved most, and those gone before us witnessing in spirit.  Later, toasts and well-wishes poured in, cake was smashed into faces (I didn’t start it), and the dance floor was packed with electric sliders rocking the night away. 
*Everyone—Y.M.C.A.!  It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.!*
After leaving the reception, we paid a visit to Harry’s Chocolate Shop, the popular campus bar near Purdue University where Mike poured drinks for a living, to join our friends’ after party already in progress.  Cocktails, shots, beers—you name it—began piling up on the bar with our names on them.  Gifts from friends and strangers alike.  Mike and I had an hour’s drive ahead of us to our waiting hotel in Indianapolis; a place to crash for a few hours before our 6:00 AM flight to our honeymoon cruise.  We took inventory of the collection of intoxicants before us, looked at each other, and slipped out of the bar without saying goodbye.  Don’t worry; I’m sure someone put our beverages to good use.
     “We have a reservation for Tucker,” Mike informed the front desk clerk of the Hyatt hotel on the grounds of the Indianapolis Airport.  She smiled, pecked away at her keyboard for a moment, then grabbed some papers and disappeared.  She didn’t come back.  I looked over at Mike, who was just shaking his head; enraged.  “Jen, they sold our BLEEP-ing room!”
     In total disagreement, I calmly replied, “Baby, there’s no way that they sold our room.  It’s paid for.  I’m sure she’ll be right back with keys.”
     Mike shook his head in disgust.  “I’m telling you.  They sold our room!” 
I still wasn’t buying it.  Who gives away a room to someone else that’s already paid for?  Not reserved mind you, paid in full by Mike’s parents complete with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.  It was 2:30 in the morning, and all I wanted was a pillow and those strawberries!
     Twenty minutes passed as we reclined on the lobby sofas.  Still no room, no pillow, nor strawberries.  Mike had had it.  He walked up to the desk, frustrated and said, “Hello!  We’re still out here waiting!”
     The night clerk returned.  “I’m sorry Mr. Tucker, but we sold your room.”
     “I knew it,” Mike seethed. 
     “I’m really sorry.  I’ve been on the phone calling all the area hotels trying to find you a room…”
     “And?” Mike interrupted. 
     “Everyone’s sold out.”
     Oh this was not good.  Not good at all.  I decided to step back and let Mr. Happy Pants deal with this interesting, honeymoon night snafu.  Again, give me a pillow and my chocolates, and I’m cool with crashing on your couch, ma’am.
     “You mean to tell me there isn’t one room, in this entire hotel that is unoccupied!?”
     She thought a moment.  “Well, I do have an executive suite with a couch and full bathroom.”
     “Okay, good!’ Mike compliantly said, ‘Now we’re getting somewhere!  Does it have a couch that folds out into a bed or something?”
     She paused.  “No, but I’d be happy to send you up a rollaway.”
     With pursed lips, Mike gave me the look that he wanted my approval.  I shrugged my shoulders and nodded.  “I guess we have no choice,” he said, drumming his fingertips on the countertop.
     By 3:30 AM, Mike was lying on the couch and I was on the rollaway placed beside it in our executive suite.  We’d popped open the champagne, and were passing it back and forth enjoying liberal gulps straight out of the bottle.  Our presence was required at the airline gate in an hour, so sleeping wasn’t an option.  We were so exhausted that nothing else to pass the time was even up for discussion, if you catch my drift.  “You know, one day we’ll laugh about this,” I said finishing off the last juicy strawberry.
     “It’s the first of many stories we’ll laugh about later; even with our children, Baby” Mike said, holding my hand in the dimly lit room. 
     He was right.
     What started out as a honeymoon joke, became a trend of no hanky-panky on our anniversary.  Isn’t that sad?  We spent our first anniversary delayed in the Reno, Nevada airport until the wee hours of the morning.  Our second anniversary, Mike worked until midnight and I was sawing logs by the time he arrived home.  The best event of all that’s kept us from monkey business on our anniversary was the birth of our first son, Wil.  He arrived into the world on July 24, 1996.  Although I moaned and complained to my doctor that he was on a strict delivery timeline, the moment Wil was placed into my arms, there was no one else in the world I’d rather share this joyous day with.

So on this day, as I celebrate twenty years of for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health with my soul mate, my hope and prayer for us is to continue to remain united as the speed bumps of life come our way.  Like the time you shrunk my DKNY outfit to the size of Baby Gap clearance items.  Mike, I think we’ve done a bang-up job so far.  Wil, my *gulp* seventeen-year-old young man, may you continue to shine in the midst of life’s curveballs.  I’m not always sure I’m doing a good job as your mom.  You’re our first baby, which means you continue to be our parental clinical trial.  Thank you for forgiveness when I screw up, bless you for cooking on Tuesday nights, and my heart swoons when you tower over me, hugging me tightly.  There’s no one else I’d rather bake Mickey Mouse birthday cakes for, on this day, than you.  I love you both.

Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of SaltIn September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at TwitterFacebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.        


Janine said...

What a anniversary story. Mine wasn't so great either. Our first wedding was planned for 2005, but after a big fight it was called off. We worked through the problems and stayed together. We got married in 2009. We didn't have enough money to finish paying for our wedding, so my mother-in-law helped with that. But, it meant we had to cancel our trip. We took a trip a couple years later to celebrate 2 years anniversary. We drove down to Galveston (4.5 hours from home) and the hotel room had very wet floors. Apparently the humidity was so bad it caused massive condensation from the air conditioner. They had no more rooms overlooking the ocean (which is why we paid extra for the view because we both like to see it), so we stayed there anyway. We just had to put flip flops on every time we wanted to look outside. Me and my husband fought the entire time too. We haven't been able to afford another trip since then.

Laura Chapman said...

Happy anniversary, Jen. What a history of stories you and LMT have -- and you tell them so well!

Connie said...

Happy Anniversary, Jen! Stay together, talk, love one another and be happy. That’s all it takes. Wishing you much happiness.

Jackie Bouchard said...

Great post! Happy anniversary! 20 years of marital bliss is awesome! It's good that you can look back and laugh at these stories now. :) The worst nights always make the best stories!

Tracie Banister said...

Jen, one of the highlights of my year so far was getting to meet you and Mike! It's always wonderful to see a couple who has such deep respect and affection for each other. I think you two are a perfect match! Wishing you 20 more years of love, happiness, and good times! :) And happy birthday to your anniversary baby Wil!

Martha Reynolds said...

It's like you said, Jean - you laugh later! What a sweet post - happy 20 years!

Dee DeTarsio said...

Aw, great stories! Happy Anniversary, Jen! (Jackie's right, the worst nights make the best stories!)

Unknown said...

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by. I was internet challenged last week while on vacation. It is 2013, right? I tried to embrace being unplugged from time to time. Thank you for the love and wishes; it means the world to me and I'll pass them on to Wil and Mike too. Janine, thank you for sharing your story with me. Sending you lots of sunshine and less slippery days ahead XOXO