I remember a time in the not too distant past when I could stay up all night for these conferences and not want to die by Friday morning. Those days are past. I have slept somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 hours since Monday and I am EXHAUSTED.
So, let's pretend it was exhaustion that led to the next set of events. Let's just pretend.
Yesterday morning, I happily dressed for work, in my business clothes which are more comfortable that anything I have ever worn for work, and felt that I could make the sacrifice for the cute shoes. I stepped out onto the sidewalk and into the pouring rain, quite confidently I might add, and . . .immediately sunk the heel of my shoe into a sidewalk grate. Of course, my left shoe was stuck tight, with my foot in it, but my right leg was moving forward forcefully, propelling the rest of my body with it. My right hand was stuck under the strap of my very heavy bag, the momentum of which was rapidly bringing my face toward the concrete.
In desperation I flailed with my left hand and inadvertently grabbed a hold of, well, a hobo. He had his back to me and was trying to get money from someone on the other side of the sidewalk, so clearly a little freaked out when I was suddenly clutching and pulling at him to prevent a serious case of road rash all over my face. He let me know quite clearly how freaked out he was with plenty of swearing, muttering, screaming, the works. Meanwhile. I am upright, but still stuck. My shoe will not come out of the grate. And I have a decision to make. And I need to make it fast because it's pouring rain.
Do I stand there, still yanking my foot up but able to defend myself should he start swinging, or step out of the shoe and bend down to pick it up and just pray he won't kick me in the kidneys while I'm down?
I gave a couple more tugs and realized I had no choice but to bend down. I had to have 2 shoes. It's required to get into the convention center. And did I mention the pouring rain?
So, while I am apologizing to him and fumbling to get my shoe out while trying to find money to calm him down, a lady going to my convention comes up behind me. She can see that we are going to the same place because of the badges we all have on, and she now feels a need to protect me. Of course she does. I have clearly proven that I can't actually get myself to the convention with two shoes and without pissing off random homeless men on the street. And I have no umbrella which also seems to bother her.
The funny part of this is that her conflict was totally clear. She can't bring herself to get close enough to actually share the umbrella with me. I mean, a homeless man is going postal in my face and I am holding one shoe and trying to hop into it. So, she settles for putting the umbrella halfway over me, thereby keeping a safe distance, but assuaging her need to help me out. I can't say no thank you. I mean, she is putting herself WAY out. Not her umbrella so much, but I really was fine with being wet. I was not fine appearing with a bloody face. Wet seemed like an OK trade off.
So, 6 blocks later, and carefully walking around all grates no matter how small, I arrived for the day. It was very entertaining explaining to my co-workers why I was showing up to the booth with half of my hair frizzy and fluffed around my face and the other half soaking wet, dripping on my blouse. I know, it's a glamorous life, but someone has to live it.