Just came back from a 16-hour road trip to Kansas City, where I attended the ASBPE convention. (If you’re bored today, try to figure out what that stands for. Or rather, should stand for.) I picked up a colleague at the Indy airport to ride shotgun with me … someone I’ve chatted with for more than two years by email but had never met in person.
Now I also roomed with someone with that same status, so I was either brave or a glutton for punishment. Turns out, reality was a little bit of both. My roommate hit all my buttons: snored all night and wanted a light on to see around the room if she woke up. Those two alone meant I functioned on less than 5 good hours of sleep over a three-day stretch.
She was also the highly opinionated type, as in I would never open my laptop where she could see it because I didn’t want her to discover my screensaver is a repeated photo of George W. Bush in a cowboy hat. Those would have been grounds for locking me in the shower or stealing all my clothes. Heck, she had already switched the ringer on my cell phone to vibrate because it rang while she was in the room and I wasn’t.
But the passenger? I already knew she was an expert at football and baseball. I knew she enjoys singing in her choir. And I knew she once said that she likes the heat and prefers not to have the air-conditioning on in a car. Unfortunately, I never dreamed she has to have it pitch black in a room before she can sleep. Or that she is unpolitically correct enough to laugh at the way someone’s dog died – not because she dislikes animals but because the situation was stupid and called for the giggles.
I learned that she is honest enough to admit to the same monthly income goals I have.
And get outta here: She wasn’t kidding about the air-conditioning. For the first few hours we flew (uh, drove, Mom) across I-70, I thought for sure she’d reach over and hit the snowflake button on my dash. It never happened. For the first time in my life, I took a trip across the Midwest without shivering, wrapped in blankets, and sneezing to clear my clogged sinuses.
I think I need to learn the art of more meaningful email conversations. And to confess to my new traveling buddy that I have W on my computer so we can laugh about it.