Let me start by saying that I love you. I appreciate all that you do for us, and how hard you work to support our family. I know that your job is not always glamorous, and that being on the road 50% of the month can be taxing. We miss you while you are away and look forward to your return.
There is a certain time of year when your absence fails to make my heart grow fonder…when your phone calls do not light my fire, but instead cause smoke to come out of my ears.
No, it’s not the crazy holiday scramble or our forgotten anniversary. It’s your annual Sales Conference. Oh, excuse me: Global Users Exchange Meeting: That one full week when you fly to a sunny destination to
golf “network” and drink“build client relationships.”
So, for future reference, I have compiled a top ten list of “What Not To Say” when you call from your frat party Global Users Exchange Meeting.
#10. When I say: “I am having a hard time hearing you. Are you outside?” please do not reply with: “Yes, I am taking a beer break on the 9th hole” or “I am on a sunset booze cruise.” Because where I am, it’s been raining for 5 days straight. So a simple: “Yes. It’s windy” will suffice.
#9. I am already skeptical that this very-serious-meeting-of-the-minds takes place in either Southern California (Disneyland) or Orlando (Disney World). Saying, “…and I didn’t even get to go on that many rides!” does not help your case.
#8. While I am in the middle of telling you that the spray gun on the kitchen faucet will not turn off and every time I go to turn on the water it sprays me in the face, please do not put your hand over the phone and shout: “My People! I’ll meet you at the bar! Start a tab!” Because I can still hear you. Not to mention that it kind of highlights the fact that I have no People. At least, not over the age of 6.
#7. It’s great that you get to eat at nice restaurants. But after I ate the burnt remnants of tomato-alphabet soup out of the pot while standing over the sink, I don’t need to hear about the shrimp cocktail, surf & turf or $3,000 sushi feast.
#6. Don’t say: “I can’t wait to light candles and take a whirlpool bath in my junior suite.” For a lot of reasons.
#5. I don’t know how you woke up with a lava lamp in your hotel room. So don’t ask me.
#4. After the age of 40, “cool and clever” becomes “creepy.” Like ordering a case of beer from room service after last call and having it delivered to the hotel hallway. Just sayin.
#3. I am no expert in the field of Validation Engineering (or is it Engineering Validation?), but I have a hard time believing that the Canadians with the guitar and 12-pack that you met in the elevator at 2am are destined to be lucrative clients.
#2. Certain funny stories – like Schmitty falling off his bar stool or Jeff wetting his pants – are better told at a later date. Like when I am sitting on a beach, drinking a margarita. Not when I am sweeping wet leaves out of the garage or watching the dog poop in the neighbor’s lawn.
And last but not least….
#1. Yes, I am proud of you for saying: “You need to stop licking me!” to your drunk admirer at the bar. But unless you licked back, I really don’t need to know.
I am not saying you don’t work hard, or that you don’t deserve a good time. But after my week of 5 AM wake-up calls, tantrums, cat-fights, complaints, homework, driving, rejected dinners, forgotten lunches, green boogers, bathroom accidents, lost bike helmets, narrowly missed school buses and piles and piles of dog shit, it just kind of feels like you are rubbing it in.
So, in the years to come: Lie. Lie like the
wine milk stained rug on our kitchen floor. Tell me you are lonely and miserable, that you are working round the clock, eating cold pizza at midnight and watching the hotel channel to keep you company. Tell me that there is dust on the dresser and pubes in the bathroom. Because then I will feel bad for you. And when you come home, I will be very, very nice to you. I will prepare your favorite dinner and have a beer mug chilling in the freezer.
But this year, alas, it is too late. You better have a gift. Airport t-shirts and hotel toiletries do not count.