I’m actually leaving town next week and I couldn’t be more excited. It has been a long time since I actually took a business trip—actually, the reason I left my publishing job all those many years ago was to stop traveling. But be careful what you wish for; it was close to eight years before I got back on a plane and traveled anywhere and I can safely say that I’m ready to get back in the saddle. The kids are bigger, my time is more my own, and I don’t have to worry about expressing milk, making bottles, cooking five dinners in advance of my departure, or anything else regarding kith and kin before I leave. Because you know what? The family they can take care of themselves!
But those vestiges and responsibilities of motherhood don’t go away easily. The reason I’m traveling is to present, as the keynote speaker (very exciting!), to a group of English instructors in Tennessee in a town called Dickson, Tennessee. I’m fortunate to be traveling with a very good friend and former coworker who herself has three children, a dog, and a husband to take care of before she hits the road. She planned our trip and booked us into a Hampton Inn in Dickson, Tennessee, for the two nights that we’ll be away, because that was our ultimate destination, and why not? We’re women; we do the most convenient and least expensive thing when given the choice.I got to thinking. Dickson is probably lovely and probably small, which is fine; I live in lovely and small and am very happy here. But we fly into Nashville, a place I’ve never been. Why not stay by Opryland the first night, treat ourselves to a steak dinner and a couple of martinis, do a little shopping, and then head off to work the next day? I was afraid to broach the subject, because in all honesty, I’m not paying for the trip and didn’t feel like I could make demands. So, I broached lightly. Me: Would you consider meeting me at the airport on Thursday and staying at an Opryland hotel that night?
Her: (without pause) YES! I’M ON IT! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!
My friend immediately got on line and found the following hotel for the two of us, conveniently located next to a Nashville shopping mecca: http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-opryland/index.html. Guess who’s coming back with cowboy boots? And something with denim and rhinestones?
But this whole thing has gotten me thinking: What is it about us women that make us choose the most sensible and tried-and-true path? (Or am I alone here?) Granted, staying in Opryland and going to a honky-tonk (maybe, if we’re not too tired after the steak and martinis) is not wild and crazy, but the thought that it never occurred to either of us right off the bat gives me pause. What has happened to the two of us that we would get into a rental car, drive to our destination, work on our presentations until the late news came on, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour? What happened to living a little?
So, Stiletto Gang readers, especially those of you who have a) been to Nashville, b) live in Nashville, or c) just love the thought of being by Opryland, what do you suggest for two fancy-free middle-aged women without enough denim and rhinestones in their collective wardrobes? What should we do? (After our afternoon nap, that is.) What should we see? And just how ridiculous will cowboy looks on an East-coast mom who walks her West Highland Terrier through the center of her village every day?
Your honest assessments on all accounts, please.