Way back when, say the end of July-middle of August, the Hubster, as he is known on Facebook, otherwise known as Joe Tadrzynski, was talking to his Contract Manager who handles his employment with Aureus Medical. This is not unusual as this transpires usually two to three times a week for an average of 45 minutes at a shot and covers many topics relating to and often having absolute jack to do with his work. During this one conversation the topic of awards came up. Jonathan, his manager, say 'oh, by the way, you were put up for our employee of the year'. Joe, being Joe, said, 'yeah right, pull the other one'. They laughed, they joked and left it at that.
About a week later, when they are shooting the bull yet again, the topic comes up again. This time, Joe is told, 'by the way, you won employee of the year for the therapy division'. Now both Joe and Jonathan have a give and take relationship and so Joe, again, tells him to pull the other one'....Jonathan says 'no, I'm serious'......and get's an 'okay, buddy' in response. In our email account the next day, we find a letter from the CFO, Scott Thompson congratulating Joe on being named Aureus Medical (Therapy Division) Employee of the Year. This shit just got real.
Next telephone conversations entails 'now what'. It is determined that not only has he been named Employee of the Year, but they will fly him and a plus one (ME! ME! ME!) to the company headquarters in Omaha, NE and will put us up in a hotel and entertain us the day before, the day of and the day after the awards banquet. (September 26-28, 2012)
Saddled with this information, we take a good hard look at each other. The last suit Joe bought and had fitted to his frame was in 1977, when, in the Navy and in England, he gets a suit on Saville Row. Lord knows what happened to that poor little sailor, but if we could find that suit a 30" waist line is long gone. So, being the conscientious shopper, Joe reads all the ads and finds that Joseph A Banks has a sale on suits. Buy one, get three free (note, he only needs ONE suit, but oh well, off to JAB we go). We get said suits......fine looking suits....fitted to his frame. Me, I whack my ankle on a clothing rack and rip it open (I'll be fine - NOT).
In the interim, we send our eldest daughter teach in Arizona with AmeriCorps (whole 'nuther story for a whole 'nuther blog). While sending her off, the aforementioned whacked ankle swells to massive proportions and I get a nice raging fever. Going to the doctor, I find I have a staph infection, oh, and when it doesn't respond to antibiotics, they say 'oh, yeah, it is now MRSA'.....sob. I go thru the gyrations that now that I have a months worth of antibiotics, mega-antibiotics, vitamins and pills to make my normally screwed up tummy even less screwed up, I may not get medically cleared to go with him. This kills me. I suggest amputation. The doctor laughs, I'm serious.
To make a long story short. The MRSA abates and now I need a dress. I don't do dress up. Used to. Used to wear a suit and carry a briefcase when I worked in insurance in the '80's. But it's not the 80's any more and like Joe and his English suit, if I HAD any of my fancy-schmancy clothes from the 80's they not only would be sadly out of style but breathing in them might prove difficult. I look and find nothing. NOTHING. Joe says, 'let's go look at dresses'. First freakin' dress he looks at on me, he says 'buy it'. I'm like, no, let's look, and he's like 'no, buy it'......so, since it was 50% off, we figure if we find something different, I can always take it back. We didn't. So it was the long black dress with silver trim, and then three pairs of shoes later (two to go back, one I wore) here it was the week before, and we hit the ground running to get the rest of the stuff ready. This is starting to look like it is actually going to happen. Starting to feel blessed.
The week before, Joe goes and gets a shave and a hair cut. Now, to most guys, this is a natural thing, but for him, well, it's always an adventure. The hair cut is no big deal, shorten the hair to controllable range (if left to it's own devices and humid weather, he would look like a poodle), but the beard always intimidates hairdressers/barbers. With a lot of oversight (by me) and a few well placed snips by the young lady at Holiday Hair .....'Whoa, lookin' good, dude'..........while there, I ask what can be done to my skunk hair....you know, the kind with a white/gray streak in it. She tells me there is a new color process of blending....makes the gray sort of blend in and not look so, so, so 'old'. So next in line is me......Monday I get the hair dyed and cut.....the unibrow tamed and shaped down to two and then......on Tuesday, I do the unthinkable. I get my nails done.
Now, I have had my nails 'done' before. Usually just a shape and paint deal. This time it's for real...this time.....I get NAILS put on. I have these big plasticine nails on the tips of my fingers and painted and decorated and smoothed and filed and......well, you get the picture. At least Joe likes the fact that they are hard and stiff and I can really scratch his back where he can't reach....like that's a plus for me (can ya scratch over here, yaaaaa, right there).
Tuesday is D-day....we gotta finish all the packing, and making lists and re-checking them before leaving on Wednesday. I go to Target to pick up prescriptions and other odds and ends we need (panty hose, travel sized toiletries, etc.) and to check on one other thing.
That other thing? Well, Target has been advertising these new Oreos for Halloween. Seems they are the 'exclusive' point of sale for Candy Corn Oreos. The eldest daughter (remember her from four paragraphs up) 'LOVES" candy corn. Darling Daddy, when told Target has these, tells his 'baby girl' ....."if you want them, WE'LL get them and mail them to you", so for the past week or two I attempted to find them in at least three different Targets. While preparing to go to Omaha, I am also now on the elusive hunt for Candy Corn Oreos......no luck. I send not one, but two scathing emails to Target telling them of my disdain that they do not have said Oreos that I wanted to buy and send to not only Darling Daughter but Darling 'Niece-type Person' (college roommate's daughter, stationed in the military in Korea) - lay on the guilt- but I probably won't shop there again since they practiced false advertising!!! Why am I digressing? Just keep this point in mind.....it will come in handy later.
Back home, packed and showered. We are finally ready to go. Go to bed? Fugeddaboutit! Joe sleeps like a log, a snoring log, since his CPAP is packaged and ready to go....Me? Well, can someone get me another Immodium? 3:30 a.m. comes pretty early.