I arrived in Detroit this evening (after waiting on the runway in my beloved Philadelphia International Airport in a queue that had us as 29th for takeoff) and hightailed it to my hotel in Novi (is it pronounced NO-vee, NO-vi, NOV-i or what>). After a 30 minute $49 cab ride, I arrived at the lovely Sheraton Detroit Novi, in the shopping center near the Best Buy, and find myself in the middle of a blacksplosion of folk.
I guess this shouldn’t be all that surprising since I am in town to speak at the AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha, for those not familiar with the black sorority/fraternities) Boule (or convention, in layperson speak). But these are more than just AKAs. We’ve got some contingent dressed all in white, including the men. Many of the women are wearing those crazy looking hats you only see in a black church or the Essence clothing catalog…and the hats are white.
Then Bebe’s kids are running around like hellions, jostling me in the elevator where they got promptly corrected by yours truly. “Excuse me, but honey you can’t go around running into people without saying ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘excuse me.” When one hellion about 10 or so got onto the elevator, he said, “Two,” to the lady who was nearest to the elevator panel. I had to admonish, “Didn’t you forget a word?” He grinned sheepishly and said, “Please.” This told me that despite his hellionish-acting-out-because-I’m-away-from-home behavior, he had been raised right. So many kids these days (and adults too) don’t even realize that saying “please” is the polite thing to do.
(Next time you are out, take note of how few people actually ever say “please” or “thank you.” Common courtesy is no longer common, and with this disdain for politeness goes the downfall of our society, IMNSHO.)
So anyway, I’m here in a disabled room in Novi, Michigan. Why am I in such a room, you might ask. Well when I got to the front desk to check in, there was an exchange that went something like this:
“Miss Clark (and no, I refrained from making the correction. I was too tired and hungry) we have you down as 2 double beds, smoking room.”
“Uh no. Exactly the opposite. One king bed and definitely NONsmoking.”
“Oh, let me fix that,” she says picking up a walky-talky like phone thingy on the desk.
“Esther, what’s the status of room 738?” she asks the phone thingy.
“What?!” yells Esther.
“What is the status of room 738?” she repeats.
“What?!” yells Esther again.
“Room 738,” says our desk clerk patiently into the phone thingy.
“What about it?” shouts Esther.
I immediately start laughing at this comedy, though the assistant manager/manager/whatever his title is, is not amused. He takes the walky-talky phone thingy from desk clerk woman and growls into the receiver, “Is room 738 clean and ready for a guest or not?”
“Oh I dunno,” Esther drawls. “I’ll have to go find out.”
The assistant manager/manager/whatever stifles some epithets that were about to pass from his lips. He goes back to his computer and finds that the disabled room is available if I am OK with that accomodation in there. I said I was, though my Grammy’s admonishments came back to me once again. She always said that if you tempt the fates, you will get caught in the end. When I wanted to try out someone’s crutches as a kid, because I thought it’d be cool, she warned, “better stay away from those crutches or God will make sure you use them forever.” When I wanted to wheel myself around in a wheelchair I found in a hospital corridor, she said, “better stay out of that wheelchair or God will put you in one for the rest of your life.” So now you can imagine my hesitation at being housed in the disabled room, especially after having tempted fate in the first place by being in row 13 (the last row in the plane) flying on the 13th in the first place. But here I am.
Since I was hungry, I decided to bypass the hotel restaurant (with all the black folk in white) and walk to On The Border across from the Best Buy and Taco Bell. I ordered something like Brisket Tacos (yes, you did read that correctly) after having my first margarita. They arrived, cold. I wondered for a moment whether Brisket Tacos were supposed to be served cold. I then decided, probably not. So I flagged down my adolescent server and asked that my tacos be heated, so that at the very least, the cheese would be melted. He apologized and took them back for another go round in the microwave. They returned, not cold, but tepid. Yet since I was so hungry, I opted to mimic my husband who constantly eats leftover meat in a cold, out-of-the-refrigerator condition, and just eat the damn tacos anyway. I still wondered, how hard could it be to work a damn microwave oven properly. Adolescent child returned to ask how things were. “Slightly less cold,” I replied. He said he would let the manager know, and take the “food” (my emphasis) off my bill. I then asked for another margarita. At least that is supposed to be served cold.
Walking back to the hotel after my “meal,” I discovered a fire truck and an EMS ambulance in front of the entrance. Oh lord, Bebe’s kids done gone an’ set the hotel on fire. Nah, as I discovered while waiting for the elevator with the ambulance crew, a few more of Bebe’s kids, and about 10 white-clad folk. What had happened was that one of the parishioners (you see, the white-clad folk were there for some church function/retreat/everyone wear white, dance and stay at a hotel in Novi-type thing…I did peg the hats correctly!) was being taken to the hospital. It didn’t seem life threatening as everyone was fairly calm. Also, the ambulance was staffed by EMS personnel and not paramedics, so it could only be so serious. Perhaps it was an anxiety attack brought on by seeing too many of those damned hats.
Tomorrow I get to present for my AKA sorors about HPV. (What’s a “soror?” I’m not telling!) I wanted to wear my pink suit just for the occassion, to show my solidarity with my skee-wee sistas. Unfortunately my body has decided that I am no longer a size 12. The pink suit rejected me. And I don’t have a green one either. I’m just stuck. Ah well…
At least I have a red suit for the Delta convention in two weeks. But in my AKA heart, I’ll know that the red suit is actually deep, dark pink. (More secret AKA stuff).