Okay so we've covered the calm portion of the story, now let's get to the storm.
For some reason I had the feeling of pending doom when I went to bed, I just got the situation wrong. I thought I was going to sleep in, that episode of Seinfeld went through my head, you know the one where Jerry is responsible for waking up that guy for the marathon. So with that on my mind I did all I could do to avoid that happening...I brought my travel alarm clock, though failed to check the batteries ...um dead. So I attempted to set the iPod dock/alarm clock, though it seemed a bit tricky I think I mastered it. Then I phoned down for a wake-up call. And then just to be safe I also set the alarm on my phone too, it was the first time I had used that function, but as I had a couple of other back ups I felt ok. So maybe I was wrong?? Ring, ring, wake up called happened, and both my alarms went off. I felt like a master of technology! Happy, in my zen-like state of mind, I head to the shower. Now I don't know about you, but for me, the shower is where I do a lot of my thinking, most likely because it's one of the few times in a day that I'm on my own. Often many of my stories take shape there, it's kind of like my office with a lake view, work with me on this one. This particular morning I'm going over in my head, the next few steps in my day and start planning them out time wise.
*Blip*....you've now entered my thought bubble - don't worry, it's fairly safe - this time. Thoughts went like this...ok, so I'll finish my shower, do my make-up, then I'll....make-up?!! MAKE-UP???!!!! HOLY CRAP!!! I didn't pack my flippin make-up!!!! You must be freakin' kidding me!! Can it be true?!
Indeed it was true. Now I've travelled a fair bit in my life and never, ever have I forgotten to pack my make-up!! Normally it's the last thing to get packed, as you can't pack it the night before because you need it in the morning. What I hadn't done before though, is spent the night before my trip in a hotel - and that's what's to blame. We headed to the hotel in the late afternoon the day before, so I didn't have that normal routine of doing my make-up and packing it as I'd finished...my make-up had be applied hours earlier. For some reason the thought of my make-up never even entered my head, I was so busy making sure I had all my cables, chargers, batteries etc for 2 cameras, 1 cell phone and 1 laptop and I must say, I give myself full marks for getting that right at least.
But no make-up...ugh, that really sucked. Now don't get me wrong, I'm far from a high maintenance gal, but make-up is pretty basic and essential for most women and add to that, I would be heading to a big party the next night to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Canada. A bash that was to have almost 800 guests, a bash that I bought a new dress and shoes for!! So yeah, I'd like to have some make-up too!
So I try not to panic...I remember that the hotel had some stores surrounding it, so I look out the window....hmmm....the closest thing to a store selling make-up is McDonalds, and yes I do consider that as an option! Mustard could work as an eye shadow, it would bring out my blue eyes quite nicely, ketchup could easily serve as both lip gloss and blush....if applied with a light touch....OK, maybe not my best idea but it was about 5 am and I wasn't thinking straight!!
I calm myself with the realization that I'll be at the airport in plenty of time to do some shopping, I'll just pick up some stuff there. Though I must admit that while on the shuttle bus to the airport, my mind does begin to wander again as we pass Costco. Maybe I should hop off there, and then I have to remind myself that I don't really need a 16 pack of mascara, and I'm pretty sure that a keg of face cream will put my suitcase well over the weight limit! Right Mel, sit tight....you'll be at the airport soon, lots of shops there, this whole nightmare will soon be over.
I get my bag checked and I'm all ready to shop. Ok...lets see, bookstore, luggage store, souvenir store, ahhh, then I spot it...the multi-purpose/we sell everything store. In I go, magazines, chocolate bars, toys, combs, toothbrushes, hairspray, Pepto Bismol o'plenty....no make-up - nothing?!! As I weave in and out of every shop desperate to get this sorted, I notice that the luggage shop has a Burt's Bees display and I'm thrilled to have at least found a tube of lip gloss, not thrilled at having to pay $12.99 for it, but it's a start at least. I discover later when I applied it, that is had a questionable smell....I don't know who to blame Burt or his damn bees, but I block out the odd aroma just to feel like I'm a wee bit less naked in the face department. I ask the sales clerk there, - after explaining my sad story, if she knew where I could get some cosmetics.
She in turn shouts across the way to the lady at the information booth, who tells me, 'oh yes, go downstairs to 7-Eleven'. I think to myself two things, 1) there's a 7-Eleven in the airport?? and 2) they sell make-up??....I guess they've branched out since my last visit, when their top sellers were Slurpees the size of my head and frightening hamburger/hot dog offerings...hmm cool! She's the info lady, she would know so that is where my journey takes me next.
I bounce in the store with an optimistic spring in my step...do the visual scan. Seeing me in full search mode, the friendly clerk asks me if he could help me find something, I tell him I'm on the hunt for some make-up. He gives a little chuckle and replies to me, 'I'm just a black man with a blonde afro, what do I know about make-up'.
Ok fair enough, though I wasn't looking for any tips as such, just the goods, but at least he's not wasted my time. The search continues, I head to the washroom remembering that they have dispensers in there selling various products. I spot it from afar, and I can read the type on the dispenser....it reads, 'Essentials'....finally, of course that would include make-up right? Wrong!!! No make-up, however one thing that does seem to fall under that category of essentials, is temporary 'Canadian' tattoos?!! Cute sure, but essential??! Once again, my irrational side takes over and I do ponder applying a maple leaf to each cheek, thought I could go for a sort of Raggedy Ann thing, kind of a cute doll like look? Then I remind myself that I'm 43 and heading to a big corporate bash!! I will be meeting all of the head office staff for the first time, I'm starting to envision myself doing the introductions like this....'hi, I'm Melanie, the troll from BC'. They're going to notice the fact immediately anyways, so why not put a comical spin on it? It seems that the only place in the airport selling make-up won't be opened until I'm already 30 odd thousand feet in the air. I resign myself to the fact that it isn't going to get sorted until I'm in Toronto.
Fast forward to Pearson International in Toronto, where I meet up with, for the first time 2 ladies from the Calgary office, we are to share a cab to the Hotel. I tell them my sad tale and being women they assure me not to worry as we are staying at a large hotel that will sell pretty much everything in their gift shop. I feel a great sense of relief and sit back in the comfy limo/taxi and take in the sights of the city passing by. Oh, big hotels with all your amenities, how I love thee.
As we check in, I ask the girl to point me in the direction of the gift shop and do a quick (but obviously unnecessary) double check with her....'and they sell make-up right?' Now it seems it's time for the girl with the far too tight ponytail to deliver my next sucker punch...'oh make-up, no they don't sell any of that'. I reply with, 'are you flippin' kidding me?' Apparently not. I am able to get out of her that there is a Shoppers Drug Mart about a 15 minute walk away. Problem being, I haven't even been up to my room yet to changed for a dinner that I'm told I need to be ready for in a half hour or so. I head up to my room to meet my room-mate from Kelowna and share with her my nightmare. Within 5 minutes of meeting this woman for the first time, she tells me that's she's rented a car as she is originally from Toronto and would I like her to drive me to Shopper's before we have to go down for dinner? At this point, Joan has become bathed in light and has transformed from fellow Merchandiser to St. Joan - solver of all problems!! Despite being extremely short on time, we decide to go for it...racing around the city like 2 crazy women looking for Shoppers, Joan knows her way around pretty well, so the mission is accomplished fairly quick. I run in the store with Joan and proceed to buy make-up at the speed of light!! We hop in the car again, and Joan puts the pedal to the metal, back at the hotel we race up to our room where I quickly throw on a new outfit for dinner and I do a very quick application of my war paint.
We race back down to the lobby where the BC group is waiting for us. The two guys that I work with, ask me where I was, apparently they were phoning our room looking for Joan and I.
I quickly tell them my story of no make-up and their reaction - nothing! I give them a look a disgust and explain again, NO make-up packed!! Still nothing. Every woman that I've shared my story with gave me a *gasp* at least.
All I can say to the men reading this story is just imagine what it would be like to have to spend a whole day without your TV remotes....no channel surfing, having to physically get up to change the channel or alter the volume....NO remote for any of it! I do believe that I just heard a massive intake of air from my male readers!! Now you know how I felt.
Thank you all for sharing my pain - I don't think this is a mistake I'll ever repeat, but fear not, mishaps and adventures just seem to find me no matter where I am. I'm sure I'll have another tale to share very soon!!