Nothing pretty. That’s what.
All we wanted was a free Hot Wheels car.
What we got was four elevator trips, three panic attacks, a pair of almost-soiled panties, one wrestling match and some tears.
A chance meeting in the hall at BlogHer12 turned into a spontaneous trip up to the 42nd floor suites, where some companies were giving away free goodies. We all had forgotten about the existence of our kids by then, and decided to run up there to see if we could each get a little something to bring home to them.
We waited in the elevator bank with 700 other people, happily chatting and talking about how that day’s lunch was nowhere as delicious as yesterday’s.
I was feeling the beginnings of a certain biological need, but thought to myself, How long could this little trip possibly take?
We had plenty of time to pop upstairs, check out one suite, use the bathroom, and get back down in time for the closing speeches, right?
What could possibly go wrong?
It didn’t take long to notice that we were standing in front of the express elevator. As in, expressly travelling from the floor below us to the ones way above us, never stopping where we were.
Side Note: It was in this sardine can hurling towards the sky that it was confirmed:
I could nurse Punchy while standing up, such is the stretch of space between our respective heights. We totally could have rocked that Time Magazine cover.
Anyway, after multiple stops for non-BlogHer hotel residents who must hate every last one of us, we get upstairs, eventually find the suite and start checking out all the cool new stuff. In about 30 seconds, Beardy and Belle arrive, apparently with invisible tickets in hand to an Express Elevator for Special Folks.
Just the sight of the suite’s restroom out of the corner of my eye made it clear to me that I didn’t have much more time to mess around looking at toys. I needed to get to my room, pronto. I had the quickly increasing urge to colon purge.
We stroll back towards the elevator bank, and while we’re talking I notice Beardy lean over to whisper something to Belle, and I could read everything she was thinking in the set of her shoulders:
– There’s a long, complaining line of people waiting at the elevators.
– There’s a dude in a neon green tee in front of us who must weigh a solid 4 bills.
– She’s afraid of elevators.
When I touch her arm and she turns around, I can see the panic in her eyes. We all agree to take the stairs.
On our way there, I begin clenching my colon because things are getting rather dire in my downtown.
Thank God for Anal Kegels.
As we’re headed for the stairs, a Miracle Boy swings open a door and sends us inside to his Super-Secret Service Elevators with a smile. I’m hoping at least one of the ladies behind me gave him a quick snog of gratitude.
We stood in the metallic room waiting for the elevators with a couple employees and us. Manageable. Hopeful. Tittering nervously.
Starting to panic.
The ding of the elevator took forever, but there was an audible sigh of relief from all of us (and the Quinoa Salad wrestling with my colon) as the doors opened.
Then many things happened all at once:
– The two employees entered the elevator
– Beardy, Goddess & I shoved our way in next
– Punchy & Belle filed in on the other side
– Two women with massive rolling bags decided to smush their way in, causing an alarm to start blaring
– Beardy went into Full Code RED, WHITE & BLUE (PILLS) Alert, trying to push the women with the bags out of the elevator
– 4 of us spoke at once, trying to get the Roller Bag Ladies to get the hell out before our friend Beardy imploded
– I almost had a Turtle Peek-a-Poo incident when I forgot to clench for a second
– the alarm kept blaring
– one bag lady moved aside
– Beardy started jumping over the bags to get out, so I calmly told her I’d wait with her but 4 of my friends screamed, “NO KIM NOT YOU YOU’LL SHIT YOUR PANTS!”
– The four women in the elevator who didn’t know any of us looked at me in horror
– Sweat pooled beneath the cleavage of Beardy, Belle & I as we all squeezed back into the elevator, and hit the Lobby button 17x.
– Beardy started crying, so I began singing while Goddess made jokes and sang, too, with Punchy & Belle making encouraging comments from the other side of the steamy silver Coffin of Panic.
Tears rolled from half of us, deep breaths were taken, dirty looks passed from the women who didn’t know us, and finally – FINALLY! – the doors opened in the lobby, letting in a sweep of fresh air as Beardy catapulted herself over the Rolling Bag Ladies, covered in flop sweat and adrenaline.
They all headed out their separate ways to quietly weep in their rooms, recover with a drink at the bar, or heal their wounds with chocolate, as I BOLTED to my own elevator bank in order to not show the kind people of the Hilton NYC the bad end of what I had for lunch the day before.
There was a small crowd in front of my elevator, including Dude with a Luggage Cart, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I squeezed in among a handful of others and pressed seven while concentrating on anything that had nothing to do with the words “Exit,” “Out,” or “Push.”
The elevator stopped on 3.
The elevator stopped on 4.
The elevator stopped on 5.
The elevator stayed on 5.
Doors opened closed opened closed opened closed.
It stopped moving.
I am stuck in an elevator with people who have yet to laugh at any of my jokes (have I mentioned that I try to be funny when I’m nervous? It doesn’t work) and an arm’s length of overstaying guests trying to sneak out my back door.
The Dude With the Luggage Cart calmly says, “Oh, this happens all the time” and asks the lady in front of the sealed-tight doors to step aside.
I looked to see whether I could hide behind the bags on the luggage cart to poo in relative peace, should we be stuck in here for more than the next 12 seconds.
The Dude pressed the button again, and the doors slid partially open. He then threw himself at them, loudly grunted while pressing them shut with all his might. Not the most reassuring sight.
But we went up.
When the door opened on 7 I may or may not have shoved aside a women with frosted tips in my mad dash for the loo.
Once inside, having a seat never felt so good.
As I felt the relief of finally bringing The Brown Family to the Porcelain Pool, I knew something special had happened:
I just had the kind of experience that bonds people together. The tears, the fears, the funny, the way everyone was there for one another, no matter what scene they were making because of the anxieties they faced. No one was rolling their eyes or judging, everyone stepped up to help one another get through the experience, whether or not they openly wept, grabbed strangers, or crapped their pants.
I realized I made the kind of friends I can count on.
(And really needed to lay off the Quinoa Salad for the rest of the trip.)