Monthly Archives: April 2015

Absence does make the heart grow fonder. And then it makes the heart grumpy.

When I first started this gig, being an independent contractor for my old accounting firm and commuting from Denver to DC every week, life was great. I was getting paid hourly, plus we were getting credits for all my hotel stays at Marriott, in addition to racking up a lot of credit card points in general. I was gone for a week or two at a time, but when I came home I was always so over-the-moon ecstatic to see my husband that I wanted to spend every waking moment with him and I never got annoyed that he didn’t make the bed.

As our credit card points and hotel credits added up (we’ve already reached Platinum on Marriott for the next year and have earned the equivalent of a free one-week stay at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Paris) and I gorged myself on free Whole Foods and Starbucks, I thought – this is great! I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this!

The Imperial Suite at the Ritz Paris. I’d have to travel for 5 years straight to earn enough hotel points for this baby.

This week, though, I hit a wall. I don’t know if it was the work, the weather, or the sheer fact that I spent a total of 6 nights at home with my husband in the month of March. Whatever it is, it’s made me perpetually grumpy, unable to focus, and has left me seeking happiness in unhealthy ways.

For example, yesterday, on my mother’s Banana Republic credit card (which dangerously also works at Athleta, Old Navy, Gap, and Piperlime), I ordered $400 in bathing suits, coverups, and workout clothes. About half of that will be returned (I always order two sizes in bathing suit bottoms, because I’m forever right in between), and I’ll write my mom a check for the rest (maybe, it depends on how she feels and how closely she looks at the statement that month), but did I need any of those things? Absolutely not. The only purchase I can sort of justify is the bathing suit, because it’s far more modest than most of my other Victoria’s Secret suits from my college days and the closer I get to 30 (wahhh!) the more I feel the need to have something that covers my ass. At $44 for half of a bathing suit, it turns out that modesty is expensive.

After work, I decided I didn’t want to mope around in my hotel room. I would go out and be social and snap out of it! So I took myself down the street to Churchkey, where they have 55 beers on draft and 500 in cans or bottles. My favorite thing about Churchkey is that they have beers by the glass (duh), but they also offer every single draft in a four ounce “taster” pour for just a few bucks, and if you play your cards right (generally by being friendly and showing interest in their beer knowledge), you can get at least one taster for free. Yesterday was hot and muggy, so I stuck with lighter/crisper beers, until one, named “Spaghetti Western” caught my eye. I read the description and saw that it was aged with “cocoa nibs, coffee, and spaghetti in grappa barrels from Piedmont”. Intrigued, I asked the bar tender if it was actually as weird as it sounded. He shrugged, gave me a sideways smile that I took to mean “yes, but I can’t tell you it’s disgusting because I work here”, and let me have a glass for free. It definitely wasn’t my favorite (a little too strong on the coffee), but I drank it because you just don’t waste beer like that.

After drinking 12 ounces of pretty strong beer, I decided I should eat something. Fortunately for me, Churchkey also has a full menu, but out of all of their offerings, I chose to order tater tots. For dinner. With my beer.

I can’t tell you the last time I had something that blatantly unhealthy for dinner.

Which sent me into a spiral of I thought you were going to eat healthier, so why didn’t you order a salad – they had 3 on the menu and they looked great! You’re not in college any more, you can’t just do that to your body. And then I got back to my dingy hotel room, which isn’t dingy at all – it’s actually quite a nice room, large and with lots of windows, but it felt dark (probably because I had all the lights turned off) and all I wanted was for the day to be over so I could try again tomorrow. So I fell asleep at 8:30 pm without calling my husband to tell him goodnight. Because that’s how I deal with my emotions – I fall asleep and hope everything looks better in the morning.

And lo and behold, things are indeed, comparatively, better. The sun is shining. My Starbucks latte is delicious. And, if nothing else, I’m one step closer to going home for the weekend, and if I can make it through April, things should start slowing down and I can be gone two weeks a month instead of four.

I have no idea how to wrap up this post, other than to say that I’m going to yoga and I hope it gives me perspective, or at least makes me feel less guilty about my tater tot dinner last night. Someone tell me I’m not alone in eating and then sleeping off my feelings? Do you travel for work and has the novelty worn off yet? Any tips for maintaining what is, essentially, now a long distance relationship with my husband?

Wednesday recap

Another day, another blog post. I’m on a roll! I attribute it to being burned out at work – after working 80 hours last week, I just can’t bring myself to stay at the office later than 6:30, and rather than doing more work when I get home, I’m ordering glasses of wine from the hotel bar and binge watching the Food Network.

It’s ok, I still love her.

I guess I could be going out and exploring new restaurants rather than eating takeout in my hotel bed, but I’m in Arlington, also known as the Soulless Suburb, where hoards of families and tourists stay to avoid the crushing hotel prices of DC. If I’m going to spend $15 on an appetizer and $20 on a glass of wine, I need there to not be screaming children running around in the background. After a long day of mind-numbing work, I need to be able to enjoy my alcohol in peace, so hotel room it is.

Speaking of work, my job is especially tedious this week. Accounting is decently interesting at the best of times, but this week my job is to make sure a client is allocating expenses correctly. To make a long story very short, they got in trouble with the Department of Labor a few years ago for charging too much in expense to their retirement plan and now they get the pleasure of allocating expenses based on minute details – like the amount of bandwidth used (in terabytes) on each of their websites.

Y’all, I didn’t even know what bandwidth was until I looked it up on Wikipedia this morning. Technology and I don’t get along.

Fortunately for me, my hotel was offering free drinks in the lobby and the sweet man behind the bar didn’t even bat an eye when I asked for two glasses of wine to take up to my room. According to the signs posted, the free drinks were supposed to “give guests a chance to mingle and connect”, but I’m just not that social, even with free alcohol.

Between the wine and all the computer mumbo-jumbo I dealt with today, I might actually be lulled into sleep at a reasonable hour. Which would be great, because there’s a sunrise yoga class with my name on it. All this work/travel is wrecking havoc on my poor body, as my posture is horrendous. I blame it on being short and never being able to touch my feet to the ground, but it’s really because I’m lazy. I’m sure my poor vision and slouching over my computer doesn’t help either. I’m hoping a few sun salutations can work miracles tomorrow.

It’s time for me to wrap up this post, finish my glass of wine, and fall asleep to the sound of Guy Fieri stuffing his face with America’s finest bar food.