I never thought the city would be – it was the event that was my company’s annual meeting I was dreading. We are in the process of merging two separate organizations into one. Nashville is their base, Cleveland is ours. Yeah – we are all very territorial, though everyone higher-up tries to pretend that no one is. So that we had to have the annual meeting on their turf….well………. Let’s just say, we are feeling very threatened.
Nashville itself? Great.
At least the part of downtown we stayed in. The hotel was two blocks from Broadway, which is the main drag and just chock-full of honky tonks and dozens of live music venues. It’s a pretty frickin’ clean city too. There are also quite a few places on that street to get a guitar or mandolin……and any number of places to purchase cowboy boots – most have deals of two or three pair for the price of one. Granted, they weren’t cheap. But I don’t think I could pull those off anyway.
Best yet – it’s a great place to score some alcohol. Which I did. Two of the two nights I was there. The second one being a 12 hour binge. Ahhhh…..old times…….old times.
But to be fair, I had no desire to go back to my room because I had to SHARE a room at this conference!!!! Can you fuckin’ believe it? The guy had locked me out of my our room the first night. Latched that door, he did. It never occurred to me, but others said thought he may have been pleasuring himself. Ewwww. Show some restraint. It is going to make for a weird working relationship going forward.
Earlier that same night, we were forced to be on some paddle wheel boat for drinks dinner. I was meeting my new “region”, and to identify ourselves I was given a red bandana and told to “wear it creatively”. It turns out guys cannot do that. I was not about to use it as kerchief or make it into an ascot. I went with the Bloods look….and just hoped there were no Crips on board.
Yes, this is me after about seven beers with very little fud (and before I got locked out of the room). Notice the nicely named establishment I am posing out in front of. Though I didn’t go in that night, I was there the following, and it was one of the best places to drink and listen to country music. Not Tim McGraw country, but Buck Owens country. Most of the folks I was with were annoyed, but a few of us loved it. And of course, I got a Robert’s t-shirt, because, they didn’t sell Blobby ones.
No, this night I was forced to go out to Coyote Ugly. Not the Matt Ardrey band, but the bar where skanks dance on the bar and hang their bras up all over. There I encountered two “women” who both shared one of their’s husband. Don’t ask.
Back to day two: After a day full of meetings the following day, we had dinner and an awards ceremony – or as some of us called it, the Dundies. Yes, I was nominated for eight of them – and walked away with squat. But I’m not bitter!!!!!!!!!! But I had been drinking for three hours before that, then during, then after at the NashVegas party. Yes, you heard me correctly.
I also drank during the debates, because I fled NashVegas to watch, after having some pictures taken (will post when/if I get them). Then it was out to the bars – including Robert’s. And Tootsies. No, not Dustin Hoffman in drag, but the bar where Willie Nelson allegedly gave Patsy Cline “Crazy”. Chock up more beers there and perhaps some tequila. And by ‘perhaps’ you can substitute, ‘for sure’. Then more beer. And we even played a game of dart. No no….not plural. The bar only had one dart. It was a game that took forever.
On the way back to the hotel, the now four of us, passed a homeless man. Diana, just being nice, said, “hey, how’s it going?” Me being drunk, did my best Peter Griffin imitation: “Not good, Diana………..not good.” I thought it was only so-so funny, but the others had to stop because they were laughing so hard.
Back at the unlocked room by 03:30 and back at work by 07:30. I can certainly drink like I used to – I just can’t bounce back quite like I used to. But four gallons of water later, I was almost rehydrated. Almost.
I realized how much I really like many of the folks I have been working with for the last two years. Maybe it’s just the alcohol talking. I’m not sure I care for the new conjoined folks, but we’ll see. I still am in discussions for another job at another location.
Friday will be the three month mark for that. Yeah, I know – don’t say anything.
Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter