Phone rings at work. I see on my screen it’s from a popular hotel chain; I stayed at one of their hotels just recently for a software conference.
“Development. This is Lisa.”
“Uh, yes. Is this Lisa Mc…McCuh…McCulligahununnnnhuh?”
The woman launches into her pitch. She’s happy to see that my family has recently stayed at a Brand X hotel. She hopes we had a wonderful vacation. She lets me know that the call may be recorded for “quality purposes.” And then she asks:
“Tell me, Mizzus McCollum, when was the last time you enjoyed margaritas at Myrtle Beach?”
I look at the clock. It’s 4:30. I’ve finished most of my pressing tasks for the day. I’m being called at work, but I decide to go ahead and keep the conversation going.
“Well, I haven’t had a drink in – let’s see – nine years.”
“Oh. OH. Uh…”
“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a margarita.”
“Well. I’m sorry about that. Certainly you can have a non-alcoholic beverage.”
“Oh, thank you!”
“Now, you say you’ve been to Myrtle Beach?”
“Yes. 20 years ago? It was for a family reunion.”
“I’d just shaved one side of my head and it was a SCANDAL. Also? My sister had just gotten her first tattoo and she didn’t want anyone to know about it so she wore socks the WHOLE TIME. In Myrtle Beach. In August.”
“She even wore socks to the HOT TUB. I’m like, TINA. Are you seriously going to wear ONE SOCK in the HOT TUB?”
“In hindsight, it didn’t matter, really, because everyone else was fixated on my hair. You know what’s funny, though? We both have tattoos now. Like, HUGE ones. And here she was all worried about this little tiny flower on her ankle. Which sort of looks like a turtle.”
“Well…Mrs. McCunnnn. With your permission, I would like to put you on a list to receive promotions about exciting timeshare opportunities in Myrtle Beach. Perhaps you and your family will have another reunion.”
“Well, I don’t know. Does that mean you’re gonna keep calling me at work?”
From the other side of my cubicle wall I hear my friend Meg’s bemused sputter.
“Miz McCorrrum, I want to thank you for your time. You have a nice night.”