The Big Day

Yesterday was a big day. I was officially presented the award that I blogged about in January. I’m on such a high that my silly grin still won’t be wiped off my face, and I am still floating on air, boots and all.

It began with a surprise upgrade to First Class on the flights to the city where a conference was being held and at which the award was presented. It continued with being picked up at the airport and escorted to the hotel in a huge Suburban with two bike cops clearing traffic. For lil’ ol’ me? Who woulda thunk?

It continued when I got to the hotel and was given a key to a suite, complete with a 5,000-pound fruit basket, compliments of the host committee.

Dinner with old friends — well, shall I say “really long-term but not-that-old”) — on Tuesday night was a hoot. If I weren’t such an early-bird, I could have stayed up all night. But I was a good boy, and got to bed by 9.

I tried to give away the fruit at a breakfast on Wednesday morning, but the hotel had provided more and more fruit. I had to bring the basket back to my room… unpartaken (except for a couple bananas that I ate).

I spent most of the morning attending the conference that brought me, and enjoyed listening to the presentations and thinking, “my, my, my, how things have not changed.”

Then the big event — the awards lunch. I can’t/won’t go into detail, but let me say that it was truly special and I am deeply grateful and honored. The standing ovation was more than I expected, and the acknowledgments for the contributions to my profession were beyond belief. I am just a man who was in the right place, at the right time, and who had the freedom to extend his passion across a broad spectrum. That couldn’t happen today as the organization where I did that work is a mere shell of itself now (and its decline is a main reason why I left), but was wonderful in the heyday of enabling such accomplishments.

The part of the event about which I was most anxious was a celebratory dinner last night. It was hosted by a well-regarded media outlet and one of its most well-known “gurus.” He razzed me, joked around, made up stories (no, I didn’t go bald before he did! I still have [some] hair!) The event was more of a roast, but all in good fun. I was able to relax, laugh, and have a great time.

My only regret if I have one is that my partner wasn’t with me. He joined me at the January presentation, but he said that this event was “your time with your people.” He knew that I would have to continue to introduce him, and he didn’t want any attention. He hates crowds. Funny, he likes to dress up, and I don’t. I like crowds, and he doesn’t. Oh well, we share many other things in common.

I’m winging my way back home as you read this, and will return to some semblance of “normal life.” My twin brother arrives late tonight to spend Easter with us. I love having him around. We have something special planned for the kiddos this weekend. Te he.

By the way, I found a good use for the fruit basket — there was a homeless shelter not that far from the hotel, and I donated it to them. They were very happy to get it.

Life is short: You gotta love it!