There are certain words a man should not use in mixed company.  There are also words a man should not use even in exclusively male company; particularly in reference to his future daughter-in-law.

But sometimes, no other word accurately captures the sentiment.

Last Saturday morning, standing on Nr. 3 tee box, the dew still fresh on the uncut grass, it happened. I just couldn’t control myself.  One of my playing partners asked for the update on my status of me becoming a grandfather.

Without hesitation, I just let it rip, “Lindsey is due tomorrow (May 19th). Levi has dropped, but there’s no action with the cervix.”

Before I could suck the “C” word back into my mouth, I think the air was momentarily sucked out of the universe and I pull-hooked my 3-wood into the rough.  I’m 54 years old.  I should know better. Cervix is not a word that should be used in all male company, and most certainly not on a golf course.  My playing partners each shanked their tee shots as well.  Although silence reigned, the message was clear.  I had crossed the line.

That period of time between the first grandchild’s due-date through, well, any perceptible amount of time thereafter, is simply “grandparent’s purgatory”.  It is for me; In the same moment I don’t feel like I’m that old,  I can’t wait to hold Levi Michael in my arms.  Quite frankly, at this point I’m probably more uncomfortable as the expectant grandfather than Lindsey is as an overdue mommy. J  (Maybe not!)

In deciding what to blog about, it’s debatable which is less inappropriate; talking childbirth terms with men,  or sharing what happened on my last trip to Las Vegas.   Based on last Saturday’s experience, I’m rolling the dice and talking about Vegas.

An early riser on any given day, I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare for my 6:00 AM flight to Cleveland.  I immediately found a parking spot in row 2.

“This might be my lucky day!”

Reaching for my iPhone to send myself a text with my parking spot (granted, Harrisburg’s airport’s parking isn’t that complex, and remembering I parked next to door for a two-day trip may not warrant this precaution). But I couldn’t find my phone! My heart began to race as I began to consider the implications of travelling without my brain.  Flight and hotel info, conference agenda, email connectedness, and what if there was “Baby Alert” text?!?!

I first slap my chest checking my Navy Blazer pockets; then my front pants pockets, my back pockets – then I do it all again, harder and faster,  as if I somehow I can magically make the phone appear while performing a Samoan Slap Dance.  After three rounds of slapping my pockets, it hits me I don’t remember taking it off the charger in the kitchen.

I grab my bag and turn immediately toward the terminal.  (Two days later I would realize I left a window down).  It is amazing to me both how naked I feel when I, unintentionally, am without my phone; and how fast I can walk when I’m on a mission.

I get to the check-in counter, explain my dilemma.  I then remember I have the “Find iPhone” app on my iPad (one cannot travel without some back-up).  I flip the iPad open and fortunately, on the third try I got the right password.  And there it was:  Home.

I asked the attendant the time.

“…plenty of time, if she wants to take one for the team.”  I think to myself. 

I give the attendant the number.  He dials, she answers. I then talk/beg/bribe Leigh to make the 25 minute-drive in 15 minutes.

One thing I will always say about Leigh – she is a gamer.  Tracking her progress on my iPad, I watched the blue dot skim around the Capital Beltway across the Susquehanna River on the app map, making her way down PA 283 to the HIA passenger terminal.  I was so delightfully impressed with this technology I shared it airport security guard.  Together we watched the blue dot come flying down the final stretch.

When she arrived, the blue dot was still in her red pajama bottoms and Navy lacrosse t-shirt. I am one lucky guy.

This might be my lucky day.

Once in Cleveland, after replacing my lost boarding pass for the connecting flight (lucky – or not?), I had some time to kill. So with Starbucks coffee in one hand and iPhone in the other, I searched the Encore Hotel’s website.  It is amazing how easy it is to make a spa appointment online. The only feedback was a notice saying I would receive email confirmation. It was time to shut down my phone.

“I guess I’ll find out if this is really my lucky day, or not.”

I’ve been to Las Vegas for business conferences 8 or 9 times over the past 15 years.  I can attest to the adage, “The loudest airline flights you’ll ever experience are those heading into Las Vegas; the quietest are those leaving.”

I love the vibe and energy of the Las Vegas strip.  In every direction it is pure electricity; the food, the fashion, the flair.  There are very few places on earth that can provide such diverse people-watching opportunities. Sometimes it’s outrageously comical, sometimes it’s heartbreakingly sad – but there is always, always smile-making silliness to be seen.  The Vegas Strip is not a place to take oneself, or anybody else for that matter, too seriously.   Las Vegas is one of the most exciting, sensory arousing, dynamically charged playgrounds in the world.

For  2 ½ days I’m in heaven; after that, my Vegas shelf life expires and I’m ready to board that quiet flight home.

As my flight lands, I fire up my phone.  Among the rash of emails:

From:     Encore Spa

Subject:  Appointment Confirmation

We are pleased to confirm your appointment for an 80 minute Four Hands Massage at 2:00 PM.  Please check in 30 minutes before your scheduled treatment.

Can you imagine a better way to recover from 7 hours of flying?

“This is definitely my lucky day”.

No matter what the conference agenda may say, there is no such thing as ‘free time’ in Las Vegas. One way or another, I’m going to pay for it. I’m not complaining! I enjoy it.  I’m not a drinker, and not really a gambler.  But I always take great delight in feeling the different pulses the variety of venues has to offer.  One of my guilty pleasures in life is smoking a cigar and people watching.  There are few places more interesting than Vegas to indulge.

Poolside is not a bad place to hang out.  In honor of my Tongo Reunion buddies, (Chris, Marcy and Rob) – I won the underwater swim contest, holding my breath the entire length of the pool.  I did it 3 times.  Oh yeah – I can still bring it!

And then there was the massage.  Although the Four Hands Massage is not the least expensive treatment available, (I hear they offer a Gluten Free Oil Option that has become quite popular!) it’s certainly less expensive than me spending 80 minutes playing table games.  In fact, I have to say, the massage was so worth it.

That was one lucky day. 

Now that I’m back, relaxed and refreshed, I’m holding my breath waiting for Levi  to arrive. Between Leigh and me, we’ve got our own four hands ready to welcome him into the family.

That will definitely feel be one lucky day!

6 thoughts on “The “C” Word

  1. well… are you a Grandpa yet? And I love the name Levi – That is what I would have named my daughter had she been a boy. as in Strauss (my favorite jeans) not the biblical reference. Though she was to be Levi Daniel, which sounds very biblical. anyway, congrats to your family and the young couple. sooo exciting.

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