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January 29, 2004
Why I Missed the Patriot Forum Tonight

I am so pissed -- at no one in particular, but I'm still pissed.

As I blogged earlier, my wife and I planned on going to the Patriot Forum, a dinner and discussion with Hugh Hewitt, an event I have been looking forward to attending for over a month. I got stuck in a meeting at work and couldn't escape until 4:45, although I made it home in a half-hour, something of a record for this time of year. I had originally planned to leave the house about that time, but I got ready as quickly as I could and started to head out the door. I asked the First Mate to check with the hotel to see if they had valet parking, for which I would gladly pay a small fortune on a -15-degree night. (There are other reasons, which will come into play later.) The hotel confirmed that valet parking was available. It was about 5:40, five minutes before cocktails but almost an hour until dinner.

The problems started immediately after that.

First, as we were throwing on our dressy coats, I saw that the jacket of the brand-new outfit my wife bought for the occasion still had the EAS tag on it from the store. I tried for five minutes to remove that ^&%*&% tag to no avail. She left the jacket at home while I not-so-silently cursed the sales clerks at Macy's. We went out the door and into the car, where I had to get cash for the aforementioned valet. After that, we set out for Saint Paul, and I figured it would take me about a half-hour to get to the hotel. No sweat; we'd arrive just as dinner would be served.

We drove into Saint Paul -- not reknowned for its user-friendly layout -- and promptly got diverted from our route, thanks to a combination of the Ice Palace and a Minnesota Wild hockey game that came as a surprise to me. After negotiating our way back from the river (and not really having a clue where I was going at that point), we finally rolled up in front of the hotel -- to see several large signs informing us that VALET PARKING WAS FOR OVERNIGHT GUESTS ONLY. Oh, yeah, and their lot was full, too. Welcome to the Saint Paul Hotel, and go screw yourself.

By now it was 6:30. Dinner was being served, and Hugh would begin speaking in an hour. However, I could not find a parking space close by. In fact, I could not move for over 15 minutes, as three different buses decided to turn left from the right-hand lane at the other end of the street, keeping a whole line of cars backed up. After I finally made my way past that knot -- for all I know, there's still two buses sticking halfway out into that intersection -- I found parking four blocks away from the hotel.

Here's where the rest of the problems start. To begin with, the First Mate was dressed for valet parking; it was -15, and the wind chill had to be -30 or below, and she wasn't going to do very well walking four blocks in that weather in her very elegant but thin outfit. Next, because of chronic health issues, she can't walk for long distances even in the best of weather. Third, because of her diabetes, she can't afford to skip a meal, and since it was now 7 pm, I wasn't even sure we'd get there before Hugh began speaking. We had almost certainly missed dinner, and there was no place to stop on the way there and no time to do it anyway. (I'm Type II and shouldn't skip either, but sometimes I do.) Finally, even if she managed to survive the walk to the hotel, she certainly wouldn't make the walk back, just to get into a subzero car which might finally warm up when we pulled into our garage.

So, muttering curses under my breath, we left the parking lot and went home. Which is why I'm pissed. I'm sitting here with my computer on my lap instead of sitting in an elegant ballroom at the hotel, listening to Hugh speak and meeting my Northern Alliance brethren, as well as DC from Brainstorming and a number of other people. Sorry, everyone.

Worst of all, my wife is upstairs, convinced that I'm pissed at her, when it has nothing to do with her. I gave her a hug and told her that I wasn't mad at her; I was just mad and she needed to let me be mad for a while. (If anything, I'm pissed at the hotel -- if they had told me that there wasn't any valet service except for overnight guests, I would have called a cab.) She doesn't believe me and still thinks she ruined the evening for me. But now that I've managed to get this out of my system, I'm going to go back upstairs, make a joke, eat something, and try to be a bit more jolly the rest of the night.

But you all know ... I'm still pissed.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 29, 2004 8:02 PM

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» Pictures of Hugh at the Patriot Forum from Benjamin Alan
As you were listening to Lileks this afternoon, Hugh was getting his first taste of a TRUE Minnesota winter. Yes the fifteen BELOW ZERO temperatures were surely a treat. They say it will be even colder tomorrow, just in time for Hugh's snowmobile trip.... [Read More]

Tracked on January 29, 2004 11:08 PM

» Week In Review from Benjamin Alan
Due to an unusually heavy work-load in my classes this week, blogging was a little slower than usual. Nevertheless, the week culminated in great fun when Hugh Hewitt braved life, limb, and frostbite to come hang out with us Northern folk. DC has a very... [Read More]

Tracked on January 30, 2004 6:48 PM

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