*This story was originally published in "Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder", a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here!
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
“I don’t know about you, but that show was everything I imagined it would be,” I said to Raez as we walked to our car.
“Yeah, it was great!” Her voice came from a few feet behind me.
Slowing, I turned and stared at her quizzically. She appeared to be stepping on the pavement as if it were thin ice. “What kind of walking is that?”
Stopping dead in her tracks, she huffed in exasperation, “My feet are absolutely killing me! I can’t wear these shoes a second longer! My toes have to be free.”
My eyebrows skyrocketed. “Are you seriously going to take off your shoes in the middle of the sidewalk?”
“I sure am!” She began to hobble toward me.
“We only have one more block until we reach the car,” I replied as she grabbed my shoulder to steady herself as she attempted to kick a leg up to rip off her brand new, high fashion, in vogue Hoop-De-Doo Stiletto Pumps. Of course, it didn’t help that she also had decided to wear her very flattering but also very form fitted hour glass dress. The confines of her dress only added to her struggle. I could have made a snarky remark, but decided to hold my tongue to avoid spoiling the evening with her wrath. So instead I quipped, “I’m glad the sidewalk’s not cold or wet.”
“It wouldn’t matter,” she sighed in relief, bending over to pick up the discarded shoes. “I would have just had to grin and bear it.”
Her bare feet slapped along the pavement as we walked the final block to our car; my attempts to discuss the show we’d just seen were falling on deaf ears. When I opened the car door for her, the full force of her irritation with the shoes could no longer be hidden as she slung the stilettos in the back seat.
I winced. “Ah, I hope those pointy heels don’t poke a hole in the upholstery.” Muted grumbles filled the remaining space in the vehicle.
As I got into the car, I decided to press my luck. After that display, I just couldn’t help myself. “How much did you pay for those shoes?”
“Too much.” Her reply was a pointed as the stilettos. “But I did try to save a little money by purchasing them online.”
Really pushing it, I muttered, “Maybe next time before you spend that kind of money you should try them on and wear them a little bit. Maybe buy them at a store that has a return policy.” Silence.
The drive from the Performing Arts Theatre to the Embassy Suites Inn was cool and it had nothing to do with the temperature. Pulling into the hotel parking lot, I reached over and squeezed Raez’s hand. “I got the message, honey. Let’s not let the shoes ruin our evening.”
Raez sighed. “I’m just really mad at myself. I know better!”
“It is okay.” I said, giving her hand another squeeze. “We’ll check the return policy when we get home tomorrow.” Nodding sheepishly, the glimmer of a smile formed on her face. “You know,” I began, changing the subject, “I think you’re going to like where we’re staying. They have upscale rooms, a pool, a sauna, a massage therapist, and a full breakfast buffet. Of course, with what they charge for their rooms, they definitely need to throw some amenities into the deal.”
“I’d like to go to the sauna after we get checked in,” Raez replied with a grin. “Maybe I can blow off some steam by soaking some in.”
“Sounds perfect,” I responded, happy that she was coming out of her funk.
After checking in we found the pool, sauna, and hotel gym. Raez was elated to discover the masseuse had a slot available in thirty minutes, so we quickly made our way to our fifth floor room to change and then head down to the Eucalyptus Sauna. The elevator shaft was the transparent kind, allowing us to see everything. Fancy…definitely highbrow.
As we entered our room, it was as nice as I had remembered from my last stay a few years earlier. Heart pine and glossy ceramic tile floors throughout, beautiful landscape pictures on the walls, and sturdy but comfortable furniture. We changed into our swimsuits and made our way to the sauna.
After our steam soak, Raez went for her massage and I decided just to complete a couple of circuits on the weight machines in the gym after detecting the overwhelmingly strong scent of chlorine in the pool area. Once I had finished my workout, I poked my head into the massage room to tell Raez I was heading back up to the room to shower.
Flicking on our suite’s bathroom light, I allowed myself a few long seconds to appreciate its elegance. To say I was impressed with the large block ceramic tile floor was an understatement. The craftsmanship was outstanding, and the black ceramic tile floor coupled with the white walls created an eye catching contrast. I could practically see my reflection in the floor, making an interesting visual effect when combined with the counter to ceiling mirrors. Someone sure was talented in interior design.
Just as I finished with my shower, I heard Raez enter our room. After I turned off the water, she called through the door, “Hey, I’m back! The sauna and massage were great! Thanks for booking us here tonight, honey.”
“Good,” I replied, wiping myself dry with a towel, before pushing over the heavy black curtain to step out of the shower. “I’m so happy that you – Whoa!”
As soon as my wet foot landed on the ceramic tile flooring, it slipped and I completely lost my balance. Arms flailing, I managed to grab onto the corner of the sink preventing a total and complete wipe out on a very hard floor.
“What happened?!” Raez yelled, alarmed. “Are you okay?!”
“Yeah,” I replied, slowly standing all the while keeping hold of the sink. “I just about busted my tail. This ceramic tile floor is extremely slick from the hot shower and there aren’t any kind of mats on the floor in here. I am throwing down a couple of towels on the floor. I don’t want you to slip.” Making a path of towels from the shower to the door, I mused, “I wonder if they’ve had people get hurt on these floors during their stay?”
Later, as we were lying in bed discussing how much we enjoyed the evening and how much we were looking forward to the breakfast buffet, I said, “You know, besides having such a good evening, we also have been reminded of two very valuable lessons.”
“The ones that remind us…
* * * * * * *
COMFORT BEFORE STYLE
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
* * * * * * *
*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!