60 is easy for this funny speaker.
My spectacular daughters threw a surprise 60th birthday party for me. And yes, I’m okay with being 60. Beats the options. This party was the most creative and amazing function I’ve ever been to, and I’ve seen a few. The surprise, the videos, the game show, the banners, the photo booth, the Dee-Jay, the food…it was unbelievable. I got to see so many dear friends and loving family members, but for me the focus was still on my kids. I got unbelievably lucky with these two girls and have been thinking about them ever since that party. It made me remember one of my favorite times with them.
Growing up, they loved to travel with me to gigs. We’ve had some great trips over the last 30 plus years and since I was working, it was always like a paid vacation. Theme parks, historical sites, nice hotels, even the Oval Office. But nothing ever beat…room service.
There may be no greater traveling joy for a little kid than room service. Pick up a phone, order some food, have it brought to you, and then just leave the mess for somebody else to clean up. Can’t do that at home, unless you’re planning on it being your last meal.
My girls and I are at a nice resort at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and the room service has a feature that I’d never seen before, but is now commonplace. It’s the card you fill out for breakfast room service and place outside your door the night before. That’s standard practice now, but in the early 80’s hadn’t caught on yet.
Leah and Lindsay are 8 and 6 and think they’ve gone to room service heaven. This is so cool. Leah was reading and writing by then, and insisted on filling out the card. Her sister Lindsay and I were placing our “order” with her. As was normally the case when it came to food and the three of us, we couldn’t agree on anything.
One wanted whole milk, one wanted chocolate milk, and I wanted hot tea. Orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice. Muffins, toast, pancakes. Bacon, sausage, ham. Everything on the card was getting checked. The only thing we agreed on was eggs. Everybody wanted two eggs, so Leah wrote down “6” since there were three of us.
As Leah is reading and asking the questions to Lindsay and myself, I’m thinking that at some point in time the room service folks will need to know how many place settings for this order. When Leah finally got to that question, I obviously said, “write down three”.
But here was the glitch. The question didn’t say “settings”, it said “servings”. I don’t know if I had “settings” in my head or if Leah misspoke, all I know is that I placed the card on the door handle and we all went to bed, unsuspecting of what lay ahead the next morning.
At 8 AM I answered the knock at the door and saw not one, but two men from room service. With two huge carts that resembled flatbed trailers. They were carrying three “servings” of everything. Three milks, three orange juices, three pancakes, three hams, you get the picture…three of everything. Except for eggs. We had 18 eggs. We could have fed a football team. This was 1985 and room service cost me $145. My girls were freaking out because they had been taught you can’t go play until all your food is gone. They thought they were stuck in the hotel room all day.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I was laughing at the time. The cost of breakfast was going to seriously cut into our go-kart budget, but I can guarantee you I laugh about that now. Every single time I think about it. If I’m having a bad day or think the sky is gray only over me, I go back to that morning in 1985. I picture the look on the faces of those two men from room service when they saw me and two small children, and then one of them asked “are you all expecting company”?
It’s called a joy moment, a moment that will make you smile and laugh. Dr. C.W. Metcalf, author of “Lighten Up”, says everybody needs a “joy list” that you can reference when your attitude isn’t right or you need a lift. That’s some of the best and most practical advice I’ve ever read. I refer to my list all the time. I’ve got it with me 24-7 because it’s in my head. It’s a huge list. And this story is on it. Right near the top. Right next to my birthday party.
I love my girls.
MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message