The friend who pulled me into her hotel room has a name that starts with 'X'. How cool is that? Especially for a mathematician!
|X and me, hamming it up at the transit of Venus earlier this year.|
Ordinarily when I travel to math meetings I determinedly stay in a room by myself -- a rare chance to be alone. A solitary space is a treat-of-all-treats for me, even if the room I'm alone in is a skanky old dorm room. But X is a former running buddy of mine; a yard-sale-enthusiast, a mathematician, a spanish-speaker. She's the woman who spoils my children. She used to live just down the street from me, and now that she's moved away I miss her. Staying with X this week has been a great way to catch up on gossip and missed hugs.
Like me, X is a woman who celebrates frugality. Emphasis in her case on "celebrate". Sharing a room with a friend is but one example of how saving money can actually be more fun than spending it.
The hotel we're in has a program where, if you agree not to have the maids come in each day, you get a $5 certificate to spend somewhere in the hotel. X is planning a little ice cream party with this windfall, I think. Meanwhile, yesterday when I came home she'd confided delightedly to me that she'd tidied up, making the beds just like the maids would have. It really tickled her.
Sitting on our counter is a a large bag of fruit -- apples and oranges and grapes. Those have become our breakfast food; a healthy, fast, and welcome meal, especially after all the restaurant meals that seem to be inevitable while we're at this conference. We use this as a chance to break bread together (or at least, to peel oranges together) and to trade even more stories about our lives.
Meanwhile, she gushes over everyone she meets (did I mention she spoils my kids?). She's delighted by small things -- just now, she was laughing at herself because she covers up all the miscellaneous pin pricks of light in the room with her socks, so the power button and TV and alarm clock aren't shining at her all night.
Delight and contentment. It's good to be around that.