Because of the interesting logistics that went into planning our ICCC trip last week, I got to spend the entire time feeling half-guilty that I was the only one of the Now Church Youth Group to have her own room. Even the male chaperone had to share a hotel room with the boys, but I somehow lucked out and got my own space. Guilt might have been one of my feelings (I believe in leading by doing, and always feel sort of hypocritical when I’m not doing myself what I’m asking “my kids”–or volunteers–to do), but I’m not going to deny that there was a sizable helping of gratitude and relief in there, too. I had my own bed. I had a couch. (It turned out to be phenomenally uncomfortable, but I still had one.) I could do modified Beachbody Boot Camp workouts in there without worrying about getting in anyone’s way or being the cause of anyone’s hysterical laughter. We were, of course, most of the time too busy for me fully to enjoy all this privacy, but it was still kind of nice to know I had it.
On the last night of the conference every year, there is a Banquet. It’s kind of like the prom of the ICCC, except that the kids don’t have dates (usually) and there are all kinds of old people at it, too. And no dancing. So . . . maybe not really all that much like the prom after all. Whatever. Everybody gets dressed up and we all have fancy-ish hotel dinner around round tables and churches within the ICCC win awards and stuff like that. It’s actually kind of boring, but the dressing up part is fun and most of the kids, and probably adults, too, get a little excited about it.
This year, because the teens had worked so hard and well the previous few days, the ICCC youth group went to Craig’s Cruisers during the day, for go-carts and mini-golf and laser tag (yay! laser tag!) and an arcade and a 3-hour all you can eat buffet. I’m not sure why anyone thought any of us would be hungry for a banquet afterwards, but we did have three hours between that outing and the fancy dinner, so it may have been enough. We’re talking about teenagers, here.
Because we had three hours to get ready, I decided I had plenty of time to make a little souvenir-acquiring detour. When I got back, I ran into Pastor Ron and his entourage. We chatted in the parking lot for a while. By the time I got back up to my room, my three hours of Banquet Preparation Time had shrunk to one, but it wasn’t like I was going to be wearing a prom dress–or prom hair–or anything, so I figured I had time for a twenty-minute workout in my room.
I did the twenty-minute workout in my room. Then I went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. Then I noticed that I didn’t have any shampoo.
You have to understand that, up until this last day of the ICCC Conference, I had had a very aggressively shampoo-pushing member of the housekeeping staff cleaning my room each day. I don’t like to waste things, so I was making the tiny tubes of shampoo and conditioner last for at least two days a piece, and even on the last day I was still on my original two bars of soap, but this fastidious cleaner seemed insistent that I take more and more personal hygiene products, because every day I would find a new set, sort of piled on top of what I was already trying to finish up.
Then, on the second to last day of the Conference, I learned that a charitable group within the ICCC was collecting toiletries to give to some homeless shelters or something. Perfect, I thought. I can’t take this stuff in my carry-on anyway. Maybe this staff person knows we’re collecting and is trying to help out. The next morning I brought down all my extra shampoos and conditioners and put them in the donation box. And now here I was, that evening, sweating profusely, with only forty minutes to prepare for a formal banquet, and with no shampoo.
I called housekeeping and asked them to send some up, but after waiting fifteen minutes I called my Now Church teen girls and asked if they had any extra instead. Somehow, even though there were four of them in one room and only one of me in mine, they did. I took it. I took my shower. I shampooed and conditioned my hair. I managed to shave one stroke when the razor flew out of my hands, crashed to the floor, and the head broke off. I tried to continue shaving by just holding the tiny razor head between my fingers, but that didn’t work so well. I got out of the shower, shampooed but with a half-shaven armpit and stubbly legs, and donned my sleeveless, just-below-the-knee length dress. I capped up the shampoo and conditioner to return to the girls. I opened my door.
It all worked out okay, though. It’s not like the dressing up part was really about me, anyway.