Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Three Bears

Drunk people made me nervous. Like most components of life that make one uncomfortable, prolonged exposure can sometimes make an aversion less intense. Given the amount of free alcohol available at any number of events, I'm with tipsy folks quite a bit and it doesn't take too many free fruity cocktails or glasses of wine before I join them in excessive giggles and wobbly gaits.

I've seen many people slur words, sometimes blinking in confusion as they try to think of the appropriate noun or matching verb. I've blinked in surprise at angry responses that were out of line with the inane comment that seemed to trigger them. I've watched women drape themselves over men or give horrified looks at overly suggestive remarks, depending on the lady in question.
I woke up cuddling Care Bears I only vaguely remember purchasing the night before.

Always my favorite of the cuddly creatures, I feel a strong familiarity toward great affection and extraordinary fondness. I spent major parts of the day with people - men, actually - who are startlingly brilliant and stunningly modest and kind.
I grinned across the table at one of such man, smile growing when he winked at me. We shared ideas and gave presentations, talked about next steps and discussed how to cure diseases and make progress and provide value to mankind. And while I offered insight and made plans, I felt amazingly privledged to be part of what we're doing. Problems with workload and priorities aside, this job is a huge opportunity to learn and network. And there were moments I felt profoundly grateful for it today.

Bedtime Bear
I'll be honest. I wish this hotel would shush. It's ridiculously anti-relaxing with the people and talking and flip-flopping and singing into the wee hours. Apparently people enjoy the performances as they drink their own fruity cocktails and enjoy the balmy evenings by the pool. To be fair, the singers and their (loud) bands are talented. But it is sleepy time!

"What?" I asked, trying to focus my eyes after I yawned at great length during a meeting. I turned to face the man sitting next to me and he opened his mouth to reply before patting my arm and letting me zone out again.

"I'm sleeping," I complained, "but I'm still so tired! I don't know if it's jet lag or time differences or just lack of my own bed. I only have five pillows when I could really use 8," I mused, seeing I'd lost his attention but not really caring. "Maybe I don't sleep as well when I'm tipsy."

So I'm perfectly happy tucking the soft blue bear under my chin, our eyes equally heavy lidded and curl into dreams.

Cheer Bear
I've always been suspicious of the pink bear sporting a rainbowed tummy and incessant grin. I glared at her, nearly asking if she was mocking me when I returned for the day today.

While there were some meetings that were Tenderheart-worthy, there were others that were tense and awkward - filled with demands we can't meet and anger that left us apologetic. I don't like unhappy people, hurt by anger and disappointment. But given the passion and energy that we put into our work, we're bound to start getting edgy after days of constant meetings and high expectations. And that tension suffocates me at times, leaving me wishing for escape and feeling anything but cheerful.

"You befuddle me," I told the happy pink bear as she perched on my nightstand. "Always happy - it's not normal." But I reached to nestle her next to the other two in my arms as I closed my eyes for just a few minutes, waking some half hour later with them scattered cozily under the covers with me.


Jenn, PhD said...

The one with the sunshine on the belly was my favorite, I think he/she was called Funshine Bear. :) Sounds like a pretty good trip so far, but it might take a few days to recover when you get home :)

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

It sounds like it's been quite the trip. (Moment #1 from yesterday sound rather... umm... interesting-- possibly a bit squicky?) I hope that you get some good sleep soon. I know that meetings, etc. put me more on edge when I'm tired.

Psych Post Doc said...

Drunk people make me nervous too. Sounds like a good trip so far, the pictures are amazing.

rented life said...

I thought tenderheart was brown with a red heart. ?? Lovely pictures as always.

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