July 10, 2001
Riding the Thrill Wave


This morning I realized that there is something I can do, this week, that I haven't been able to do until now.  (Besides tolerating soy milk on my Special K, I mean. Or riding a bicycle up a moderately-steep hill without having a heart attack.)

I can now say "I'm getting married next week" ... and it's the truth!

(And yes I know the wedding isn't until a week from this coming Saturday. But technically, that's "next week" ... so it counts.)

The first time I had a chance to say it -- this morning -- it was totally unrehearsed.

Bradley, the *Main Vice President In Charge of Critically-Important Stuff That Nobody Understands Except Bradley,* was standing in my doorway, yammering on and on about his exciting new filing system ("I think this has the potential to become the company standard for filing systems") ... and about how long it took him to create his exciting new filing system ("I wrote the schematics on the flight from D.C. last week, and then I fleshed it out over the weekend") ... and about all of the exciting 'modifications' he would like to make to his new filing system next week ("If you order the new folders today, maybe we can get started color-coding them on Monday?")

Lately I've perfected the art of looking like I'm fully-engaged/vitally interested in the conversation at hand -- tilting my head a little, furrowing my brow, looking deeply into the eyes of the person speaking to me  --  when I'm actually daydreaming about vanilla-vanilla cake with raspberry filling ... rewriting my wedding vows ... trying on shoes in my head ... having a heart-to-heart dialogue with Matt Lauer.

Matt Lauer: "But will he make you as happy as *I* could?"
Secra: "Matt ... it's time for you to let me go."
So it took me a minute to realize that Bradley was including *me* in his exciting new filing system upgrade plans.

"I'm sorry, Bradley," I said sweetly. "Didn't I tell you? I'm getting married next week." And I explained that after this Friday I will be out of the office for the rest of the month.

Tip for all you Executive Asses out there: if you've got to turn down a job assignment  --  especially a job assignment from a gung-ho Manager Type with visions of color-coded file folders dancing in his head  --  nothing, I mean NOTHING beats I'm getting married next week. I doubt that even quadruple-emergency appendix surgery would provide the same leverage: a good SecraTerri can transcribe voicemail from her hospital bed, as long as her catheter stays put.  But only an ignorant, insensitive oaf with a heart the size of a Lithium CR2032 Battery would expect his SecraTerri to check in from her honeymoon.

(Which of course makes me all kinds of glad I don't work for FRANZ anymore.)

"Well that's just wonderful," Bradley said flatly. And then he wandered back to his office -- no doubt to gaze fondly at his exciting new filing system some more -- while I sat at my desk, turning the words around in my head for a few minutes.

I'm getting married next week!

I even said it out loud a couple of times, just for practice: "I'm getting married next week!" ("Congratulations!" said Fax Repair Guy, unpacking his tool bag in the hallway outside my door.)

I spent the rest of the day running around the office, trying to see how many times I could *accidentally* incorporate it into conversation:

Stan the CFO:  "We're scheduling the next Totem Pole Company *Happy Doodle Fun-Time* Committee Meeting for next Tuesday. Would you please check your calendar and confirm your availability?"
Secra: "I'm sorry, I won't be able to attend: I'm getting married next week."

Naomi The Accounts Payable Person: "I need to come upstairs and upgrade the timesheet software on your computer, OK?"
Secra: "Can we do it today instead? I'm getting married next week."

Cathlene The Receptionist Person: "There are homemade praline cookies in the kitchen. Help yourself."
Secra: "No thank you. I'm getting married next week."

Unidentified Caller: "Is this American Industrial Pump Systems?"
Secra:  "Nope, this is The Totem Pole Company. I'm getting married next week."

I know that this has the potential to become very, very annoying  ... that if I abuse the privilege, it's likely to backfire on me eventually, and people will actually start taking their wedding gifts BACK  ...  but right now I'm like a little kid with a new toy. I think the only other words that have ever given me the same kind of thrill as I'm getting married next week are "It's a girl!" ... "It's a girl!" ... "It's a boy!" ... "Those pants make your butt look thin, actually."

Besides: in another few days I won't be able to say it anymore. So I'm going to ride the thrill wave while it lasts.

(By the way ... have I mentioned that I'm getting married next week?)

throw a rock