The Unfortunate Timeshare Time-Suck and the 4am Fun Bunch

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Payam and I took a trip to Vegas this past weekend to celebrate our SIXTH anniversary (of not being married but acting like it). It was pretty fun of course. But let me tell you about the timeshare time-suck we got suckered into. Hah! Did I say the word suck enough? Because it sucked. Like a hoover. Those of you who have been through one of those Wyndham Resort Sales pitches are shaking your heads and laughing at me right now, I know.

Whooo. Boy. What a doozy.

A few drinks may have been involved when Payam and I stumbled out into the night air in search of cheap food. Suddenly out of nowhere someone offered me free Mystere tickets.  You could say it was an organized attack. Why, yes I would like some Mystere tickets. What’s the catch? Nothing, you just have to sit through a 120 minute sales pitch AND guess what, the sales woman will throw in her commission! Just sign your name on the line 15 times and put down fifty bucks that you’ll get back tomorrow.  That doesn’t sound like a scam at all! Well, not to somebody like me who’s spirit animal is tequila AND I really really wanted to go to a show instead of watch Payam gamble all night.

So yeah. We got suckered like the big fat bunch of suckers we are. The next morning we headed to our rendezvous to wait for our shuttle to take the tour. Thirty minutes later we actually got on the tour bus with ten other suckers just like us. You could hear the bleating of all the sheep before slaughter. The woman in front of us told us that back in the day she used to go to four of these a day and practically spend three days in Vegas for free with all the compensation “gifts”. That lifted my spirits a little but it turns out she was totally wrong.

They took us to another hotel and loaded up another 10 suckers before we finally made it to the Wyndham Resort itself, which let me tell you is nothing much. I mean I could understand wanting to sink some investments into Vegas property as the prices soar yearly now that they have multiple resident sports teams and plans of a super fast train between LA and Vegas but… the property itself was not anything I would really seek out. I’m all about boutique hotels and adventure and charm. Wyndham is about families and comfort and having your own kitchen. They didn’t even have a breakfast buffet for us. The “snacks” were gross coffee, powdered cream and a few packaged Danish cheese rolls. I was ready to get out already and we hadn’t even started our 120 minutes.

This was just the beginning of a very complicated waiting game designed to torture and subdue. After another fifteen minutes or so we finally met our friendly Persian sales guy. Of course they stuck us with the Persian guy. I’m sure they put down all the names on a table and when they saw a name that ended in a vowel Payam was a goner. Payam tried to pretend he doesn’t speak Farsi but that lasted all of three seconds. Before he knew it they were shaking hands and talking about where to get the best koobideh in town.

I won’t write up a whole play-by-play of the rest of the torture game but let me just say it was a lot of waiting and NOT talking about numbers. Whenever we would ask what it costs they would say, What is vacation worth to you? It was all about family values and making memories and how horrible you should feel if you don’t spend quality time with your family. Can you really put a price on that?

Yes, actually I can and it does NOT cost me four hours of my day in Vegas. So finally like fifty years later when my eyes were rolling back in my head and Payam was about to break out some karate to get out of there, they told us what the down payment would be. We obviously did not have the money for the deeply secret down payment and we were not interested in getting a loan to finance it. I mean, we did get suckered into the sales pitch but we aren’t complete morons. But that didn’t mean they didn’t try all the tricks in the book. Gifts and incentives galore, lots of going in and out of offices to consult with management. I felt like I was back in a 1990’s car dealership buying my first car. Our sales guy even had the body oder to match.

We were so done. When we finally signed a document saying we really were not interested (imagine that?!!) and we finally got our “gifts,” Payam and I didn’t even want to wait for our shuttle back to our hotel. We ordered an uber and got out of there as fast as we could.

BUT we did get tickets to Mystere and it was awesome!  It is true, there are no bad seats in the house for Mystere. We thought we’d be stuck in the back with our level 3/4 freebie seats but they were great. It was a great show. I can’t say say they were WORTH the four hours of torture but I would definitely pay full price for them.

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After the show we met up with my good friend Bethany (from 9th grade!!!) and Stephan (her roommate and therefore my buddy too) who live in Vegas. We partied like rockstars which lead to us exploring Fremont street at 4am like the locals do. It was crazy and fun and I laughed my voice hoarse. Bethany and I always get each other busting up since we have a lot of material being old college roommates and beyond.

And then I got the idea we should take pictures in front of this really well lit pizza sign. Because why not? Bomb lighting is bomb lighting!

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What a bunch of nuts, right? Good thing we only do this once or twice a year.

Love Fiercely

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I have a few swirling thoughts to blog about. You’ll have to bear with me while I meander about and sort of figure out what I want to say as I say it. And let me preamble by saying that I’m going to say something shocking below but I have no intention of breaking up with Payam nor have I ever. It’s just an example.

Ahem.

I’ve always identified with being moody. I was one of those kids who would get their feelings hurt easily and go hide in a closet or under a table to cry. The adults in my family would dismiss my behavior.  I had an artist’s temperament they would say and go on with their lively conversations, ignoring me until I got bored enough of my hiding place and came out in a better mood. Of course I would wish they would come to comfort me and I think occasionally an Aunt or my dad would do that but for the most part, I just felt like my moods were too much trouble for the rest of the world to deal with and nobody really understood me.

This moodiness has followed me for the rest of my life. I’ve come to realize that I cycle through up days and down days regularly, almost like clockwork. My moods often have very little to do with my actual situation or surroundings.  So I’ve come to not trust my moods. It’s a tricky place to be.

I have really great up days so I’ve come to accept that my down days are the price I pay. Usually the down days have something to do with hormones. I can pretty much look back at any conflict I have ever had and blame it on hormones. Of course some hardships I’ve gone through are not my “artists temperament’s” fault but I definitely know that I could deal with them better if I wasn’t the “moody artist” that I am. Or at least that is what I’ve always told myself.

The other day I was in a mood. It was one of those moods where you see everything negatively, even down to the dust on the floorboards.  I was reflecting on my relationship with Payam (poor Payam) and things were coming up short.  I am pretty critical by nature. It can be a terribly negative trait but it also helps me with my creativity and my work. I can be discerning in design, knowing with strong feelings what colors or fonts to discard in favor of others. Where to put something on a page and not. I know my own mind and I can easily visualize what I want things to look like and what exactly is wrong if they do not. I can curate a photoshoot, cropping out this offending detail in order to focus in on something else to tell a story… It’s a blessing and a curse and definitely part of being an artist!

This is all great for work but not so great when you are on a team or in a relationship and you find yourself curating the people around you. Just picture me finding Payam taking a nap on the couch while watching soccer. Maybe he’s snoring with some leftover snack sitting on the coffee table. It’s an innocent enough thing to do. But of course I am all excited about getting my steps in for the day (I’m type A) and listening to podcasts about health and wellness so I launch right into a full-blown lecture on how we should walk everyday and his napping is not aligning with my big picture.

It’s an innocent request but what if Payam doesn’t feel like walking every day? What if he has back trouble and foot trouble and me nagging him really puts a damper on his mood? He doesn’t like being judged by me. Who would? He doesn’t want me to think he’s lazy but walking everyday can actually be painful for him.  This is just a silly example and Payam does actually walk with me quite a bit but you get the picture.   You can imagine how my criticizing can not really work out so great for me and our relationship. I know this so I might keep my criticism to myself and fester inside every time I catch him napping on the couch. If I let things go too far, I start to day dream about what life might be like if I had an athletic boyfriend. Can you imagine what I’d look like if I was with someone who liked to get up early in the morning and run?!!  Maybe I start blaming my flabby body on Payam…I mean, that’s extreme but I could start to think that way if I let this sort of “moodiness” go on for too long.

You know the last thing I want to do is break up with Payam. I love him!  I love us. He loves me, flabby body and all! How am I going to force him to fit into my idea of what life should be like? I can’t! I’ve tried that with previous relationships and they’ve failed miserably and caused me great pain.

So I caught myself.   I decided I was going to stop myself every time I started judging and replace those critical thoughts with LOVING FIERCLY instead. At first it was just an experiment but it worked like magic. You should see the smile on Payam’s face when I come in from a dog walk and I am so happy to see him instead of low-level pissed. I try to make emoji hearts come out of my eyes and I think they really do and then he responds with even bigger emoji hearts coming out of his eyes!  I linger in hugs and tell him how much I love him. He hugs me back with even bigger hugs.

I find myself wondering why I ever was having negative thoughts in the first place. He is the best team member ever!

It’s a crazy fact and I think the real secret why arranged marriages work. If you make up your mind to make something work instead of break it down every day, it WILL work. The more you love, the more you find your partner loving you back. It’s amazing how much we can love. It really is our super power. We can infinitely love. Just think about that for a second. Infinitely. It is the basis for all religions. It must be a truth that centers us.

It really was an epiphany for me. I think I should go make some t-shirts or something. Just kidding! But try it!

LOVE FIERCELY!

It’s so hard to write this stuff. I keep judging myself in every different light I can think of. But I still want to say it.