Awkward encounters are best when viewed in retrospect.

It must be the weather. The strangest of people are crawling out of the woodwork, and I experienced first-hand such strangeness last night. 

Temperatures are soaring high over our beautiful country this week. It’s not exactly the heatwave promised by forecasters but it’s certainly hot and very comfortable. Our pinky skins are turning a nice golden color (and for once it’s not out of a bottle).

Last night I had a networking event at a local upscale hotel in Limerick City. It was a women in business event that happens once a month. It was my first time attending. 

Making use of any free time I have, I arranged a pre-event meeting with a girl who owns a wedding dress shop, one of my regular advertisers in my wedding magazine, Brides of Limerick. As I sat in the foyer of the hotel waiting for my appointment to show up I ordered a sandwich and caught up on some emails. The foyer was full of women, stylishly dressed, having an early dinner or late business meeting. 

From the corner of my eye I briefly noticed a middle aged man, about six foot tall and 180 pounds, sitting alone at the other end of the room. He wore what looked like a cheap grey suit. 

That’s as much I caught a glimpse of. I do that. I scan a room. I often try to figure out what a person’s profession is, if they are happy both in their job and in their personal life, just from a mere glance, like I haven’t enough things going on in my mind, but it’s just a habit, maybe a hobby.

Anyway, back to aforementioned middle aged man. As I devoured the rest of my chicken sandwich, drank my Diet Coke with a thirst and replied to a text from the wedding dress shop girl who was running late, I noticed, due to my super peripheral vision, the middle-aged man walk by. The chair I was sitting on had its back to a glass window. 

There he paused, had a quick glance out into the perfectly manicured gardens, turned on his heels again, passed me back out and while doing so ever so slyly placed a white piece of paper on my chair.

My initial thoughts were to call him back as he strode off, hands in his pocket, to let him know he dropped the paper, but something else told me his drop was very deliberate. I continued the text but the white piece of paper, folded up neatly, had me curious. 

Should I pick it up? Was he watching? I couldn’t see him anymore in the foyer. 

I began to think the paper was a note of some sort, left deliberately for me. I imagined it had a cell number written on it, which would have been a little strange but God loves a trier.

Another minute or two passed and that was it. The reporter in me came out, and I picked it up. I looked around again to see if anyone was watching. 

They weren’t so I opened it up and was horrified to see the following scribbled down in blue ink: “Room 132 xxx”…. 

His room number!!! This man left me his room number! His phone number would have been bad enough but his room number! 

I was horrified and at the same time found it very amusing. For a few minutes I mulled over this.

Is this what middle-aged men do when they are away on business trips? I mean, we see it in the movies all the time, but is it a reality here in Ireland? Do they go around picking up women who sit alone in hotel foyers? 

And then it dawned on me. He probably thought I was on the clock! A hooker looking to make some cash to pay for her sandwich and Diet Coke. 

Granted I was a little dressed up for the event, a knee length dress that may have come above the knee slightly when I sat down. My sleeves were even long. 

Maybe he thought I was an expensive escort, you know the sort that charges big bucks for an hour to anyone who wants to have their wicked way!  I was horrified and later extremely amused and unfortunately that’s where the story ends.

I was tempted to dig a little deeper to see who the sex deprived man in Room 132 was, but logic said stay away. 

Don’t pick me up wrong.  I wasn’t going to knock on his door but I did contemplate asking at reception. 

I was also tempted to send him to Limerick’s very popular swingers club. I’ve heard things get heated up in there late at night!

So yes maybe this has happened to people before but it certainly was a first for this Kerry lady living in Limerick. I had nine years in New York and never got such a proposition. 

Although I did walk down the Bronx River Road one morning at 7 a.m. with the slit of my skirt torn right up to the cheeks of my rear and never knew it until I arrived at work. And I wondered why several cars slowed down to drive beside me and say sweet nothings in a language that was foreign to me!

Other than that the mood in Ireland is one of joy and happiness. The sun does that though doesn’t it, especially in Ireland where we don’t see too much of it. The neighbors are out cutting their lawns, the kids are riding their bikes and people are being social. 

Just before dinner John and I had an all too brief conversation with two gentlemen who live across the road, both of whom we had never met before.  The fine weather brings people out in their droves, and considering we are newbies to the estate we haven’t had many opportunities to mingle with the neighbors.

One of the gentlemen is an engineer and the other an accountant. We made small talk for a few minutes. Colum, three, and Sadie, two, our children, were playing beside us. 

About two minutes before the conversation came to a standstill Sadie approached me, grabbed my hand and said something. I shushed her for a minute telling her mommy was talking. We do that don’t we, even though we promised we would always listen to our children? 

Well by God I wished I had listened this time. In our efforts to impress our new neighbors I ignored my second born, not once, not twice, but three times. Well if I did she was getting her own back on me.

No less than half a minute later, our pretty little lady, adorable as she may seem, took a step back from me, tugged my hand and proudly said “look mommy” pointing down to the footpath. 

There before me lay a freshly laid, dark brown, perfectly triangular 2-year-old’s poop! If only the ground could have swallowed me up! 

The engineer and the accountant mumbled something under their breaths, gathered up their kids, quickly made excuses about the missus having the dinner on the table and bolted across the green scared by the little princess in house number 58 and her poop!

I can’t begin to tell you how mortified John and I were. It was 100 percent my fault. We began toilet training Sadie on Friday and she knew to remove her underwear when she needed to go to the potty. She has nearly a clean record and then this happens. 

I should have listened to her. She tried to tell me a number of times that she needed to go, and I guess when she realized John and I were too busy trying to impress our neighbors she simply taught us a lesson! 

I wouldn’t mind but the engineer is the chairman of the resident’s committee and had just been asking us to help organize the neighborhood barbeque. I guess John and April and the mini-Mooneys won’t even score an invite now.

Anyway it’s the weather isn’t it! Everyone is giddy and funny things happen. It’s part of life, well life in Ireland anyway, and no doubt over the coming days when the sun peaks and the temperatures reach their ultimate highs more mischief will occur.

Enjoy the summer and we’ll chat again soon. And you can contact me at [email protected].