Early in my career, I tried to learn Spanish. I got pretty confused with French words, which I hadn’t realized I’d known, popping into my head instead of the Spanish as I tried to converse with a classmate…she had the same trouble with Italian. Oddly, we were having quite a conversation with full comprehension until the instructor overheard us and got annoyed.
I learned the rudiments of Spanish and still remember some of it more than 20 years later. One word that I learned from my Columbian instructor, which I found so novel that I’ve saved it in the back of my brain for just such a time as this, is tocayo…tocaya for the feminine. It is a word that is used to indicate that another person shares your first name.
For years now, I’ve lived a half-mile away from a woman with not only my same first name, but also my same last name. I’ve gotten her mail, gotten her vote (she got mine, not to worry), and been confused for her at the bank, pharmacy, and even doctor’s office. Once, the electric company combined our accounts thereby putting my Social Security number on her account. I met her one time at the polls where we were standing next to each other in line. I’ve not seen her since, although we go to the same church and obviously shop in a lot of the same places.
Altogether it has been something of an annoyance to have this particular tocaya. The other day, however, I got Gold Elite status at Marriott. It seems that she forgot her rewards number and when she called to find out what it was, she was given mine. I called Marriott a couple of years ago when I started to get e-mail reminders of “my” upcoming stays. Other than securing my account with a PIN and removing my credit card information, there was nothing else they could suggest. They did not offer to call the other Laura and inform her of the mistake.
Meanwhile, she does quite a bit of traveling and all of her rewards points flow into my account where they are automatically converted to frequent flier miles. And now I’m Gold Elite. I feel like planning a trip to take advantage of the perks of Gold Elite, whatever they may be. Upon investigation, the perks are room upgrade, lounge access, and internet upgrade. There are a few others that are probably not useful to me like discounted long-distance and fax.
As you can see from the photo, this perk only lasts until the end of the year, so I need to plan fast! Alas, my problem is my child…not a problem child, just that I am tied to home lately. I used to travel for business, where I would inevitably stay at a Marriott property since it is a preferred provider to my company. I used to be Gold Elite on a regular basis…not any more. Now, I have a 14 year old daughter and no back-up plan for child, or shall I say, teenager care. I don’t mind asking if she can spend a night or two at a friend’s, but when I travel I like to go far and wide and stay a week or two.
I’d love to return to Quito or Dublin, or (oh yes!) Paris…but if I have to wait a few years while my daughter grows up, so be it. I can dream in the meanwhile.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and the pleasure in dreaming!