Best Case Scenario

Best Case Scenario

As a Christian guy I try to leave space for Divine Providence in my decision-making. Divine Providence is pretty much like a “best case-scenario” habit of thought. If you take initiative, put your time in and are still unsure of the results, no worries: the scenarios that’s best for you will happen.
Last month’s road trip to my new home in Houston took me through Memphis and I learned something about Divine Providence and the benefits of thinking best-case scenario. After 800 miles of driving, I needed a place to stay and some real food to eat. Finally, at 4pm and 2 miles outside the city I downloaded the Hotwire app to find a room. Since I’m not Donald Trump my choices were limited, a 4.8 star in the suburbs or a 3.7 star downtown.

If you book a hotel in the suburbs you’re pretty much resigning yourself to burning calories on the treadmill or plugging into Wi-Fi all evening. It’s a worst-case scenario decision; because worst-case scenario you’ll at least stay in shape or catch up on a few episodes. A hotel downtown means you’re entertaining some hope of having a really good time and maybe meeting some fun locals. I could think best-case scenario and go downtown or worst-case scenario and hole up in a comfortable fortress. I decided to hope for something good and took the exit for downtown.

Being a first timer, I had to scout the scene first. I checked in the room and walked the pavement in hopes of seeing an Elvis impersonator doing karaoke or something that would make me remember Memphis forever and ever.

The truth is I’ve been in the car all day and at this point I’d even be happy partying with non-alcoholic beer and low-sodium hummus. That didn’t really matter though because it turned out there was only one attraction happening in the whole of downtown that evening. It was an all-inclusive invite-only party called Memphis Best on the river.

By “invite only” I mean you couldn’t buy tickets even if you were Donald Trump. I strolled by to watch them setting up buffet tables, open bars, and band stands. Best-case scenario, I’ll be invited to that party within the hour…now we’re really stretching it. I headed back towards the hotel not sure what I’d do since, being 3.7 stars, the pool was closed for maintenance and the fitness center consisted of two dumbells sitting on the carpet of an unused hotel room with a tag labeled “gym” stapled to the door.

Between the 9th and 10th floor three Memphis girls joined my elevator ride dolled up to go out. Fortunately, since it’s only a 3.7 star hotel I think the elevator shaft was being cranked by tired dwarves and so we had about 12 seconds instead of 6 to get to know each other. In the end, by the time the doors opened, they were handing me a ticket to none other than Memphis Best.

“We’ll meet you there,” they shouted through the closing doors as I stepped out. Guess I won’t be watching Scrubs all evening.

I dug something decent out of my trunk and started walking to the river. There are a lot of people at Memphis Best; most of them crowded around the bandstand or mingling in tight circles. It’s one of those parties where it looks like everyone knows everyone and I’m thinking “Somewhere in here there are three girls I know…well sort of.” I don’t want to spend the whole time looking for people though so I get started and try to make something happen.

Fortunately, I’m on a best-case scenario high by now and I’m willing to try meeting new people. I need a line. The bar line’s too short. Buffet line looks nice and long; give me a chance to get a real conversation going. People never think twice about speaking to people in line, I mean, what else are you going to do? Stand there and text people who aren’t even at the party? Soon I’m chatting with Ken and his girlfriend.

“This is the hottest party in town, man. How did you get invited?”

“Girls I met…in the elevator…at the hotel.”

OK, the bouncers are going to come and take me away any second. It turned out they were amused. Better too, because coincidently Ken and his girl are best friends with my elevator friends and soon we all come together. The scenario couldn’t get any better.

After a couple hours of the Dead Soldiers and three plates of Memphis BBQ, I called it a night. I was back in the elevator and I was glad I made the heroic effort to imagine that something really good would happen out of a tedious road trip and a three star hotel room. Yes, I know worst-case scenario has it’s place in life but when I want to have a memorable time I know that trusting in Providence a little and taking a chance on the best-case scenario is the way to go.