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  • Writer's pictureSara Sharpe

Letter 5: Yasmine, you'll always be beautiful to me

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Dear Friend:

I know, I know - so many serious issues to cover - but I must tell you: I got a chance, this past weekend, to put my newfound tolerance to the test! You would have been proud, I think. For the sake of levity, if for no other reason, I’d like to tell you the story of how my husband brought a young woman back to our hotel room late one night in Denver.

As it happened, my husband Jim and I were at the Global Navigation Satellite System conference last week. To be clear, Jim was at the conference; I was tagging along. On this night, I’d gone to bed early, while Jimmy was out having a beer with his old friend Steve.

I hadn’t been asleep long when the door opened, and I heard Jimmy talking to … me? It was hard to tell. I was mostly asleep. I was dimly aware of him saying something like, “Why don’t you step in here and go potty” (odd) but, again, hard to tell; mostly asleep. At least I was, until Jim shook me mostly awake, laughing and saying, “I CAN EXPLAIN…”

For whatever reason, Friend, these words caught my attention, and I forced myself to sit up just in time to see Jimmy disappear back into the hallway, where he resumed conversation with … some people? More awake by the minute, I could by this point distinctly hear someone peeing in our bathroom. I remember wondering if some nice family had gotten locked out of their hotel room (at midnight?) and that some young child must have needed to “go potty.”

Anyway, it may be true that my newfound tolerance hadn’t necessarily kicked in by this point, and just as I was starting to feel legitimately irritated that my sleep had been disrupted, the bathroom and hotel doors opened simultaneously revealing Jimmy and … a very drunk and smiling young woman.

Sweetie,” Jimmy said, “This is Yasmine. We found her in the hallway.” Before I could find out who “we” were, and what, pray tell, Yasmine was doing in the hallway (sleeping, as it turned out), Yasmine, who I quickly decided was stoned as opposed to drunk (this being Colorado), took one, wobbly look at me, threw open her arms, and charged over to give me a big, long hug.

Now, I’m as huggy as the next person, Friend, really, I am, but I confess that before hugging people I don’t know I generally like to put pants on. Thank God my bottom half was under the covers – not that anyone seemed either to notice or care – my darling husband was too busy giggling in the corner, while Yasmine yammered on about how we were “such beautiful people.” Pleased that even in this compromised state Yasmine’s powers of discernment were intact, I felt suddenly compelled, pants or no pants, to live up to her estimation of me. Of note: I feel sure that this sudden, unexpected show of affection from a perfect stranger (stoned though she was) contributed in no small measure to my ability to summon the aforementioned tolerance.

To make a long story short, here’s what happened: On his way back to our hotel room, Jimmy found, in the hallway, two people standing over the very passed out Yasmine who, even in sleep, was clinging to two huge bags of snacky things – enough to satisfy even the most serious case of the munchies. To this day we have a photo of the beautiful, napping Yasmine. (Don’t worry Yasmine, your face isn’t visible, and I wouldn’t show it to the world one way or another.) It took Jim and two other people several long minutes to rouse Yasmine, who eventually woke up, had to pee, and couldn’t – until faced with the authority of management – remember her room number. (It was amazing how quickly her soggy brain recalled the room number when the hotel manager appeared.) In any case, once we had a clear destination, we all escorted Yasmine to her room like a happy little Yasmine parade, assuring her that “we’d all been there at some point…” while she continued to assure us that we were “beautiful people.” Feeling great affection for her by this point, I was more than a little sorry to see her disappear into her hotel room when the time came. “Good night, Yasmine!” we yelled as the door closed. “Sleep on your side!” I suggested, helpfully.

For the purposes of this letter project and at the risk of way overreaching, here, I’ll just say that it’s hard to be angry at someone – no matter the wacky circumstances and late hour – who hugs you good naturedly and tells you, again and again, that you’re “beautiful people.” Right?

At least it is for me.

And Yasmine, it’s possible we didn’t catch you on your best night, but you’ll always be beautiful to us.



Sara (& Jim)

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