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I used to look at weekday stays in a hotel as a sweet luxury.   Especially during both our newborn stages, a night of full sleep was magical.  Feet up, remote was firmly in my control, no tears, no one to nurse back to sleep, no walking the halls with a crying newborn, no baby shit to scrub out of my nails.  Pure magic.  But back then, it was a once a month occurrence.  Currently, I’m booking a stay once a week.  The sweet luxury has been replaced with normalcy.  Here are a few interesting bullet points about my work stays in hotels.

  • In Cleveland, I forgot my favorite pair of black heels. Yes, I wore heels once.  No one returned them to the front desk.
  • I’ve left at least a dozen bags of breast milk in tiny fridges all over Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.  After the twelfth or so forgotten bag, I started storing all of it in a huge red thermos.  That’s hard to forget.  No one returned the bags to the front desk.
  •  For a while, I had to participate in a fire drill every time I stayed at a Hampton Inn.  Once it happened three times.  On the fourth time, I didn’t care if I went up in flames.  I don’t stay at Hampton’s any longer.  But I’ve got better reasons.  Keep reading.
  •  I thought I would have one of the boys in a Courtyard and was 99.8% convinced I was going to have Becket prematurely at the Drury Inn in Troy, MI.
  • One woman in said hotel glared at me with pity and said, “You look really uncomfortable and in pain.  I hope you have the baby soon. “  I was six months pregnant.  I didn’t kill her, but no one would have blamed me.
  • I was also convinced a “Creepy Same Side of the Booth” couple at the same hotel’s restaurant was going to kidnap me and steal the baby by cutting me open.  I told them I was only six months along and they looked deflated.  Can’t go cutting up a woman for a 24 week old fetus.  That’s super wrong.  They were creepy and asked even creepier questions.  But I was exhausted, so I might have read the situation wrong.
  • I’ve only heard one couple having really loud porno style sex.  Not bad for 12+ years of hotel stays.  But I fell asleep to them doing it and they woke me up twice throughout the evening.  So I’m taking liberty and counting it as three times.
  • I’ve heard a room of at least three men get back really late and I’m assuming they were very drunk.  Because only very drunk men order porn and take turns masturbating in the bathroom.
  • Hampton Inn’s might have the thinnest walls of all the hotel chains.  Final reason for the boycott.
  • I frequently forget my room number if I have two stays in one week.
  • Front desks have given me strangers’ room keys twice.  Thankfully both times, I only walked in on a suitcase.
  • The most disgusting thing I’ve ever found in a hotel room is a pile of clipped toenails.  It must have been an entire family worth of nails.
  • I did walk past two maids wondering how to clean up all the blood on a pillow.  I’m guessing someone had to keep their leg propped up.  Or someone was shot in the face.  I never found out.
  • If I were brave enough, I’d search the internet for “Hidden Hotel Camera Naked Girls.”  After a few Stone Phillips reports, I used to search the shower/mirrors/closets/fire alarms/air conditioning units for hidden cameras.  After all these years in hotels, I don’t care.  It might be funny to see me pop up online with my bits and pieces all pixellated.  And those crappy cameras probably hide the flaws of a body that carried two big babies.
  • After 9/11, I was certain terrorists would spend weeks smuggling in explosives.  And then one random night, they would “kidnap” the hotel and blow it up.  I’m not sure where this scenario came from, but it terrified me for months.
  • Currently, I stay at the same hotels because they’re walking distance to a decent restaurant or because they have a free happy hour.
  • Some of those hotels now say, “Welcome back” which is nice and sad all in one moment.
  •  There is nothing better than pulling into a hotel’s parking lot, shuffling up to the front desk, and saying, “Reservation for Ray.”  Those three words signal the end of the day.

I haven’t romanticized hotel visits in forever.   I don’t get gooey when I see a clean room and tiny shampoo bottles.  No jumping on the bed or reading the room service options.  The view from my room is usually an industrial park.  It’s just part of my job.  And some weeks, I don’t enjoy it.  For almost three months, I’ve spent at least one night a week in a hotel.  That’s not an easy thing to do with young children.  Today, I got a call from Coop’s school because I wasn’t there to pick him up.  It was an early release day for Spring Break.  When I asked him if there was a note, he told me “They sent it home on a night you weren’t here.”  Mark saves everything from the book bag, but I’ve been tiredly flipping through the stacks assuming it was the same “Great Job” or starred assignments.

But with that little bit of complaining done… I wish every Mom had to do some out-town-work trips because as a Mother, I’m very lucky to get that night in a hotel.  It makes me a better parent because I’m forced to take a night off.   I can’t do dishes, wipe another human’s butt, do laundry, make dinner, or any other Mom duty.   My husband effortlessly holds down the fort.  And even though I still have a hard time falling asleep in hotels and often wake up wondering where the hell I am, I’m rested.  And that makes for a happy Momma.

Let’s say I can give you one night in a hotel.  What would you cram into that sweet luxury?

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  1. Goda Ona #
    April 6, 2012

    Cool post. I once visited a friend in Tampa, FL who was there for work for a couple weeks. It changed the way I see hotels when I realized – she LIVES here! The said little shampoo bottles loose charm really quickly.. I’m not a parent yet, but love hearing different parenting experiences – I like the idea of a ‘night off’ although I would very likely be right there with you with kidnapping and terrorist nightmares..

    • April 7, 2012

      Night offs are so important. I’m glad I get to take them. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to take them that often.

  2. Becky #
    April 6, 2012

    I’d be ecstatic with ONE night, not your schedule. I’d be so torn between getting lit and watching the latest about some pretty white girl who’s gone missing (because I swear that’s all that’s ever on when I’m in a hotel), going to sleep immediately, and drinking & quilting (because I would bring all that with me. By the way I’m still grossed out about the 3 guys + porn. Who does that?!

  3. April 6, 2012

    I understand it getting old when you do it all the time, but if I had that one night you mentioned I would just revel in the abnormality of it all. I would get take out and revel in neither cooking nor cleaning anything afterward, I would revel in the silence of nobody asking me for anything, I would watch crappy girly TV and revel in not having to compromise on programming, I would take an audience free poop and an audience free shower that was as long as I wanted (and since you don’t run out of hot water in a hotel that would be a very, very long time), and I would sleep for 10 straight hours without being woken up by someone crying… people in the next room having sex maybe, but nobody crying.

    • April 7, 2012

      Yep! That’s the exact beauty of a hotel stay. I hope you get one soon!

  4. Kate #
    April 6, 2012

    Love the 3 guys with porn story. We used to live in a downtown highrise apt overlooking a nice hotel. One night we looked out and into the window of a hotel room a few stories beneath us and there was a guy enjoying himself (over and over and over again…for hours…yes we kept checking) with curtains open and porn on his TV. The kicker – he had the remote in one hand at all times – and every now and then got up to make himself a cup of coffee. I no longer touch hotel remotes (my guy friends tell me they knew this about hotel remotes).

    Worst part; at the time we were doing fertility treatments and paying gobs of money for sperm (two lesbians, not a damn testicle between us) and we were horrified at the waste going on in that room!

    • April 7, 2012

      Ha!! All that waste. What a shame…

      Add hotel remotes to my ick list. Thanks. I think.

  5. lisanye #
    April 7, 2012

    i almost puked when i read the part about the toenails.

    • April 8, 2012

      I tried to decide which was super gross: toenails or the pile of used bobby pins in a bathroom.

  6. Jill #
    April 7, 2012

    Uninterrupted reading . . . plain and simple. Just reading and knitting . . . maybe some cheese. Possibly a good movie.

    • April 8, 2012

      I need to start watching movies while I’m in hotels. I never do.

  7. April 8, 2012

    i’d do exactly what i did last time i stayed in one. i’d go see an amazing concert, get gloriously drunk, walk the one block back to the hotel and sleep until check out time. only next time i’d ensure the sitter could watch the kids for longer so i could lurk around the town i was in for the day and take photos.

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