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?