I don't care what you say, I still like staying in hotels. There's something about the pristine white sheets that don't have filthy swirls in the foot region, gently reminding you how long it's been since you mopped your floors, or perhaps took a shower. There's something about someone else cleaning the toilet for you, and the shower, and fresh towels that don't smell suspiciously like a middle schooler used them and refolded them just to fool you. Don't tell me about the hairs you've found when you pulled back the covers, or the documentary about the glasses washed with toilet rags, or the blood stained carpets, or the fact that the comforters are never, ever washed. Don't steal my joy. Let me bask in the glory of a bedroom that isn't plagued with mountains of questionably clean laundry which apparently has no permanent resting place, or bird feathers all over the floor from Crookshank's latest love offering. Let me enjoy the rhythmic lull of the soft pounding from the room next door - kids jumping on the bed, I am sure. Let me embrace the rare privacy of knowing both locks AND the do not disturb sign are doing their cock-sure best to keep out children, animals and housekeepers.
I got to spend two glorious nights in Spokane at a hotel this week, and I am can't decide if I am mildly embarrassed or just a smidgeon proud of the fact that I went to bed before 8 PM one of those nights. It's just that the bed was so clean and big and wonderful... I couldn't even muster the fortitude to venture to the hotel basement for my two complimentary drinks during the reception hour. I must be getting old. A few years, maybe even months ago, I would have been so consumed with the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, ICYMI), that I could easily find myself wandering the streets of any city I was visiting to see what mischief I could find at all hours. Now, there are precious few motivators to get me out of my hotel room.
I have outgrown many impulses it would seem - spontaneous excursions, loud parties and late nights have all begun to lose their appeal for me. Instead of taking inventory of who I might run into at a party, I now take inventory of how much I actually LIKE who I might run into, and whether it's enough to rally me out of sweatpants and into public. At one point in my life it was all about being seen, getting out, and HAVING FUN. Now it's all about being well rested, and couches are really a lot of damn fun once you get to know them. I have officially become a lightweight with a 3 beer cap which occasionally gets blown with dire consequences and many days of regret. The flip side to this is that I am not succesfully functional without those three beers on any given day, but don't tempt me into more unless you'd like to assume my responsibilities for the next three days. I am old. I will be 39 in three weeks and two days. 39 seems SO. OLD.
I am not sure when a 'party' in my life began consisting of a sleeve of saltine crackers, a cube of butter and an entire season of Justified on Netflix. Something has gone terribly wrong. I began packing a chair to sporting events at some unidentifiable point in time. Next thing you know I will keep an umbrella in the car next to the safety blanket in case of spectating induced hypothermia. Maybe the first warning sign was those jeans I bought because they were comfortable. Or maybe it was when I asked for a blender for my birthday. I am not sure exactly, but it's happened so sneakily around the edges of me playing Peter Pan and pretending that I couldn't grow up that suddenly here I am: with full time work and sensible footwear.
It's too soon folks. Too soon to throw in the towel and call it quits. Too soon to quit bouncing on the hotel beds (DEAR JESUS) and much too soon to go to sleep. There's a lot of sunshine to chase, adventures to be hard-won and excitement to live through. I'm not dead yet. Only almost 39. But I think that is part of the enamorment I have with hotel rooms - I can't help but feel like a little kid pretending to be a responsible grown up with enough going on to stay in my own room. It's so fancy and sophisticated, and I know it's really just a big joke on those hotel people that they have a kid crashing in one of their large adulty beds. I suppose the intruige of not being entirely sure that I will have a successful method of payment adds to the whole experience, but...