Deb: It’s the last thing I would have expected. My husband and I checked into a hotel in a small town for business. The company we were working for apologized up and down about the level of accommodation explaining that at this particular location it was the only game in town. They assured us the other locations would be better and it turns out they are. Mind you, the other hotels would not have far to come to top our current address.Those of you who know and read me, are fully aware that I am a stuff snob. I like nice things. Sue me. I do not like to stay for business in a place that I would not stay in for pleasure. I know what you are thinking right now, but I have chosen to be honest rather than admired.
I will state categorically that I am NOT a people snob. Not even close. Don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you make, or how you lace your shoes. I will take you at face value. Things? Not so much.
Our hotel room had scary bedspreads, a shower drain that plugged up when you showered so that you are standing in water up to your ankles, a channel changer that changed the volume but not the channel, mold on the bathtub and floor, and a toilet handle that was so corroded that when you pulled it down you could see right through the tank. Add to that the fact that after I took my first shower (in flip flops, oh yes!) the noise from the drain was so loud and continuous for the rest of the week that we had to close the bathroom door in order to sleep. Okay, so I had to shut the door. My husband could sleep soundly if he was laying in the shower, lucky bastard.
But the piece de resistance was the smell that started slowly day two and built through the week into what can only be described as dead rotting critter. The only other room available was filled with smoke and so we chose to stick with Rotty The Reeking Rodent, rather than move. On the last day they managed to move us when a room came up and we slept one night reek-free.
But the biggest shock of that week in the Bates Motel came not in the form of mold or stink or stains or scum or one TV channel. It came in the form of romance. I cannot explain it. Neither of us can. But it became one of the loveliest romantic fun-filled weeks we have ever spent.
To offset the Eau de Roadkill, I lit a scented candle that I brought with me. I cannot begin to describe to you what the scent of lavender does to rot ... well, I can actually: lavender rot. And yet romance prevailed. Oh yes. The motel gods were trying to tear us asunder but we defied their damnation that week. We clicked rhythmically, exactly like the sound of the 6-dollar bottles of spring water dropping into the slot in the third floor vending machine.
If you had seen us laughing, walking hand in hand along the quaint streets, you would have thought that it was because we still had the sweet taste of our pillow chocolate melting in our mouths. If you had witnessed us holding hands at dinner you would have been certain that a champagne and strawberry tray awaited us back at the inn instead of the sickly sweet scent of rodent CSI.
It wasn’t this romantic when we were in Paris for the love of mike. Okay, twelve-year-old boy was in a cot at the end of our bed. Still. Relationships don’t always have as much surprise value as the years go on, so the silly shocking surprise of this week made us feel like newlyweds again.
Now I just have to figure out how to convince my husband that the romance was a one time only deal in such a place as this! Back to the 5-star we go. After all, a snob is just a person who has made a commitment to her high standards. And I for one pride myself on honouring my commitments!
But dumpy digs notwithstanding, I learned this week, especially since the nest is empty, that wherever my husband is, is home.
Barbara: Well, I’m not so much of a stuff snob. Deb knows this. I’m often as happy just admiring from a distance as getting to have it. But here’s where the wheels come off: dirt and smells. This Bates Motel you describe brings out every shudder that I have in my body. Dead critter smell? Noooooooooo! The worst. Mold in the shower? Arrrrrrgggggghhhh! Shiver, shudder, gag, and faint. And then not being able to go somewhere else? This is maybe my worst nightmare.
All this to say that I admire your romantic time that much more. It seems that when little things can so often get in the way of romance, it’s a downright miracle that this didn’t waylay even the best laid plans. So impressed with you guys. But also not gonna be searching for love in all the wrong places.