Country Gal Goes to the City
“When you get into a hotel room, you lock the door, and you know there is secrecy, there is luxury, there is fantasy, there is comfort, and there is reassurance.”
Diane von Furstenberg
I love to stay in hotels. I love hotel lobbies. I love hotel restaurants. I love hotel swimming pools. I love hotel rooms.
I love hotel room bathrooms with all of the cute little bottles of shampoo and the fresh towels, so neatly hung. I love hotel room beds with the fresh crisp sheets and the multitude of pillows. I love hotel room televisions. I love hotel room closets, with the miniature ironing boards and irons and extra blankets and pillows. I love hotel mini-fridges and mini bars. I love hotel room desks with the little lamps and computer hook-ups and little pads of paper and pens.
A hotel room is a miniature home away from home—except better. There is no clutter of daily living, no pet hair, and no to-do list on the fridge. There are no neighbors to come knocking, no salespeople to come selling, no phones ringing, no dogs barking, and no cooking and cleaning.
On a recent solo trip to Toronto, I was giddy with delight as I unpacked my suitcase, laid my shoes in a neat little row, and fondled the soft linen on the bed. I arranged my books on the bedside table, placed my slippers by the bed, and filled the mini-fridge with snacks and libations. As I approached the hotel room desk to set up my computer, my eyes fell upon a letter that had been placed there. It was a rather formal-looking letter from the General Manager of the Hotel. In order to protect his anonymity, I will refer to him as Mr. Bossy Face.
The letter read as follows:
For your information, window cleaning will be taking place over the next few weeks.
Depending on the weather, the work will take place weekdays any time between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
This work involves a “swing stage operation and at times, could be working around your room. In order to ensure your privacy, may we suggest that you keep the black-out curtains closed. The black-out curtains are located behind the decorative panels and sheers.
Should you require any assistance, please contact the Duty Manager at any time.
Mr. Bossy Face
I was shocked when I read this letter. I sat and formulated my reply:
Dear Mr. Bossy Face:
I am writing in response to your letter about window cleaning. I must say how disappointed I am to discover your unexpected correspondence upon the hotel room desk.
When I booked my hotel room, I specifically asked for “room with a view” as it is especially important for me to be immersed in the sights and sounds of this bustling urban community. I enjoy watching the crowds passing by, the eclectic street people, and the visual stimulation of the city. I am sad to discover that these simple wishes have been thwarted… and instead I will be expected to sit and stare at the dreary black-out curtains.
You are probably not aware, Mr. Bossy Face, but I also happen to enjoy falling asleep with the city lights all aglow. There is something oddly calming about being “snug as a bug,”, enfolded in white sheets, while the hustle bustle of night life surrounds me. I also enjoy spending long and lazy mornings, sleeping and stretching and spooning with my giant pillow. Have you considered, Mr. Bossy Face, how this will affect my morning routine? How can I possibly linger in the cocoon of my king-sized bed, knowing that there is a possibility that a platform of squeegee-wielding workmen could possible rise, like a sea monster from the deep – and then stop mere metres from my bedside! What if, in my slumbering state, I am completely unaware of the fact that my nightgown has become displaced and my pale, full, bottom is exposed to the open air? Will the workmen whistle, point and laugh. When they break for lunch, will they talk about the “big revelation” they saw in Room 214?
In conclusion, Mr. Bossy Face, your random window cleaning schedule will not work for me. Please advise your staff immediately.
Grumpy in Room 214
I never did receive a reply from Mr. Bossy Face and I rebelliously left the curtains wide open for the remainder of my stay.
I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy the time with family and friends. If you happen to be travelling over the holidays, I hope you enjoy the view from your hotel room windows!
Also, I would like to say that I was thrilled to be invited to speak to the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) (Orangeville Chapter) in October. I appreciated the opportunity to share some ideas with such an interesting and motivated group of women. I read the above letters as part of my speech, to explain how to use humour in negative situations. Afterwards, a member approached me and suggested I include these letters in a blog post … so I did.
Perhaps that hotel manager once worked at a hotel in NYC where a family member and his wife once spent a romantic weekend and forgot to draw the privacy drapes. The window washer saw more than a “full bottom”,…more like the “full Monty”! I love hotels too, Laurie!
Ann from Collingwood on Dec 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
Too funny, Ann! Now that story would make a funny blog post! I bet window washers have all kinds of tales to tell.
Laurie May on Dec 4, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
Did you have to check for bed bugs??
Eleanor Sled-Kurrle on Dec 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
Hi Eleanor: I always do. It’s part of my little “settle in” routine. I’ve never found any yet.
Laurie May on Dec 4, 2014 at 7:38 am |
Great that you found humour in this stress producing situation and diffused it so eloquently in your explicit retort. If I were the manager, I would have sent you up a lovely fruit basket, some decadent chocolates and a bottle of champagne. As well, I would have asked you if you wanted to change rooms immediately. Glad that you made the best of it and enjoyed your city views regardless. Kris
Kris from Canada on Dec 3, 2014 at 10:43 am |
Here’s my stressful situation–I went to give you a 5 star rating and when 1 star came up I pressed something and wasn’t able to change it! Sorry….if you can change it- please do so! Kris
Kris on Dec 3, 2014 at 10:55 am |
No worries. I don’t pay much attention to that Star Rating. I don’t think folks really know how to use it. I did notice that someone gave 5 stars to the comment that I made to my husband Darrel. Perfect!!!!
Laurie May on Dec 4, 2014 at 7:37 am
Hello back to you, Kris: Thanks for your comment. I think you should go into the Hospitality Field. I love your style!
Laurie May on Dec 4, 2014 at 7:35 am |
Never had this happen to me…..do they have lady window washers?
The hotels should do what Sick Kids Hospital window washers do…….they dress up in costumes that suit the occasion…..worth covering-up to watch! Dad : )
Larry Gee (Dad) on Dec 3, 2014 at 10:23 am |
I’m not sure if they have female window washers or not. I’ve never seen one. I’m sure they must.
Sick Kids’ Hospital has a great idea. Wouldn’t that be cool to look up and see Superman or Cookie Monster outside your window??!!!!
Laurie May on Dec 4, 2014 at 7:32 am |
Loved it . I’m also always looking for humour when it seems scarce. I’ve known you from when your full bottom was much smaller. Miniscule as they say.
Dorothy Blair on Dec 3, 2014 at 10:02 am |
Thanks, Dorothy. I guess babies don’t care much who sees their bottoms. Hee hee!
Laurie May from Mono on Dec 3, 2014 at 11:33 am |
Dear Husband: You missed the entire point of my blog post. I was not a Bossy Face. I merely wrote an assertive reply to the Bossy-Faced General Manager. I didn’t bother to ask for a discount. I was using your credit card. Hahahahahahahhaahh!
Laurie May on Dec 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
Love your post!
Oh Mrs. Bossy face did you get a discount for your added stress packed room?
darrel may from country girl goes to the city on Dec 2, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
Mrs Bossy Face
love the post, did you get a deep discount for your added stress?
darrel may from country gal goes to the city on Dec 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
Great post! I feel the same way about hotel rooms. I shall now book MY pale, full, bottom (ha! love it!) a room somewhere!
Joan Doane on Dec 2, 2014 at 11:20 am |
Thanks Joan! I hope you do book yourself a hotel room and enjoy some solitude – look out for those notes on the desk, though!
Laurie May on Dec 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm |