The Hotel


do not distrubI live in a hotel. Or should I say, I live in a hotel room. Three other people live in this room with me.  I used to live in a 5/ 5 with vaulted ceilings, a formal dining room and 2 living rooms.

I spend $1.50 to use an aging “community” washer and another $1.50 to shrink everything. Or, I walk my delicates -on hangers- through the lobby and up 5 floors in the elevator. I used to have a part time housekeeper. She did my laundry. She washed and dried the clothes and put my delicates on a line.

I share one bathroom with 3 other people. And if you know me at all, you know I must take a bath. I used to have a  jetted tub that fit two adults, although rarely. I  had my own toilet closet. MY OWN.

My sleeping arrangement is two queens right next to each other, occupied by noise makers. I used to have a queen in it’s own space, in a huge room with blackout curtains and silence.

My refrigerator was made for a dorm room. And it freezes everything. It’s not more cost effective to buy food from the grocery if everything ends up a ‘sicle. I used to have two refrigerators, and would balk at the need for that much space. Ohhhh… that much space!

We have two TV’s. I used to have one. And it was only on for family time and Netflix binges. Why on earth do I need two TV’s when everyone has their own phone AND tablet AND/OR computer? The cords… good lord, the cords. And the “white noise”. And the two TV’s on at the same time while giggles come from tablet/phone/computer Youtube watching and politics and weather and Facebook (which is noiseless, but still evokes noises) and I can’t hide in the bathroom, because: sharing, and I can’t fit in the closet because it’s packed full of my shit because everyone else is using the ONE dresser (I used to have two just for me) and we brought so much stuff. Although, I’ll stop complaining and freaking out for a Bob’s Burgers twofer.

I have a microwave. I used to have a full kitchen complete with an oven. AND a stove. Together. And an island, where I could prep or serve the warm food that came from the together stove-oven. I don’t even know how to make microwave foods. I thought the microwave was for re-warming my coffee 5 different times a day, or warming leftovers. Non ‘sicle leftovers, that is.

When my kids made a mess I used to say, “Hey!, Claudia didn’t work her ass off all day so you could destroy the house in 5 minutes. Now I have to tell the kids to pick all their crap up off the floor so housekeeping can come vacuum 4 days of crumbs from the floor because we  always leave the Do Not Disturb sign in the door. So, I guess not much has changed there… actually.

I used to have a beautiful view of a flower covered hillside and a  dwellings-dotted volcano. Now I have a view of an H.E.B., a Sonic, and 35. One-point-five hours would get me to a practically-deserted, beautiful beach, with warm water and gentle waves. Now that same time frame will get me to Austin, Kerrville(?) , Pleasanton… no beaches

Before I lived in a hotel, I had space for my stuff, for everyone’s stuff. My kids had a designated space for school work that didn’t double as their (shared) bed, or the “living room” or the kitchen island/table/my office. I had that thing that I need to finish this task without having to Mom-Macgyver some nonsense to make it work (*like wrapping a peanut butter sandwich in hotel Kleenex because I didn’t get baggies at the store for school lunches). Having any of those “that thing”‘s right about now would be epic.

Before I lived in a hotel it was never 30-something degrees in the stupid morning.

But, before I lived in a hotel, I didn’t speak the conversational language. I had trouble asking for help or saying I didn’t need any. I couldn’t go on nature hikes, or walk to the grocery store… or SONIC!! Before I lived in a hotel I had shitty margaritas.

Life is just too short for shitty margaritas. 

Before I lived in a hotel, my life was privileged and guarded. I didn’t want for much, but what I wanted  couldn’t be given to me.

Before I lived in a hotel, I thought I knew what I wanted, and where life was going. Now life is going all over the place, and nowhere, all at once.

Hotel living makes you see things differently. Perspective happens. So does irrational behavior. And walking to happy hour instead of making dinner. And questioning your life choices. And seriously reconsidering parenting and marriage.

But mostly, appreciation happens.

Appreciation for the life I have. And the husband who has worked to provide it for us.

For the freedoms I take for granted. Seriously, we walked an entire shopping center, while it was raining.

For my amazing kids who surprise me  everyday, even if I’m glad they’ve started school and I get some personal space now.

I will live in a hotel  room for 10 more days. With three other people. And one bathroom. And two queen beds. And a fridge that may or may not ruin my food.

And after I am done complaining about space and stuff and crumbs and room temperature and food in my workspace and frozen carrots  I will appreciate how lucky I am to share so many hotel rooms with these three people.

Because hotel rooms always equal ADVENTURES.