Have you ever been in a situation that felt wrong, but because the person you are with doesn’t question it, you don’t question it either? Then later you end up having this conversation that goes something like, “Omigod, I thought the crabcakes tasted funny, too, but you were eating them so I figured it was just me.”
This story is like that although it doesn’t involved crabcakes.
Bob and I went to see Leonard Cohen on Thursday night in Seattle. A couple months ago Bob called me at work and said, “You know I never do anything like this, but this is the last musical icon on my list that I must see.” We took time off of work and made the trek.
It was spectacular. I’m sort-of glad I went in not knowing what I was getting into. It was like three hours of church, but I mean church in the sense of people gathering together to have their spirits refreshed. This is yet another wonderful experience my husband has brought to me that I never would have discovered on my own. Poor Bob. The concert he got to discover because of his wife was Ratt.
I will link to Bob’s review as soon as it’s up. (Leonard, not Ratt.)
We used the trip as an excuse to visit friends and relatives that we haven’t seen in long time. For the first night we stayed in a nice chain hotel in the Capitol Hill area. (I don’t know Seattle very well so geographic things are approximate.) This is the kind of hotel that asks you to join their frequent user plan and has a giant wall sized display in the elevator telling you about all their local hotels.
When we checked out we asked if we could make a reservation for one of their other hotels that was more convenient to our plans. The guy said their system didn’t work that way but he could write down the phone number for us. The events that follow are clearly this man’s fault.
Actual postcard from lobby with slight photoshopping by me.
As we headed out to one of our visits, we decided screw that hotel chain, we’d just stay at some generic motel on Aurora. As we drove I wrote down a couple of places that looked okay and we saw that there were tons and didn’t worry about it.
Our visit ended in the late afternoon so we got caught up in clusterfukage traffic and we puttered down Aurora and finally saw one of the places that was strategically located and seemed to look okay when we drove by the first time.
Here’s where the story is going to strain reader credibility, but you know, when you’re in the middle of the story things are not always obvious. It’s only later when you start adding it all up that you see how you were steered wrong and should have done it differently.
It looked sort-of shabby but we went in and it was cheap and we were tired and just wanted to sit quietly for a bit and the traffic was stacked up out front and I saw this lovely postcard and I thought how bad can it be? So when Bob said what do you think? I said, I guess it will be fine.
But as we’re standing there I’m reading these signs posted everywhere about no guests and no loitering and no refunds (has there ever been a bigger red flag anywhere in the history of red flags?) my heart is telling me RUN! but my head is telling me to get over it, it was just one night and that seemed okay until we saw the inside of the room which is my top two grimmest hotel rooms of all time. Please let that not be “so far.” Stained carpet, patched walls, tiny bed and smelled like smoker heaven.
“I’m certain someone has been murdered in this room,” I said. But we laughed and convinced ourselves it wasn’t so bad. We put our stuff down and went to visit our friends.
When we returned, the room was worse than we remembered. No hangers for our coats. The lamp didn’t work. One towel. Bob went to get a new lightbulb and when he returned, I had my bags in my hands, “Let’s just cut our losses and go to Travel Lodge.”
He talked me out of it but he was upset that I was upset and he sat down in a Thinker pose if The Thinker was wearing a baggy sweater and looking completely demoralized.
“I can’t figure out how this happened,” he said.
I crawled under a bedspread that I’m certain was a table cloth for a smoking convention and tried to fall asleep and my digestive system went ornery. We ate a big lunch and dinner and both with rich foods and it was just enough for that gross indigestion-y nausea that makes it impossible to relax when you’re trying to sleep, even in a nice hotel room. I finally drifted off for an hour or so and when I woke up Bob was up reading. I felt even worse and finally confessed to Bob and he went and found a cup in the lobby (free coffee station) because we didn’t have one in the room and I drank some alka seltzer. Bob said, “Do you want to leave?”
And I said, “Of course not, we have plans tomorrow. Our friends will hate us and never invite us to anything ever again. Who drives for three hours in the middle of the night? We can live through one night in a shitbag hotel.” (The conversation actually went on a lot longer and had lots of colorful parts to it.)
I still couldn’t settle and I tried to read my book. I noticed a giant gap in the curtains and because it was one of the least sexy moment you can imagine, I turned to Bob and said, “You wanna have wild sex?” and he, who has never answered that question this way, even when offered in jest, said, “NO! I want to go home.”
Then the room phone rang.
And there was no one there.
We got up and started packing. It rang again and I unplugged it from the wall. By 2:30am we were zooming through downtown Seattle and we were home and in bed by 5:30am.
We just washed our hair with gasoline and now I’m preparing to burn our clothes. What a weekend!