Thursday, May 13, 2010

motel living ....

regardless of what ppl tell u, motel/hotel (i still don't know the difference) living is NOT fun. sure, its nice to have clean towels delivered everyday but the cheaper hotels and motels have gone with the "throw the towel on the floor and we'll give u a clean one, but hang it up and its ur's till hell freezes over" philosophy in order to conserve energy (the maid's and the earth's simultaneously). contrary to popular belief, although i might well be on my way to hoarder-hood, i'm not a slob and no amount of wanting a new towel will entice me to throw a towel on the floor. they don't change the sheets on a daily basis anymore either -- or even remake ur bed for u. if u don't make ur bed, forget about it, it will not be made when u come back later. its all about conserving water (and pay for housekeeping services i imagine-- if they don't do it, they don't get paid for the time). i get it because honestly, do u put up clean towels every day at ur house? we wash our's every three days. my theory was (and still is) that ur drying off a clean body, so how dirty can the towel get? its not a big deal and if it helps to save the environment by using less water, i'm all for it. i just wish the towels weren't white ....

when i lamented to some friends that we were going to a motel for a period of time as yet undetermined, they were curious as to y i was not exceedingly happy about this prospect -- after all, complimentary breakfast and clean towels every day were worth it -- right? however, they didn't count on the "hey not every day at this place" theory, plus they didn't see all the inconvenience that living in a hotel can cause in one's daily routine.

so, here's just a smidgen of what happens while living in a motel. first of all, u have to plan meals that can be microwaved (if ur poor like we r and can't afford to even eat out at McD's dollar menu every night -- that still cost us over $10 the one and only night we did it). yes, breakfast is complimentary, but if ur not a real breakfast person (which, let's face it, someone who picks at a small bowl of DRY honey nut cheerios really isn't), then it seems like a gargantuan waste. a better meal to be complimentary might well be dinner for someone like my daughter and i. luckily for me, my ex-husband works some nights and offered up his stove when he was working so i can actually make real meals and not that heavily processed junk they tout as TV dinners. but we do like the waffles and the eggs and the bacon (or sausage) that is offered, so we eat it figuring that it will stave off hunger till supper time.

now to go along with the microwave cooking u will inevitably have to do, u then have to bring things to cook in -- which means glass or plastic, and things to eat off of like plates and forks and knives and spoons and cups. and of course, when ur me, u bring the real deal so that u can wash and not throw out, which then means bringing tea towels to lay or dry things with and dish washing supplies. and, of course, there are still things u can't cook in a microwave (ground beef or chicken naming a few) so then the creativity becomes about what u can make without having those meats in it.

then there's the whole where am i gonna do laundry thing and when ur poor, coin operated laundromats just don't cut it -- plus, there is the whole issue of i use all free products when i do laundry due to allergies, and some ppl don't, so am i washing in a machine that someone just put a ton of smelly stuff in and therefore, my things will be unwearable. again, luckily the ex said i could use his machine. i'm hoping i don't have to because he has one of those high-end front loaders and i know they don't use the same detergents as my old top loader and well, who wants to be responsible for messing up someone else's washing machine?

add to this the need for a computer and printer (for the daughter who's a senior and has a bunch of end-of-school year work to do). and if i'm gonna be stuck in a motel room every day for over a week, then i need to have projects to work on -- so i had to bring some yarn for crocheting and some scrapping supplies to work on said daughter's graduation scrapbook. and taking into account that i'm not "allowed" to go back to my apartment for anything, we must make sure we have enough of everything!

clothes, hair dryers, toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps, all those little personal items don't even begin to scratch the surface of what we needed to bring to this motel.

still, it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so cold in the room (the blower runs ALL the time, but the temperature vascillates between really cold and warm), or the beds weren't so soft, which practically guarantees waking up with a stiff back when ur way over the hill and things r stiff under the best of conditions. we have a TV that doesn't turn itself off (like our's does -- don't ask) although the channels r much more limited than what we have at home. we have internet -- which is a tad slower than our's, but still its internet and if i didn't know the difference it wouldn't matter much. and there r two beds so that i can sprawl and not wake up the daughter -- although sleeping and living in the same small room presents its own challenges for her (i snore, i chew too loudly, there's nowhere to go to get a break from me -- except the bathroom , i'm sure the list is of historic proportions). i can't blame her -- she's a teen. this is her last year, last month, last few weeks of high school. she shouldn't have to be displaced during this period of her life -- but this is the hand that we've been dealt and she knows our lives have not been perfect. that which does not kill us makes us stronger -- right?

so lest u think this is just another one of my complaining sessions, its not. i'm just trying to make a point that motel/hotel living is not the glamourous thing that ppl make it out to be. we're making the best of a not perfect situation -- something we've learned to do quite well over the past 6 years. someday we will look back at this experience and marvel at it, maybe even laugh a little. and the best part is that it was another hurdle we jumped successfully. with each new hurdle we learn and grow. its all part of the great big plan....

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