My accomodations this week.

My accomodations this week.

A few times each month I take to the open road and find myself in a hotel room for a night or two. I like hotel rooms, especially the ones that are nicer and cleaner than my home – two hurdles that are frankly not that high. Every road warrior has his or her own rituals when enjoying hotel life. I decided to examine mine a little closer this week as I traveled to Washington D.C. for a board meeting.  What I found is that staying in a hotel actually transforms me into a crazy person, capable of psychologically troubling behaviors I would never exhibit in my own home. Being the trained professional I am not, I self-diagnosed the following:

Delusion: I pretend that I am the first person that ever stayed in the room. Or perhaps I suspend disbelief that anyone else has ever stayed there. And certainly if any other guest happened to use my room before I did, they were completely sterile, incredibly good looking, and someone who I would probably want to be best friends with in real life.  Certainly, the 400 pound hairy sweaty guy I saw checking out as I arrived was staying in another room. Not mine.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:  This behavior runs rampant during my hotel stays. I constantly check to see if I have my hotel key card with me. I have taken to asking for two keys even though I am one person. Still, I check my purse every 90 minutes to make sure I haven’t lost the key. The same holds true for setting the clock radio. I check volume, time, station, time, volume, station, volume…. and then I order a wakeup call just to be sure.

Paranoia: I worry that the housekeeping staff will think I am a slob and talk about me. To wit, yesterday I had the unfortunate experience of an exploding chocolate protein shake in the bathroom. I was mixing it and the top flew off the hand mixer sending chunky chocolate spews in a five foot radius around the sink. Wall splatter. The works. It looked like vomit and I spent 15 minutes scrubbing the entire bathroom because I didn’t want the housekeeper (who I will never see) to think I barfed in the bathroom sink.

Anthropophobia:I fear hotel staff in my room. For this reason, I put the do not disturb sign out the minute I walk into the room. When I order room service, I prop the door as the attendant brings in the tray. And turn down service really creeps me out, especially when they arrange my toothbrush on the vanity. I don’t want anyone touching my toothbrush.  When asked, I usually decline the toothbrush turndown service but request that they hand me the chocolates for my pillow then and there.

Kleptomania: I am not as bad as others but I routinely take any type of bubble bath, sewing kits, and those cute travel size Q-tips. (Don’t ask me why on the Q-tips.  I never use them.  But they are just too cute to leave behnind.  When I die, it will be the big mystery. The boys will be going through my things and ask themselves, “why all these Q-tips?” )  I have never had the guts to take a robe or towel because I fear they will come after me.

Manic Tendencies: If the hotel room is particularly nice, I feel the need to use all the accoutrements offered to me. Because my stays are usually short and the time in my room limited, I could find myself sitting in every comfy chair, taking a bath, eating complimentary chocolates, wearing the slippers, surfing the TV, listening to my iPod on the radio, and reading the magazines in a period of about 8 minutes.

Rest assured, I return from my travel completely back to normal although Dave may argue that the obsessive compulsive thing is a little more deep rooted. And of course this post guarantees that he will arrange my toothbrush on the vanity every night from here on out.

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