I bet you’ve stayed in a crappy hotel before, right? Or one that isn’t exactly “crappy”, not at first glance, but after you start to settle into your room you begin to notice numerous things that are not quite…awesome? Yes, it’s happened to me, too, most recently this weekend at a hotel near Tucson’s airport. But to make things more exciting and fun, I decided to turn the cons into pros by finding silvery-sweet-life-lesson-linings in each less-than-optimal detail. For example:
CON: Hotel outdoor courtyard seems to be breeding ground for large black carpenter bees.
PRO: Hotel at forefront of environmental awareness by providing sanctuary for black carpenter bees. Hotel also providing me with opportunity to hone eyesight and practice attention to detail! Notice one bee hovering outside room for 20 minutes, periodically extending its large black back legs, rubbing them together, and then retracting them before continuing to hover effortlessly IN FRONT OF MY DOOR. When have to leave room for complimentary breakfast with daughter, notice that MANY OTHER ROOMS along the outside walkway also have their own carpenter bee patrolling outside their doors. What a fantastic gesture on the part of the hotel to provide free pet service, as if instinctively understanding that we miss our dog! So wonderful to have a black bee to follow us for a time! Also, this provides opportunity to reflect on why bees like certain spots and not others?
CON: Have to spend valuable time Googling black carpenter bees to see if it is safe to leave room without can of hairspray in hand.
PRO: Husband sleeping in anyway, so time is available. Also, am reminded not to take WiFi and modern technology for granted! In past, would have waited nervously in room for long time before running past bee. Now, because of the magic that is Google, am able to learn all about CB’s and even teach ad hoc apian lesson to daughter and explain why the bee hovers, why it rubs its legs together, and that the males rarely attack, although they may be curious about humans in “their” territory and may come close to investigate. But really, no, they are not going to sting us! Not even when three or four of them come rushing over! And we’re not going to scream! Because we’re grown ups (at least one of us), who’s been on Google! Just keep moving, please, Sweetie Pie!
CON: Pile of black leaves in outdoor stairwell is actually pile of dead carpenter bees.
PRO: Discussion about Cycle Of Life; pesticide.
CON: Hovering bees are all still there on way back from breakfast. Five, maybe seven bees come close to investigate.
PRO: Jogging past bees up stairs to 3rd floor guaranteed to burn off at least some of the calories in that cinnamon roll thing. Also, get to repeat learnings to daughter about how the bees don’t sting; they’re probably only following us up because they’re curious. Get to practice smoothing the terror out of voice and make it sound bright, cheerful, banal. Get to hear unafraid daughter say in clear, sweet voice, “Maybe they think we smell nice, Mama! They just like us, Mama!” So, opportunity to appreciate daughter’s gentle point of view!
CON: In-room coffee tastes so horrible that can’t even drink it.
PRO: Makes me appreciate the beauty of really good coffee even more! Wishing I had some right now! Bad coffee providing me opportunity to reflect on the utility of delayed gratification in our society and whether denial in the moment leads to sweeter pleasure later on. Also, this reminds me that I downloaded risque “romance” novel to tablet to read later on.
CON: Creamer tubs contained spoiled cream. Makes coffee taste even worse.
PRO: Note To Self: Why are you trying the coffee a second time? Don’t you realized that shit doesn’t improve shit? Do you really think that shit improves with age? It’s not a fine wine, Jennifer. It’s Crap Coffee. Learn to Let. Things. Go.
CON: The bee is still there as we leave the hotel, hovering outside our door, wings so fast they are just blurs, so still in the air that it looks like a black cocoon suspended by an invisible thread.
PRO: Am desensitized to bee by now! Could hold bee in hand! Could be bee scientist, attaching tags to bee and learning all about their habits! (If were not so boring.) Breezily tell husband, who is eyeing them warily, all about their habits and lack of attackiness. Feel very brave, as husband is rather more used to me being terrified of large insects. Walk with jaunty waggle of hips.