Just a thought… Common sense is not a gift, it’s a punishment. Because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it. [Anonymous]
Welcome back. I hope that the past few days have treated you gently and that there was plenty of family in your Family Day – or Riel Day, or Islander Day or whatever you might call it – Weekend!
Rob arrived home safely yesterday after a partly rainy and snowy trip from California up to Washington State, then across on the ferry to home sweet home. I think he’s trying to get some hockey lined up this week in North Saanich; he truly missed playing. Luckily, at least we were able to watch the Leafs from down south. His lucky Leafs PJs got quite a workout this winter.
He stayed at pet-friendly La Quinta motels along the way and there were no horror stories like the one we encountered in a four-star hotel in Whistler a couple of years back. I think so often about this experience that I thought, if you don’t mind, I’d share the experience with you here today. Now, thank goodness, we laugh about this story…hope you will too. Here it is, from May 2017.
We were having a wonderful getaway – leaving Victoria Saturday morning, spending the day driving, taking pictures and then bunking down on Saturday night in a Whistler hotel – until we weren’t. As they say in a ski resort, it was all downhill from there.
A 20% discount was a nice surprise when we checked into the Hilton in Whistler. My #1 request was for a fireplace and this hotel provided eco-friendly logs to burn softly through the night. Little did we know that before the first one would be out, we’d be wide awake listening to weekend warriors of a whole different kind.
We awoke with a start. In a hotel filled with tweens and teens taking part in some kind of school band festival, we assumed that the incessant banging from the room next door (or was it above?) was kids being kids – hitting a ball against the wall, rough housing, doing whatever they shouldn’t be doing at 11:30 pm. So we banged back. And that was greeted by what sounded like someone on their back kicking the wall repeatedly. Okay…not kids.
Having been subjected to rambuctious hotel neighbours before, we knew not to call front desk. For one thing, it wasn’t that late; for another, complaining can only get you subjected to more noise as you’re “punished” for pooping their party. We put in earplugs and went back to sleep.
Until 3:00 am. I can only describe the sounds of what we were subjected to as someone trying out for So You Think You’re a Porn Star and giving it all she had. A woman – and at least two men – were producing such volume that we were awakened, not only by a shaking wall, but by her loud (and over-the-top) cries of “Ohwo! Ohwo! Ohwo!” It went on and on and on and on….and we got angrier and angrier at the sheer volume of it all.
I had an idea: I’d wail along with her, in case she could hear us as well as we could hear them and realize how ridiculous it all sounded. That didn’t work; maybe they thought they started something. Finally, as we were about to call down to front desk, I just stood at our adjoining door and – like the crazy woman I had become in that half hour – yelled at the top of my lungs: “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!!!!”
There was laughter. (No wonder). I hope somebody’s Viagra expired in that mother-in-law moment; some door slamming indicated maybe their loud “menage à who-knows-how-many” moved to another room. Or, in what I’m guessing is the most likely scenario, given the Meg Ryan calibre performance, somebody had earned their money and headed home for the night. I have no idea.
Jean-Paul Sartre once said that “Hell is other people.” I will add to that the words “…having sex.” It was. Like the ubiquitous careless door slamming that happens in hotels, people just completely forget – or don’t care – that other people don’t want to hear it. It’s not just boisterous boinking that’s at the heart of this. It’s the fact that we’re all in each other’s spaces.
Why is it so hard to remember that? Why is it so hard to think of anyone but yourself? Luckily, the next day we were out driving through mountains and blue skies. Away from other people, just as nature intended.
Gentler thoughts here tomorrow.