This weekend, (if The Prude can convince her stomach to stop rejecting all incoming food and beverages) we will be staying at a hotel. Or a motel. The Prude has never figured out the difference to her satisfaction.
The Young Prude asked her mother one day, ‘What’s the difference between a hotel and a motel?” Mother Prude turned red and sputtered for words. Immediately The Prude remembered the last time an innocent question had elicited this sort of response. An even Younger Prude had asked, “Where do babies come from?” The answer left Young Miss Prude in a state of trauma for years. So when the hotel/motel question drew blushes and stammers from Mother, Young Prude gasped, ‘Never mind! I don’t really want to know!” and quickly exited the room.
Thus her confusion remains to this day. When The Prude’s children asked the same question with wide and trusting eyes, The Prude responded with the same flushed face and faltering words. Obviously the difference has escaped the family for generations.
But I digress. Have you ever noticed that sometimes Your Prude digresses so far from her original topic that she ends up in an entirely different time zone?
Hotels (we’ll stick with this name in interests of alphabetical priority)- held a certain rose colored charm for The Prude and her siblings when growing up. Color televisions, swimming pools, and tiny wrapped bars of Ivory Soap. Ah-this must be how the rich lived! We didn’t even have to make the bed before we left!
But then The Prude grew up. And as so often happens, those early rose-colored glasses grew brittle with age and developed cracks.
The first crack occurred when a hotel had a default setting on the television. It was the Adult Entertainment Channel. We also discovered it charged hourly rates, and that our socks were so filthy from walking across the carpet that we had to dispose of them. I believe we burned them. And scattered their ashes over the hourly rate hotel.
Crack #2 appeared when we opened the sleeper sofa in a hotel ‘suite’ for our children to rest their weary heads. Out popped a half-smoked cigar.
The next 3 cracks came in quick succession and all but destroyed the rose colored glasses. They included hair (not from the Prudes' heads) on a bathroom floor, a bloody bandage (not from the Prudes' bloodstreams) in a trashcan and an obvious (and aromatic) pet stain (not from the Prudes' dog) in the middle of a floor.
Now The Prude approaches hotels with extreme caution and more extreme suspicion.
She is sure that the only truly clean thing on a toilet with a piece of tape across it is the tape. She suspects that even if the toilet were cleaned, it was nothing more than a swish with a brush below the rim. Unless an 8-legged creature crawls out from under that rim, she is much more concerned with the actual seat and the flush lever, the only parts with which contact is actually made.
She wonders when the bedspread (on which her children are flopped) was last washed.
And do they EVER change the mattress pad? What about the pillows? Didn’t previous guests DROOL on those pillows?
The Prude could continue with questions about the little paper caps on ‘clean’ drinking glasses. Or whether previous guests washed their hands before touching the half-used toilet paper roll leering in the bathroom. She doesn’t even like to imagine scenarios that involve previous guests, with malicious intent, drying themselves with the towels and then neatly rolling them back on the little metal shelves.
The Prude would be happy to hear your hotel/motel horror stories. They may help her convince her husband that they can just sleep in the back of the van this weekend.