Summer is conference season. Every week in June, and several weeks in July, I am going to somebody’s annual get-together. It doesn’t matter where. The conference could be in Paris, France or Armpit, Arkansas or the moon for all I care. All conference rooms look more or less the same on the inside. All that matters is the strength of the wi-fi signal.
The hotel rooms, however, that’s where the real differences are.
I feel like there’s a factory somewhere – no, a sweatshop – of underpaid people working twelve-hour shifts, all churning out canvas after canvas of bland, abstract art in muted colors. Anyone showing the least spark of individuality or creativity is denied a potty break. It neither offends nor inspires. It matches the carpet. And the drapes.
Every once in a while, the hotel art is interesting. I notice that. I like that. Those hotel rooms usually costs a lot more.
Hotel bathrooms have the most variations. I feel like I can tell which ones were designed by men and which by women. Women know that we need enough counterspace to spread out our makeup case and blowdryer and possibly a curling iron all at the same time. Balancing those things on the back of a toilet is awful. Fishing out a tube of mascara when it rolls in is worse.
Also, I don’t know who needs to hear this, but please position the mirrors so that I don’t have to look at myself while I do my business or see myself stepping out of the shower. I haven’t been 25 in a long time.
Another thing I’ve never understood is why basic math is frowned upon. Those coffee makers are as bad as the 8 hot dogs/6 buns conundrum. They never give you the same number of coffee pods and creamers. Four pods? Two creamers. If anything, it should be four pods and eight creamers, since the coffee is usually so terrible you have to mask the taste with something. I drink it anyway because I need the starter fluid to get me in the elevator to the lobby where the good/better coffee is.
I’m not sure how I feel about the new trend regarding shampoo and soap. Instead of giving you those tiny little squares of soap and bottles of shampoo, they have dispensers bolted to the wall. On the one hand, this does away with a great deal of plastic waste. I have never once in my life used more than a third of a bar of soap on a trip, and that’s rather wasteful. I don’t have any logical reasons against these dispensers, but I do have plenty of emotional ones. For one, I like taking home the little shampoo bottles and bars of soap as souvenirs of my trip, and yes, I do use them, I am that cheap. Secondly, my imagination is vivid enough that while standing in the shower loading up on shampoo from the pump bottle I feel obligated to picture the other souls standing there doing the same thing I am doing and I am a little bit horrified. That old speaker’s trick of picturing everyone in their underwear to make you relax? It doesn’t make me relax. At all.
By my count, I have three more hotel rooms to go before conference season is over. Then I shall stay tucked in my own bed, where all the cooties are mine and mine alone.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.