Category Archives: On being a mom

Motel 55

I’m running a one star hotel. I’m not worried about improving my rating, as it’s peak season and all of the rooms are full. There aren’t a lot of other options for my guests at this time of year, so the myriad complaints to management about the quality of service go largely ignored.

Breakfast is the real strength of this establishment, the diamond in its crown. Breakfast is available between the hours of 6am and 1pm, allowing for work, camp and party schedules alike. Our chef is highly caffeinated and motivated during these hours and is happy to provide meals customized to all guests’ likings: omelets with sautéed vegetables and an avocado garnish, oatmeal with nuts and berries, scratch made pancakes, or bacon egg and cheese sandwiches on your choice of bread. We offer a side of mixed fruits and a staggering variety of breakfast meats.

We do not serve lunch.

Dinner is served when it’s ready, and not a minute before. So management would like to remind guests that continually asking when it will be ready does not speed up the service. Dinner is served as one meal and we are sorry that we cannot accommodate requests for substitutions. Guests who are hungry after dinner are welcome to visit any one of our town’s fine fast food establishments at their own expense. A complete listing is available by typing “Google” into any device.

It’s been said that the laundry service in this hotel is a bit erratic. We prefer to call it “weather dependent.” During a week with consecutive sunny days, it is likely that guests will be reusing dirty clothes. If it has recently rained, they can expect clean ones. We hope that our guests understand that the weather is beyond our control. Management has offered all guests full use of the self-service laundry facilities, free of charge. That offering has not proved to be popular among this season’s clientele.

Historically, in an effort to be green, we have informed our guests that if they wish to reuse a towel, they can let us know by hanging it up. Only towels thrown on the floor will be washed. This policy was changed when management realized that all towels at all times were being thrown on the floor. The revised policy is for all towels to be ignored indefinitely.

Transportation is provided free of charge by the hotel’s Volvo wagon. Complaints about or even allusions to the cleanliness of this vehicle are ignored and considered ironic. The shuttle runs to and from the train station on demand as needed as well as to points of interest within the hotel’s zip code. Transportation farther afield must be arranged separately and at the guest’s expense.

Cleaning staff comes to the hotel once weekly on Tuesday mornings. If any guest opts to sleep until noon that day, he forfeits his right to that particular service.

Our guests regularly attend the mandatory Sunday night bar-b-que, mainly because the food is better than what’s prepared in the kitchen. And also it’s mandatory. Otherwise our offering of activities hasn’t seemed to hit the mark. Walking the dog, transporting recycling bins and long conversations with hotel staff about college plans don’t seem to compel our guests to participation. But we do offer free wifi and unlimited gaming access, so that should count for something.

Dog Park Rookie

When I got a dog I was excited to start going to the dog park. I thought it might be just like going to the playground with little kids, standing around shooting the breeze with other parents. In fact it’s been so long since I’ve lingered at a playground that I thought the dog park… Continue Reading

If You’ve Got Five Kids, You’ve Got A Lot of Teeth

“That’s just so many teeth,” I said to the confused mother of five seated across from me at lunch. It was a weird follow up to the pretty standard suburban question: “how many kids do you have?” Depending on your point of view, there are plenty of more appropriate reactions, including “how wonderful” and “so… Continue Reading

The Upside of Scarcity

Many years ago, my son received a Thomas the Tank Engine train and a circle of tracks as a gift. He was two years old and could zoom Thomas around that track for hours, frontwards, backwards, crashing into imaginary obstacles. He loved it so much that I bought Thomas a buddy, his faithful passenger coach… Continue Reading

Sports Niceties in Real Life

Spring sports are winding down and the whole thing seems like a blur of driving, costume changes and sandwiches eaten in the car. There was the requisite amount of elbow jabbing, name calling and blood letting. But there were also the niceties of sports, the repeated rituals, words and actions that sort of smooth out… Continue Reading

The Homecoming

I wander around my unusually clean kitchen, killing time before I get to pick up my son from the airport. He has just finished his freshman year in college, and something that feels like relief floods my nervous system. I haven’t seen him in two months, so I try to imagine what he’s going to… Continue Reading

Is Anyone Else Tired?

Remember when that new, zealous guy started work at your office? The one who thought it would be more productive to come in a few minutes earlier and stay a few minutes later? Next thing you knew, your nine-to-five job was eight-to-six, for the same pay. I wonder if this is what’s happened to motherhood.… Continue Reading

Macabre Tales of My Mandoline

Fifteen years ago my mother-in-law gave me a mandoline for my birthday. When I try to talk to my friends about the mandoline, they think I’m referring to an instrument in the lute family, which actually might have been a better gift for me. This device is the culinary kind. The box says it’s supposed… Continue Reading

Notes for Next Christmas

I have a friend who has a very thoughtful way of living her life, and I try to pick up her habits when I can. She recently told me that every year after Christmas she takes a few minutes to jot down what worked and what didn’t, so that she doesn’t make the same mistakes… Continue Reading

Cords For Christmas

When my oldest son was two-years-old, he saw a toy in a catalog that fascinated him. He carried that catalog around wherever he went for six months, hypnotized by the little plastic animals that seemed to graze around a plastic tree. Because I was a person who had $20, I bought him that toy for… Continue Reading

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