Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A Haunting

I really hate traveling. I hate the process of booking flights, rental cars and hotels primarily because I hate being taken advantage of. I hate that I could pay $250 for an airfare and the guy sitting next to me only paid $100. Of course, being an MBA, I understand the concepts of supply and demand, pricing elasticity and other crap like that, but it doesn't make me feel better to think that the tiny bag of peanuts and a half can of soda really cost me $150. I felt like ripping the peanuts out of the other guy’s hands, but I really don't want to get into trouble.

Instead, I go to the lavatory and steal the almond-scented lotion and soap and stuff my pockets with complimentary tampons. I figure I can always give it away to my poor Asian relatives as gifts or something. They go crazy for airline shit like that. They think "United Airlines" is a luxury brand.

When I was about twelve, after we arrived home from New York in one of my first airplane trips, my mother gleefully opened her carry-on baggage and showed us the stuff she took from the plane.

She drew each item out of the bag, pausing to show it off, turning it this way and that, as if she were one of the girls on The Price Is Right before laying it on the floor for us to examine. She drew out the two cute, little coffee cups, all the modern looking silverware we used, the square compartments that once housed the bland, tasteless salad and squished carrot cake. Then at the bottom of the bag, the pièce de résistance: the tray that the whole thing came in.

Those were the days when the stuff they used on planes were cool and worth "taking." My mother never thought of it as stealing because we had already "paid" for it. For the longest time, I never gave a thought this, I just thought that this was the way things were. I think that I only realized that my sainted mother was wrong was when a few years ago, the hotel concierge stopped me after checking out and asked why I was taking the mini-fridge with me.

In our recent trip to San Francisco, Brian and I stayed in this hotel called the Warwick Regis Hotel. We had used Hotwire to book the rooms. Hotwire offers hotel rooms at a big discount. They provide you with information on where the hotel is, what the star rating is, etc. What they don't give you is the name of the hotel until you book it. Again, as an MBA, I understand this. Ostensibly, this is to prevent a prestigious hotel from having a low (cost) reputation, which to me, is ironic for one particular hotel chain whose celebutante daughters are running around spreading VD.

I felt a little worried about our hotel accommodations since I had not heard of the Warwick Regis Hotel, even it had a five-star rating. I was betting (hoping) that a hotel that named itself after Dionne Warwick and Regis Philbin would not be a fleabag hotel. The location was great, a block away from Union Square.

As we walked into our room, I was relieved that it was clean, if a bit small and slightly humid. What I didn't expect was that it was going to look like my grandma’s boudoir, if my grandma was French and a high-class hooker, which she wasn't--she only charged $20 for oral.

The bedding was covered with a heavy, dark taupe damask. The pillows were the same but trimmed with gold tassels. The wallpaper was antique looking, a shade of tea rose with a fleur-de-lis pattern. There was a small velvet curtain above the bed that draped over the headboard. You can read more about the rooms here. The descriptions are fairly accurate; the décor is tasteful, if a bit fusty.

Brian and I only had sex once in that room in the three days we were in San Francisco. A vacation should surely be a time when sex should be plentiful. But try as I might, I just couldn't get the image of my grandma lying on that bed with a black lace corset and bright red garters out of my head.

It felt a little like a haunting. I kept thinking my grandma, who passed away a few years ago, was looking over my shoulder giving me tips, telling me to breathe through my nose, be careful with my teeth and not to forget to tenderly massage the balls...

Other posts about this trip to San Francisco:

Part 1: Wedding Party

Part 2: Boystown USA

Part 3: A Haunting

Part 4: Detour

Why do tampons have strings? For people who floss after eating.
- Tampon Humor at the Museum of Menstruation

Oops, my tampon is showing
I thought beer cozies were weird, look at this.
Just in time for Christmas: Tampon Angel Ornaments
Tampon Bowling Game

Contestants lose their tops at The Price is Right
Public View of Paris Hilton courtesy of Avatar at Overworked & Underf*cked
What an MBA can do

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