So nearly three months ago, my house caught fire... and for nearly three months I've been living in a hotel.
There is surely a contingent out there among the masses who believe that living in a hotel for three months would be totally awesome... Those people would be wrong.
The fact is that hotel living is not without its perks. I mean sure it is essentially like living in a furnished apartment. And sure there is a housekeeper on staff to do most of the menial housework like changing sheets, making the bed, vacuuming, taking out the trash, and wiping down the bathroom to prevent unsightly soap scum buildup. Then there are additional perks like the pool and hot tub, which I don't have at home. And all of that is on top of the fact that I can run the heat or the A/C as much as I want without having to worry in the least about the utility bills, while the A/C and furnace at home are both turned totally off, keeping the actual utility bills down to levels so low that the utility company actually called to ask if they could check the meter because the usage was so minimal. That's all lovely and all good... But let me illustrate for you the flip-side of this situation... At least the flip side as I see it... (Because I admit to some quirks that not everybody out there would totally agree with.)
First off, I can't cook a decent meal. That's not to say that I don't possess the skills to assemble a meal. I'm saying that the cooking setup going on here is worse than what I had access to in college. I essentially have a microwave, a fridge, and a hotplate. If you can't nuke it or cook it on a cruddy heated coil, you are going out to dinner. Sure the prospect of going out to dinner every night seems pretty sweet, until you actually have to do it... See, I actually like to cook. I like to bake, roast, and broil. I like to steam veggies, I enjoy grilling out back, and I find a certain relaxation in doing so... Also I derive a certain gratification from knowing exactly what is going into my meals. The control over the ingredients of a restaurant meal is minimal at best... I mean sure I can go to a sit-down joint and order a specific meal off the menu telling some baked out high school junior no salt or no mayo, but it never comes out right, and sure it will probably taste pretty good, but I can promise you it won't be prepared in the way I would prepare it, and that in itself is always a letdown. (I can't tell you how many different restaurants I've been to and found broccoli as a side item only to be completely disappointed when I actually get it in front of me... TOO MANY!) Mind you, the bills for all of the dining out have to be paid at the time of service, and the insurance company seems fine with letting those bills stack up so that they can just settle up when all of this is over in one lump sum... Personally, I'm not a fan of overspending on foods that I could better prepare to my specifications and awaiting remuneration at an undisclosed later date. Just give me a full kitchen and a full setup of proper utensils, and call it a day.
Then there is the fact that I actually enjoy a little light housekeeping... I am a stress-cleaner. I get a special kind of relaxation/zen thing going when I am scrubbing bathroom tile, or sweeping the floors. I like changing the sheets and wiping down counter tops. Its not that cleaning is the greatest thing ever. I am not compulsive about my cleaning regimen, but I admit to a certain level of gratification in revealing glossy clean surfaces which were previously soiled or cluttered with nonsense that should have been put away... But I also enjoy REALLY rocking out when I do it, and blaring the music here isn't really an option... This neatly dovetails into my next complaint.
These are not the thickest walls around. If the neighbors can hear me blaring the music, it also holds that I can hear the guest in the next room who happens to snore like a lumberjack, and I can hear the little high school girl upstairs who is practicing all of the jumps in her latest dance routine and the yappy dog going batshit crazy as its owner drags it down the hall umpteen times a day.
I could go on, seeing as I don't have access to any of my personal belongings, aside from the new items I've purchased since the fire... (Items I'm not overly attached to, unlike all of my stuff that has been stored away while the contractors continue to take their sweet ass time getting things done.) I have this weird bed that gives me a back ache because now I'm old and it partially moves off the box spring all the time, and crinkles because of the weird mattress protector they put on it, and all of the pillows suck, and well, I just want my own damn bed and my sheets and pillows and a mattress of an agreeable firmness... Clearly I'm starting to go off the rails here, so let's just say I'm ready to go home.