Relaxation Trumps Hotel Germs (most of the time)

Written by Emily

Ever since the fateful day I saw a compelling news piece about the smears, splatters and terrors lying in wait around hotel rooms, I’ve been wary of my vacation digs. Add to that the sensational media coverage on bed bugs, and I’ve got a cocktail of crazy bouncing around my brain before vacations. Oddly, I still like staying in hotels; it’s the getting away of it all that gives me a euphoria or rush of serotonins more powerful than even my strongest, most irritating superpower: Germ Sense.

When I arrive at a hotel, I calmly turn down the comforters. I move the decorative pillows that have no-doubt been sacrum support for a nude lounger. I wipe down the remotes that have been palmed and licked by the rotavirus itself. I avoid letting my skin touch upholstered chairs that were definitely straddled by ladies of the night; I mean classy escorts.

And then I can relax. And I do…or I did.

Now I have children. Before I even enter the hotel bedroom, this happens:


By the time I release my grip on the suitcases, my children are building a fort with the decorative pillows, making themselves human burritos with the comforters and testing the rug fibers with their tongues.

I used to gasp in horror. I used to get shocked into a kind of catatonic state.

Now, I will my Germ Sense to power down.

Now, I exhale. Maybe it’s exhaustion, but let’s call it something else, something that sounds like a fancy parenting strategy.

I’ll wait until my cherubs try to get a hotel room after prom for the whopping $43 they can collect before I terrify them with tales of the things hiding on the pillows they’re carrying around in their mouths like dogs. If that doesn’t get me the Mom of the Year award, I have no idea what will.


If I feel myself beginning to lose control, I try to remember these tips for surviving a hotel stay with my brood.


Categories: Emily, Family

Tags: , , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. Lol! This cracked me up…just last week, I was unceremoniously mocked by my mom and sister on an overnight trip to NYC for a. packing my own pillowcase from home and b. sitting on a magazine instead of an upholstered ANYTHING. Still giggling…

  2. The need to strengthen my immune system and have fun shuts down my germaphobe tendencies! It’s like I walk into a hotel room and my normal sensibilities just shut right down! I half way believe that it’s actually a defense mechanism to prevent me from going apocalyptic shock over the germs!

  3. When my son was crawling, I would bring along a huge quilt to hotels. I would line the quilt with suitcases and chairs like a sort of barrier and I wouldn’t let him venture beyond that. I don’t think you’re crazy at all about the truth that hotels are scary as hell.
    This is unrelated, but totally related, I’m curious how you feel about stores like TJ Maxx. For me, the chaos makes my type a tendencies go haywire too.

    • You know, I’m okay in stores like that if I am alone. It’s different when my kids are there. Huge discount places where I have to rifle through bins of stuff…I can’t do that. It’s just too much for me.

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