Of the approximately one million things I am too old for, agreeing to stay with you at your place when I’m on vacation is pretty near the top of the list. Near. I don’t foresee it overtaking “having to endure long conversations with junkies about Jim Morrison” anytime soon.
It’s not just that I’ve become particular in my old age, I have just never enjoyed crashing at someone’s house. It was different in my 20s when I was so full of hope and optimism, I was willing to give it a chance. Now I’m just too old to hold out any hope that it’s not going to be a living nightmare. I’ve learned my lesson.
The main problem, as it turns out, is that I am an asshole, or rather, I have asshole expectations.
Expectations that you would mention to me, prior to my agreeing to stay with you, that you don’t actually have any room for me, but that’s okay, because you’re “sure I won’t mind just sleeping on the floor” (although this also falls under a general category of “You forgot to mention that you have no furniture”).
Expectations that include things like having a guest towel. I don’t mean a towel that is fancy, embroidered, or professionally laundered – far from it. I’ll take an old beach towel, no problem. I mean a towel to use on my own body that isn’t the same one that you just used on your own body five minutes ago, and that isn’t covered in mold and poop spores from being stored on the wet bathroom floor curled up against the toilet.
While I am absolutely an animal-lover, I would generally expect that you would have mentioned to me that you had recently taken in a large, vicious, stray dog, and that it will growl and snap and bite at me and try to shred me and my belongings into dead meat the entire time I’m there, oh, and that you will do absolutely nothing to stop it. You will sit there and pretend it’s not happening. That’s something I would have liked a heads-up on. What can I say? I’m an asshole like that.
Aside from expectations, I am also an asshole because I do not enjoy sleeping on someone’s couch only to have them come into the kitchen at 5am and start using an electric coffee grinder five feet away from my head and then when I wake up, look at me quizzically and say, “Wow – you must be a light sleeper!”
I do not enjoy the fact that you never mentioned to me that you were a drug dealer in your spare time, and that you deal out of the living room which is, coincidentally, the same room I am trying to not get shot in.
And even though we’ve known each other for years, I had no idea that you couldn’t sleep unless you had the local classic rock station blasting throughout the entire house all night.
Or that you are some kind of cocaine monster who only exists on two hours of sleep a night, and will never let me actually go to bed.
I also had no idea that your entire family was in town and were also staying with you, but that’s okay because your pervy dad only feels me up when he’s drunk, which is every night.
I realize all of this may sound like “Hey Maggie – take a hint!” and that people just desperately wanted me to NOT stay at their houses and were just trying to blast me out old school style like Noriega, but that’s not the case. I have never, ever enjoyed staying at people’s places when I’m on vacation, and have only ever done it after the person has literally begged and pleaded with me to stay with them and eventually psychologically wore me down into saying yes. By the time I very begrudgingly say yes, I have already said no so many times that I should have “No, really, I am much more comfortable in a hotel” tattooed on my forehead just to save my strength.
Yes, my own personal discomfort is the biggest factor in my not staying with you, but besides that, I think I’ve just reached an age where, as friends, I don’t really want to know how fucking weird you are. The way you conduct yourselves inside your respective homes is weird. So weird that there’s a reason you never show this side of yourself in public. I enjoy the mystique of thinking you might not be so fucking weird because, seriously, you are so fucking weird.