Category Archives: Motel Rooms

Day Eleven: Motel Grunge

I wake up wondering where I am for a second.  The hum of the room refrigerator and seeing my mom in the other bed shifts my brain into present thinking.  We are staying in a Superior Inn.  Mom had remembered receiving a free night gift card as part of her payment for writing some copy for the chain’s updated brochures.  She and dad hadn’t used it and it would expire by the end of the year, so here we are.

Taking quick inventory I feel like a troop of ducks with dirty feet have marched around my mouth, my hair is a major convention of snarls, and  I’m trying to not get grossed out that I’m sleeping in my day old t-shirt and underwear.  Mom fared better by spotting she had her gym bag in the backseat of her car.  She had fresh workout clothes in there from having procrastinated going to the a couple of days before.  I  feel disgustingly grungy.  I glance at the bedside table clock: 10:37 am.  What if check out had been ten o’clock!

“Mom. Mom,” I hsst at her.  She is not a morning person.

“Mmm, Tom—five more minutes, kay?”

“It’s me, Mom.  Dad’s still out of town.  What time do we have to be out of here?  Are we past check out time?”

Mom rolls over and sits up.  “What?  Where?”  She then realizes where we are and flops back on her pillow after glancing at the clock.  “Noon.  We’re good for now.  I’m still tired.  Wake me in twenty minutes, sweetie.  Okay?”

Sweetie.  Two times in a row. Mom hasn’t called me that in a while.  I don’t know if I like it or not.  It makes me feel like I’m eleven or twelve, which wasn’t too bad of an age if I think about it.  When I was eleven we were living in a treehouse.  It was only for two months and it was summer.  That was the best unconventional living arrangement.  Even better than the yurt.

Dad had heard about a guy living in the treehouse he had built.  Now, if you are thinking of one of those treehouses made out of scraps of wood that a windstorm could knock it over, the kind that has “No Girlz Alowed” painted on some board and nailed up like an ominous warning, you are oh, so wrong. This treehouse truly impressed.  About 800 sq feet, it sat in a large oak tree.  An elaborate staircase led up to it and once in there it became difficult to imagine living on the ground again.  Dad got the go ahead from Smithsonian to write about “Living Out On A Limb: Treehouse Residents.”

As part of his article research we stayed in this guy’s treehouse for almost two months.  Eleven is a great age for living in a treehouse with your parents.  I was old enough not to be too silly and maybe get hurt and not so old that I would be embarrassed by our new residential quarters.  I didn’t mind being called “sweetie” at that time in my life.

Waking up in a motel room in the double bed next to your mother at the age of fifteen could pose some teen esteem problems.  Not today.  Today I think my mom ranks among contenders for Coolest Mom of the Year award.  I only wish I had some clean underwear.

tree houses

tree houses (Photo credit: joanneteh_32(loving Laduree))

Later that day…

I’m home in my own room. In my own bed.  We left the motel with five minutes to spare before our noon check out.  What do they do if people don’t want to leave their rooms on time?  Do they send a mean guy named Guido and confiscate your luggage?  Since we didn’t have much in the way of luggage we had a quick getaway.  We opted to skip breakfast out since we both knew we weren’t looking our best. I didn’t want to take a shower and put on dirty clothes over clean skin and Mom completely understood my point of view.

Considering she was in her workout clothes and no make-up, it wasn’t too difficult convincing her to not continue our adventure with breakfast in some nearby restaurant.  With growling stomachs we drove home.  It seemed ridiculous how fast we got home.  I’m sure we could have made it last night, although an hour at 2 am is a lot different from an hour at 12 noon.

During the ride home I dozed a little and snatches of some of last night’s tunes drifted into my head.

Ska, ska, ska around the world

            If you are sad or blue

            This is what you should do

            Play a ska tune and twirl

            Sing and dance with your

            Favorite girl

I think the tune got stuck in my head because Mom was humming it while she was driving.  I smiled as the remnants of the night came into mind‘s view.  As I softly sang the words Mom joined in.

If you are sad or blue

            This is what you should do

            Play a ska tune and twirl

            Sing and dance with your

            Favorite girl

Next time we do a girl’s night out I’m packing extra clean underwear and a toothbrush.  Just in case.

Not much to write about for the remainder of the weekend. Dad won’t be home until Monday night.  Mom and I lay around all the rest of the day after we breakfast and shower.  I’m getting caught up on NaNo writing, trying to get caught up on my word count.

Mom peeks in on me at one point late in the afternoon saying she plans on stir fry for dinner and wants to know if I’m hungry yet.  I told her stir fry sounded great.  She wants to know what I am working on so diligently, wondering if our outing had messed up my getting my homework done.  I reassure her I am good to go for homework.  I can tell she wants to know what I am writing, yet I don’t want let on about my NaNo project.

One thing I can appreciate about Mom is that she is not one of those snoopy mothers that are portrayed as privacy police in movies.  Mom gives me my space, more than likely because she values her privacy and her working time so much.  Curiously it’s Dad who wants to know what goes on in my life.  I think my parents got their roles all turned around.  Dad can be far more compassionate and when he is here, he takes the time to come in my room and we talk.  Not heavy stuff, mostly little touch-base conversations.  Mom doesn’t do that at all.  She’s mostly content to log onto her laptop and work until she needs a break.  Since this apartment only has two bedrooms she uses part of the living room as her office, allowing Dad to have a desk in a corner of their bedroom.

When he goes into work mode I might not see him for a day.  He works through the night sometimes and is asleep when I leave for school.  I guess coming in my room for his chat visits is one way of making up for those hours I don’t see him.  On the other hand with Mom stationed in the living room she always sees me, even though she might not do much about interaction. Sometimes she’ll wander into the kitchen when I grab a snack.  She’ll ask about my day, ask what we should do about dinner, and then go back to her laptop.  We do not have a complicated family.