Monday, April 02, 2007

Tell you what, we'll skip the turn-down service ...

Why is everyone who runs a bed & breakfast crazy with a capital K?

Mr. Gleemonex and I just came back from a weekend away, celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary, and on this trip, as on all the others, we used a B&B gift certificate given to me by my in-laws as a birthday present (excellent gift, btw!). So that’s really the only reason we stay in B&Bs — otherwise we’d probably just hit the hotels. I mean, we don’t go places to make new friends — breakfasts where you have to share a table with Chatty McOldguy and his wife Nancy The Unsatisfied Know-It-All are pure torture to the Gleemonexes. We are, incidentally, routinely the youngest guests in the joint by at least 15, and more like 25, years. (Well, except for this one TOTALLY AWESOME couple from Bakersfield at the B&B in Cambria when we went to see Hearst Castle — they were early 20s, had two kids, and dominated the afternoon wine-n-cheese hour with stupendous tales, like how they met in a bar and she told him she wanted to marry the next guy she banged, and how he had to climb in the bathroom window to help her escape her roommate when she was moving in with him, and how she’s totally going to get a job soon … specifically, opening an art gallery with a girlfriend, which drew Hubby’s notable lack of enthusiasm since it seemed that to him, “job” meant something where you get paid — those people ruled. It was the only time we’ve stuck around for the conversation, instead of grabbing handfuls of the food, filling our glasses to the brim, and retreating to our room).

But here’s the thing: Some of the B&Bs have been really nice, a couple have been kinda crappy, some have excellent cookies for the taking and provide good free wine, while others think towels are enough of an amenity for the likes of you — but all of them, ALL of them have been run by nutjobs. They gotta know your business, they tell you their life stories, they give you breathlessly excited tours of the (rather ordinary) grounds, the whole place smells like cat pee and they don’t notice, they yell at the whole lot of you at breakfast when you’re chatting and don’t pay enough attention to their presentation of the entrée — and/or they just give you the fantods with their weird vibe. The craziest of all was this freakjob in Sonora — whose husband, a French person, baked daily the most divine pastries I have eaten this side of Paris — who told all of the guests at the table one morning about how she’d had a psychotic break while in France, where they told her she was too crazy to work at whatever job she had, and fired her! (Ha haaaaa! Craaazy laughter! But she’s TOTALLY OK NOW! Really!) Internets, this was a lady whom we had seeerious worries about — like murdered-in-the-night, oh-god-she-has-a-KEY-to-our-ROOM type worries.

So much crazy in the world, and so much of it concentrated in the bed and breakfast establishments of Northern California.

Apropos of nothing, a bonus nugget: Words spoken grimly but matter-of-factly by Mr. Gleemonex as I flipped through stations on Sirius satellite radio somewhere along the coast on Hwy. 1: “If the Pretenders were never played on the radio again, that would be OK with me.”



Blogger mzchief said...

Let me think...Inviting STRANGERS to share your home and food for countless days and NIGHTS. Yep! Sounds like feather plucking INSANITY to me.

The mere thought of having loved ones sharing my home and hospitality for MORE than a handful of nights throughout the year makes me want to VOLUNTEER to participate in the Federal Witness Protection Plan. I do NOT want to imagine what level of bonkers I would have to be to invite STRANGERS to invade my home.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Mzchief, I think you've hit the nail on the head ... and I say this as someone whose in-laws' "Christmas" stays in our home have lasted sixty-eight (68) and fifty-four (54) days the last two years ... oh my.

8:34 AM  
Blogger The Old Mule said...

I totally agree...but you know, it is almost worth breaking fast with all those ashen faced patriots on the off chance that you may meet a wonderful, cool couple once in a while. Same happened to me in Mexico. Terrible tables of fruit and honkies...but we met a hilarious and inspiring pair from Belgium.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

yeah, i can honestly say that every B&B we've stayed at so far was definitely run by "characters". they varied widely, too. frankly, i love everything about the B&B idea except for the whole "making conversation with ill-suited strangers" part. if we could just stay there and be ignored unless we called for something, that would be perfect. also, a wheel of brie in the refrigerator should be more common than it is. i'd much rather that than little hotel soaps i will never use. also? does everyone in the world like fresh fruit at breakfast besides me? because every B&B so far has had some form of raw fruit with the morning meal so far, and i can't eat raw fruit in the morning. and then they seem hurt, and i feel guilty. and who needs that for upwards of a hundred bucks a night?

11:09 AM  

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