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Reality differs from perception

My stay in the ‘perfect room’ ran into one problem after another

I’m learning the difference between perception and reality. My perception is that I’m a young, tireless party animal. The reality is that I’m an old fuddy duddy against my will.

Last Sunday, I checked into a hotel in Peoria on a business trip. I noted that the hotel had an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. I had the foresight to bring my swimsuit and looked forward to an evening in the water followed by an adult beverage or two in the bar and, if weather permitting, a fine cigar outdoors. And, after that, maybe another dip in the hot tub.

When I got to my room, I was elated to find that I had both a front door and a back door with the back door facing the large pool area.

Plus, the front door was next to the elevator for quick access. It was the perfect room.

After a quick dinner, I suited up and flipped the deadbolt on the front door and then exited out the back door. But my evening of frolic quickly became an evening of folly.

For starters, the hot tub was erroneously named. It was more of a lukewarm tub. A better name would have been “barely warm” tub. I had flipped the switch on the sauna to get it heating up, so I went over there. But there was no heat.

By now, my teeth were starting to chatter. I toweled off and decided to go back to my room.

I got to the door and the electronic lock wouldn’t work. I went around to the front door, but since I had turned the deadbolt on it, I couldn’t get in that way, either. Fortunately, there was an emergency phone by the pool. I wasn’t sure this qualified as a bona fide emergency, but the idea of me walking half naked, dripping wet to the front lobby seemed worse. The phone rang the front desk and the clerk promised that a maintenance man would soon be by.

Tick tock, tick tock. I’m sure the time was brief, buti mpatient minutes are longer than carefree minutes. I finally got into the room and decided, at 8 p.m., it was too late to go to the bar. That would require showering, putting on shoes, combing my hair. It just seemed like a lot of work.

I went to bed instead.

That’s when the elevator became a problem. Every time the elevator door opened, it sounded a bell that sounds exactly like the customer assistance bell on the front counter in my office. Every time I heard that bell, I thought I needed to get up and check the lobby.

I finally turned on a radio to drown out the elevator. That’s when a large group of young people decided to take over the pool area.

By now it was 9 p.m. and this rambunctious group had the audacity to try to have a good time — the kind of good time I had planned to have until I woreout. The radio could not drown out the yelling and splashing. Those confounded kids.

I was tired enough that I finally drifted off — just in time to wake up again needing to use the bathroom. Hmphf. When did I get so old? This was not part of my plan.


©Copyright 2012 by David Porter who can be reached at All rights reserved and getting better with age.

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