For the past several weeks I’ve been haunted by the realization that I am not able to live up to my own standards.
Not ethically, thank God, but etiquette-ly, which might be worse.
Mike and I recently hosted Sarah and Casey in our home while they were in town for the other other royal wedding. They booked one night at the hotel across the street, but the rest of the time they stayed on our floor.
I know, the horror.
To be fair, they have stayed with us before, so they know our square footage exactly. But that doesn’t change the desperate feeling I encounter when I see my guests waking up after a night on an air mattress.
Look, I get that it’s normal to have people stay on one’s floor when there’s no other choice, and it helps out-of-towners save some cash, and it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Unless you write about etiquette on your blog all the time.
We tried to mitigate the situation and do what I would tell anyone else to do: let the guests sleep in our bed. We even laid down on their air mattress in protest, insisting that they go sleep in our bed. It turns out doing that is akin to the classic restaurant standoff, “I’m paying the bill,” “No, I’m paying the bill,” until both of you hates the situation enough that the only gracious thing to do is give in.
The chaos of being involved in a family wedding at the time didn’t help either. We were all sharing one bathroom, and after three days we were out of fresh towels. Due to the hectic schedule of out-of-towner dinners, the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding itself, I had no time to do a load of laundry.
It was an etiquette-obsessor’s nightmare.
Let me be clear: our guests never once complained. They were gracious beyond description and even thanked us daily for the hospitality. I told them hospitality was a loose term in this case, but they insisted.
Long after they’d departed, I was still consumed with thoughts of how I could possibly improve our situation without moving to a three bedroom home. I continued to be at a loss until we spent the night at the home of two of our good friends.
Their entire home is 540 square feet. It is a free-standing home, not a condo. It is completely adorable and should be highlighted in a design magazine for optimizing small spaces. When they invited us to spend the night, we could not imagine where we would be resting our heads.
We shouldn’t have worried; they invested in an air mattress that blew our minds. It’s double layered, so when inflated it looks like it has a box spring and a mattress, and it is about two and a half feet high so when getting into or out of the mattress it feels like a normal bed.
The best part — the box spring covers only about two-thirds of the mattress, so the mattress portion rests over a couch. The result looks like a fold out bed from a couch. We slept great.
The next morning we were singing the mattress’s praises when they told us they were actually trying to sell it due to their upcoming move into a bigger place. Would we be interested, they asked?
Though this won’t totally alleviate my feelings of hostess failure, I’m convinced the Reph Hostel has just upgraded to bed-and-breakfast.
Now accepting reservations.