My last job had me staying in Hiltons all over this great nation of ours and I have racked up a ton of points to become a *drum roll*
That’s pronounced “DIAHAMOND” member.
Which I guess puts me at “High Roller” status for the Hilton crowd. To me it means I spent some days working 16-18 hours in a city far from home and others trying to get my HDMI cord to work with the big screen TV in my hotel room so I could watch Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. No one aspires to be a member of a hotel loyalty club. You just kind of fall into it. So those points were put to work for a cozy one night “Snowtel” room five minutes from work.
I wake up to a frozen wonderland and the news that everything is closed. Thinking, well I can’t check out and drive back in this, I figured I’d book another night.
Thus began Tales from the Snowtel:
5:30am: I wake up in a panic from a dream where I was making out with David Guintoli from Grimm, but sadly had to leave for more pressing matters.
I guess those pressing matters were worrying if I had work or not. I didn’t.
Back to sleep.
7am: Up. Showered. Dressed. This is what happens when you spend months waking up at 4am for work. You are an insane person who wakes up ungodly early for everything. My DIAHAMOND member status gives me exclusive access to the Executive Lounge which I imagine to be full of old white guys in suits.
So I go in and see an entire spread of eggs, fresh fruit, coffee, fancy tea, and pastries. I help myself to eggs and some fruit, careful not to get greedy. With my light breakfast haul I ask the hotel lady how much it costs. A businessman chuckled behind me while he fixed his coffee.
“It’s free. You should get more.”
Free? Like free FREE? Um, no. This is not free. I must pay someone for this fancy breakfast. The hotel lady nodded and said, “Yes, it’s free.” Still feeling like someone was going to tackle me and demand payment, I went back to my room and ate my free food. I’m sure that businessman had a good story to tell at his meeting today,
“They are just letting any old poor into the Executive Lounge these days…”
9am: News reporters are sticking rulers in the snow all over the DC / MD / VA area and ecstatic that we got more than a dusting. Or just ecstatic they got a forecast right for a change. I can’t stand to hear the same thing over and over so I switch to HBO. Hilton has about 10 ESPN channels for the dudes. Bravo, E!, Lifetime, TLC, and whatever other channels play The Real Housewives of Wherethefuckever for the ladies. Then Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network for the wee ones.
The Hilton: Perpetuating gender stereotypes one TV channel at a time.
So I switch to their only movie channel and find a Rosie O’Donnell stand up special. A current one. I still find that broad funny after all these years. It’s also better than watching those daytime talk shows where women scream for toasters and the latest book by Dr. Phil signed and under their seats. If you want to get information out of me for anything, play an episode of The View and I will tell you ANYTHING. I’ll confess to shit I haven’t even done for you to turn it off.
12pm: I’m hungry again. Like super hungry. However, did I mention I was totally broke? Yes, Sallie Mae cleaned me out so I had about $10 with which to live for the next 24 hours until I get paid on Wednesday. I fished the “emergency low blood sugar” granola bar out of my purse and ate it like a cavewoman while watching Belle. I briefly contemplate escaping this “Snowtel” torture and hiring a tauntaun to get home.
2pm: I decide to head down to the gym to run for the first time in two months. On the elevator I met a nice German woman and her son. We chat about Germany, she lived in Heidelberg (SO DID I!), and I got to practice the four words I remembered from German classes in elementary school. She was lovely and I headed to the gym after making a new fruend.
The gym was just as fancy as my free breakfast and completely deserted.
I picked a treadmill and proceeded to start it up knowing that I’d probably last about 10 minutes before I gave up and wanted someone to strangle me with a gym towel. The running gods must have had a snow day too as I hit my stride 20 minutes in. Yeah, bitches. I looked around at the other treadmills and noticed that a disturbing number of them were tuned to Fox News. Had all of those businessman been working out in here before their free breakfast like some sort of dystopian novel come to life? I imagine them all running in unison as Pharrell’s “Happy” is piped over a loudspeaker on repeat.
4pm: I have an hour before the lounge opens for hors d’oeuvres. There will be cheese. I know this because hors d’oeuvres means cheese platters in French.
It does not, but shut up and go with it.
Some Liam Neeson movie is on. He’s on a plane and saving people. I wonder if it’s the movie of what happened when he was on his way to find his kidnapped daughter in that other movie I like to call, “Don’t Go to Europe with a Slutty Friend”. My mind wanders to the kind of cheese they will put out. Will it be cubed? If there are toothpicks cubed is hard to grab off the plate. You’re forced to figure out how many cubes fit on one toothpick and next thing you know you have about 5 cheese cube kabobs on your plate and people are staring. They’ll definitely have cheddar…but will there be brie? God, I hope there’s brie.
5pm: There is cheese. It is sliced. I fill an entire plate, go back to my room, and devour it all in .5 seconds. Of course I needed more, but how long do you wait? I was JUST in there. Do I change my shirt? Will those businessman, worker drones recognize me and report me to our Cylon overlords for eating an excessive amount of free cheese?
Then I decided I didn’t give a shit and went back for more.
7pm: Rosie is on again. My belly is full of free cheese and carrots. I settle in with my tea and a cookie for the night.
“And I heard the work drones exclaim as they marched out of sight, “Happy Snow Day to all, and to all a good night…at exactly 7:30 or you will be forced to work in the fields.”