Shawn was offered a free room and coupon for a free dinner at Indigo Sky Hotel in Joplin so we headed down there Saturday after he finished up his appointments at the clinic. We are not big travelers and as a result, I think I set the bar high for the times I stay in hotel rooms. I thought I'd share some of the things germaphobes do in hotel rooms. Some of these things are common practices, but I've been teased about others.
First of all, a sign like this strikes fear into the heart of a germaphobe. Not even joking here. See that last bullet point?
A germaphobe who rarely stays in hotel rooms has an immediate instinct to pull back the bedspread. We closely inspect for a stray hair. I pulled back the perfectly smooth bedspread that was expertly tucked under the matters and this is a sampling of what I saw across the whole sheet. I think a farmer had slept in his clothes in this bed. And to avoid using the "b" word, I think he also cleaned the debris out of his nostrils while he was in bed. The human brain's ability to combat shock is impressive. Rather than hyperventilate, I started laughing and looking around for someone to come out of the closet and yell, "You just got punk'd!" Shawn wasn't with me and I thought he'd set me up with a really cruel joke. Then I texted my friend Kristi who gives me grief for being such a wimpy hotel guest. She was outraged right along with me.
When I went down to meet Shawn for dinner, I stopped at the front desk and patiently waited for the people in front of me to finish. When it was my turn, I quietly asked the desk clerk if he would have our sheets changed and give us fresh towels. I was suprised at how embarrassed and apologetic he was. And when I shared the story with Shawn, he laughed at me. He said, "That sign is for people who are staying more than one night! They change the sheets when someone checks out. It was just a mistake." A while later I got a text from Kristi saying her husband was laughing at us for the same reason.
When we returned to the room and saw that the sheets had been changed, I was back into rational germaphobe mode. Germaphobes don't walk on hotel room carpeting. Socks are not enough protection and I forgot my slippers. It's a good thing Frye boots are so comfortable and go with everything, even pj pants.
Germaphobes don't stand in bathtubs without foot protection. You can't wear Frye boots in the shower and, while some germaphobes wear flip-flops, I already overpack so I use an acceptable alternative. I stand on a towel.
When a germaphobe gets finished showering, they never wipe their face with a towel that a stranger has wiped their unmentionalble parts with, no matter how "sanitized" it has been in a wash cycle. (My mama, a 30-year paramedic taught me to also never let the hospital staff encourage you to suck on a washcloth for this same reason!) If we forget to pack our own hand towel, we use toilet paper, but not from the roll on the wall next to the toilet. We unwrap a fresh roll.
A germaphobe never sets their bag on a bathroom floor. I don't even set mine on the hotel room carpeting. That bag is going to set on the floor in my own bedroom.
A germaphobe never lays their dirty clothes on a hotel room floor. As you can see in this photo, it is apparently OK to lay your dirty clothes on the clean towel someone else will use. It may be time to re-evaluate my practices!
And when you have to do your business . . . you never forget to put extra toilet paper in the water.
As a germaphobe, I will never understand how anyone drinks coffee made from a coffee maker that's stored on the vanity in a hotel room bathroom. Maybe if I needed coffee in the morning instead of being satisfied with what I get in my mocha frappes I'd be more lenient? And then there are the drinking glasses in hotel rooms. My aunt has been a flight attendant for 40 years so she is an expert on hotel rooms. She came back into her hotel room one day when the maid was cleaning. The maid was using my aunt's bath towel, that had been on the floor, to wipe out the drinking glass on the bathroom vanity. She says don't use the drinking glasses! I'm a bottled water girl in a hotel room.
A germaphobe looks at this bolster pillow and knows its spent a whole lot of time on the floor so that's where it gets kicked immediately upon entering the room. And the pretty towel swan (or if you're a country boy like my husband, the goose), a germaphobe would never dream of using that since it's on the bedspread.
Since the bolster is touching the pillows, the first row of pillows also gets tossed off the bed.
A germaphobe gets the heebie-jeebies at the thought of using hotel pillows, but it's not practical to bring your own. Packing an extra t-shirt or two to cover the pillow makes for much more efficient packing and it's more convenient than trying to stuff the pillow into your own pillow case.
In case you haven't guessed, a germaphobe can be a little annoying to share a hotel room with. But our neurosis makes for cheap entertainment!