Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

The B and B

I thought a bed and breakfast – a place oozing with charm, delightful with doilies and pretty teacups -- would be the perfect spot for my husband and I to celebrate our 19th anniversary recently. The very phrase bed and breakfast evoked for me soft, romantic images of an elegant, more civilized time. I couldn’t wait to cuddle up there with my mate.

For my husband, however, the B and B apparently brought his dear, departed grandmother to mind. It wasn’t exactly the amorous atmosphere I’d envisioned.

We decided – OK, I decided -- to wrap up our family visit to Colorado by leaving the kids with their grandparents and sneaking off to a little town nearby, one rich in history and character. I booked a night at a “Victorian-era” inn that described itself as quaint and picturesque. When I told my spouse where we were going, he looked doubtful.

“It’s quaint and picturesque,” I pointed out.

“That means old and broken-down,” he retorted, then added disparagingly. “They probably don’t even have ESPN.”

Wondering if I could possibly get that lucky, I was eager to arrive at our lacy love nest. When we pulled up to the house on a sleepy side street, my man expressed even greater doubts.

“It looks just like my grandmother’s old place. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather get a hotel room?”

Not on your life, you unromantic schlub, I was thinking. But I just shook my head as a smiling woman showed us up two creaky flights of stairs to our room at the top of the house.

Room is a generous word to describe this slightly oversized closet, tucked under the sloping roof. There was barely enough space for a bed. And it was a bed in which Tom Thumb and his wife would have been comfortable, but which would be mighty close quarters for two people of our well-fed proportions.

“It’s lumpy,” said my husband, lying down on the bed. “Just like the beds at Grandma’s house.”

On top of that, the room was very warm. Our hostess explained that the house had an ancient heating system that unfortunately could not be shut off. In a Colorado winter, this would have been just fine. In the summer, it was definitely a problem. I asked the hostess why I wasn’t told about the heating problem when I reserved the room.

“Oh, it’s really not so bad,” she said breezily, her smile fading a bit. “Just open your window and leave the door ajar.”

“That will make for a very romantic night,” my husband snorted, fanning himself. “It’s as hot in here as my grandma’s house used to be.” He gave me one of his obnoxious I-told-you-so looks.

When I was growing up, and my mother would get upset about something, my father would tell the family “your mamma’s got her back up.” Most of the time, my dad was the reason for my mom’s spinal contortions. I am definitely my mother’s daughter. The I-told-you-so look I got from my husband sent my back right on up out of proportion and made me stubbornly determined to spend the night in this balmy B and B.

The hostess left, and we began to unpack our clothes. That’s when my mate realized the situation was even worse than he thought.

“Where’s the TV?” he asked.

“There’s not one,” I said. “Isn’t it great?”

“Just like Grandma’s house,” he said sorrowfully.

“Darling,” I told him in a syrupy voice, “if you bring up your grandmother again, you’re going to be seeing her much sooner than you expected.”

The evening kind of went downhill from there. We had a nice enough dinner, but then returned to our stuffy little room and stared at each other across the lumpy bed. After a while, I was too uncomfortable to keep my back up any longer. Finally, I broke down and suggested that we leave.

We quickly packed our things and headed for a hotel, where we drank champagne and toasted our marriage in an ice-cold room on a king-size bed. ESPN never sounded so good.

~  © Jackie Papandrew 2007 ~

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2007, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]


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