2012.05.09 It's a little lonely in the hotel bathroom

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I couldn’t convince David to accompany me to Traverse City last week for a library conference, so when I stepped into the tub full of hot water and oatmeal goat milk bath soak, I was all alone.

Alone, and immediately given to paranoid thought once my big toe hit the water: “What if I had a heart attack? Or what if I just passed out? And then fell in the water and drowned? Nobody would know until the maid knocked on the door in the morning. Did I put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door? It could be days before they find me.”

I let those thoughts drift as I sunk into the tub, wafts of lavender calming me down. I had selected lavender essential oil to scent the bath soak I made at the library’s Spa Products from the Kitchen session, and taken it and a couple other samples with me on the journey north. I suppose it was just as well David didn’t come. He probably wouldn’t have appreciated looking at the pumpkin mask smeared all over my face and bits of it falling off here and there.

And he surely would have complained the next night about the clumps of brown sugar scrub that dropped all over the sink when I tried applying it to my face. I finally decided the whole operation should move to the bathtub where I again entertained paranoid thoughts of dying...this time from slipping on the oily clumps of sugar scrub and hitting my head on the faucet.

I needed my granddaughter Caroline in the bathroom with me. At age one, she loves bathrooms. On her last visit a couple weeks ago, she spent a good deal of time there, discovering a variety of items under the sink after she figured out how to open the cupboard door. 

There wasn’t anything particularly dangerous under there except for the deconstructed hangar David uses to de-rat the drain. I dispensed with that gross item pretty quickly and Caroline spent a long time examining and discarding empty Dr. Bronner’s soap bottles. 

When she tired of that and crawling her skinny self inside the cupboard, she fixated on the bathroom scale, laughing as the red arrow responded to her swatting by moving back and forth. I could have sent her into gales of laughter had I stood on the scale and sent the little red arrow into territory never before seen by its pointy little red head.

But Caroline and Rosie were back in Baton Rouge and I was on my own. I had a pretty great time nonetheless, attending conference sessions during the day and visiting one night with my friend Kate and the other with my son Ben’s mother-in-law, Kim. Both visits involved the consumption of Poppycock cake.

Poppycock is actually the name of the restaurant, not a kind of cake, and it was closing when Kate and I arrived. So, we just got cake to go, Chocolate Oblivion for her and Almond something-or-other for me. We traded bites, and, although mine was good, Kate’s was divine. It was so good, I met Kim there the next night. I was all set to order Chocolate Oblivion, when I got a yen for Key Lime Pie. Actually, I could have chosen everything but tiramisu (“ugh” to coffee) on the dessert menu, but I decided I would have the Key Lime Pie (absolutely delicious) and order the Chocolate Oblivion to go in David’s honor.

On the way home Friday night I stopped at a rest area to eat the cake and go to the bathroom, but David had warped me about rest areas when I once took a nap at one on the way home from East Lansing. He accused me of being nuts, that I could have been killed by some crazy person lurking there. I could have died in the bathtub, but he never warned me about that.

When I pulled off I thought the rest area looked spookily dark, but decided it was only because it was situated behind a lot of trees and probably looked beautiful in the day time. When I approached the parking lot, though, there was only one car...on the other side of the lot, away from the bathrooms and nobody was moving about. The place looked completely uninhabited.

It had been three hours since I started the trip and probably four since I’d gone to the bathroom at the Cherry Republic, but there was no way I was getting out of the car.  

However there was a way I was going to eat the cake and that was with the car still running and a fork shoveling it in. I put the container right up to my mouth and gobbled a few bites before I had one of those mini freak-out, get-me-out-of-here moments. It was just too dark and spooky.

It must be obvious by now that I had only pretended the Chocolate Oblivion was for David. Had he come with me, he, number one, wouldn’t have eaten dinner at 8:30 at night, and two, wouldn’t have ordered dessert. He almost always passes on dessert...and then tries to eat mine. There’s a reason he’s gained only three pounds since we’ve been married, whereas I am moving on toward a whopping 45-pound gain.

Like I said...get me on a scale and I could send Caroline into fits of laughter.

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