You’re staying at this B&B, right?
At first, the proprietors seem super nice. They show you to your room, it’s all clean and done up nicely. They tell you what time breakfast is every morning and with a wink, they say if you come down a little late it’s not that big a deal. “You’re on vacation!” they remind you.
The first sign of trouble comes after you eat your first breakfast (which isn’t quite as good as you imagined because Canadian bacon is geeerrrrroooooosssssss). As you’re getting up from the table, the proprietors have this weird look on their face, like you should be doing something that you’re not doing. Whatever.
But then they ask you what you’re doing today. Which obviously isn’t any of their business. They don’t ask you that when you stay at the Marriott, right? But you tell yourself they’re just making just polite conversation. They’re midwesterners. So you share with them that you’re renting a kayak.
“Oh, that’s wonderful. Who are you going to go kayaking with?”
You’re going to be staying here for awhile, so you need to discourage such nosiness in the future. So you make sure you let a discouraging little stink of resentment show when you mumble, “just some friends,” as you go out the door.
You think nothing of it during your day of kayaking with random heroin addicts, grifters and pimps.
But you get back to the B&B exhausted—only to find these two bright-eyed proprietors standing at the front door like runts of the puppy litter, wanting to hear all about your day!
And then, get this. I swear to God, I’m not even kidding. As you mutter, “It was fine, I’m super tired, I’m going to my room,” the man asks you if you’ve read any of your book today. Now of all the things an adult human being might have to worry about, how could your book-reading progress possibly be in this poor man’s frontal cortex? God!
“Okay, I’ll read a chapter before bed!” you hear yourself promising, even ask you kick yourself for even brooking this codependent bullshit.
And you are not even going to believe this. You are almost to the top of the stairs when the woman calls up, “And remember, you have to clean the bathroom before the weekend!”
You know you should pretend you didn’t hear this, but your eyes are already rolling. So you thrust your head forward without moving the rest of your body like you once saw a Monitor lizard do on the Nature channel. You take on a mask of shocked outrage not seen in this country since the attack on Pearl Harbor. And you are like, “What?”
She’s not even fazed.
“Also, please don’t stay up too late tonight, because you were late for breakfast this morning. Also? You left a ton of dirty dishes in the sink. It is not my job to go around cleaning up after you, Young Lady. And would it kill you to spend a little time with your father and me? This isn’t a fucking bed and breakfast, you know.”
“No,” you scream as you stomp off to your room, “it sure isn’t!“
Postscript: I read this post to my 16-year-old daughter last night and when I finished, she said: “So you’re saying you sort of see how I feel.”