Being back from my DC rotation has had mixed reactions from people. Don't get me wrong, everybody has been happy to have me back, which is a nice ego booster for sure, but when discussing how I was able to do FOUR WHOLE MONTHS in DC has hit the full gamut of responses. Anywhere from, "Ugh...that sounds awful....hotel living gets so old after awhile!" and "Living out of your suitcase must be so terrible!" Mostly I just get unsure questions like, "so...are you glad to be back, or do you just wish you never came back?" That last one is kind of the harshest one. Are YOU glad I'm back?
But let me take some time to answer those questions.
1. Yes, a hotel room, less than 400 SF, is basically just a bed, a TV and a bathroom. and sure you miss the comforts of your couch and DVR (unless you live in a modern age of Hulu and Netflix and owning your own computer, in which case those luxuries travel with you), but really is it so bad? I spent minimal time in my room, and instead was meeting people for drinks every night, or for dinner. Of course being on per diem helped a lot with that. A fact I need to remember when I'm having a $20 lunch downtown nowadays. Also i'm not staying at an hourly rate roach motel....I was as the top tier hotels where my biggest quandary was deciding whether to take a sauna before or after my workout in the state of the art gym.
2. I'm not sure what you think travel is, but most hotels I've stayed in have closets....so I don't know really what living out of a suitcase entails. I would unpack the first day of travel, iron my clothes, put my toiletries in the bathroom....pretty standard stuff. Maybe I'm just not that fussy about hotel rooms. I mean sure, I get mad at the occasional housekeeper who refuses to stay out of the room while i'm in the bathroom despite my angry screams, but I feel like that was probably an isolated incident. Somebody in DC was surprised that I was going home every other weekend, mostly because of "having to unpack and pack" every time. How lazy in your life do you have to be that you can't dump a suitcase full of dirty clothes into a washing machine, and then fold them back into your suitcase. Wouldn't you be doing the same thing at home anyways? I love conversations with people where they say the first empty thought in their head and expect me to put any amount of thoughtfulness into my response. So unless you're a contortionist, I doubt anybody out of town is actually living out of their suitcase.
3. Are you glad to be back? This is a tough one. There's a lot I missed about Denver while I was gone. Friends, climate, my kitchen, project angel heart, and my car. I love driving. But what I didn't miss was the daily thoughts about what am I supposed to do with my yard...everybody else has done something with there's while the constant rains this summer have washed a lot of my soil out into the alleys. It's a wonder it hasn't become a controversial topic on our facebook page yet. Clearly I'm the least equipped person to own or maintain a home, as evidenced by this photo:
I think I must have unwittingly started playing a game of Jumanji...
And while living in Stapleton has it's benefits like...uh....property value? I still hate the lack of decent public transportation. I've given up on the dream of sharing a commute with other professionals headed to their jobs downtown. Instead, I've replaced my sketchy bus ride through the most poverty stricken areas of Denver with a NPR fueled drive to work. Paying for parking is a lifestyle. Also, I was looking for ways to increase my carbon footprint so...win win. Driving regularly to work also reminded me that I have some pretty bad road rage, although it really only comes out for 3 types of people.
1. People who don't use turn signals before cutting me off. I seriously would let you in if you had a turn signal. I'm a courteous driver normally!
2. People who wait until the last second to get into the lane. You had plenty of time to get over you joker. Waiting till the last minute is only acceptable if there's nobody around you.
3. People behind me on the on-ramp, who, typically before it's legally permissable try to swerve around me and get into the lane we ALL have to merge into. Seriously, I have murderous thoughts when this happens. My mind goes all Michael Bey and I just want to see things explode.
Oh well...I guess it's a good way to wake up for work.
I know I know...it all sounds very hostile. But honestly, there are wonderful people here that I love and am so happy to be around again. The friends who come over for a paella party my first weekend back....the people that scream out from across the hall, "WE MISSED YOU!" and want to chop carrots next to you despite their arthritis just to catch up with you, and stylist who is so happy her best tipping customer is back, (whatever after that Chinese lady in DC I never want to go somewhere else for a haircut). Now i just need to hire some people to clean my yard before I lose the game and disappear for 12 years.