I am a grateful man. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my home. I am grateful for work. And I am grateful that I am not the kind of person who pads around his hotel room in his underwear.
I suppose that last one requires an explanation.
I was down in Dallas on a little of what people up here think Texans call “bidness.” Actually, the Texans I know say business, just like we do. I know. I was amazed, too.
Anyway, when I go out of town on “bidness,” I like to treat myself. Or, put another way, spend the time in the kind of comfort to which I am not accustomed but would like to be.
For example, I burned a bunch of airline points to fly first class. If you’ve never done this, I recommend it. It’s the only way you’ll ever know what happens when they close that drape that separates first class from steerage. I’m not allowed to say everything that goes on behind the curtain, but I can tell you it involves mixed nuts in a bowl instead of peanuts in a bag and dancing girls.
Yes. In first class you get cashews and a floor show. But that’s all I’m saying.
This gets us to the hotel. Unfortunately, I chose a rooty-toot hipster kind of place where I immediately felt very old and very out of place. Everyone I ran into there seemed to be between 25 and 30, highly fashionable and kind of bored. I persevered, though, because I’m not one to let a bunch of yawning Dallas yuppies chase me out of my lodgings.
And that leads me to gratitude.
I ordered a room service lunch (big spender that I am) and, when I was done, went to put the tray outside the door. And as I did, the door closed and locked behind me.
And yes, my key was in the room. Which I realized immediately.
Even so, I stood there in the hallway, in jeans, a T-shirt and sock feet, frantically going through my pockets to see if another key had somehow managed to materialize there. Or if maybe the key (that I knew was in the room) had jumped into my pocket as I walked by. You do such things when you realize how stupid you’ve just been.
Nope, no magic keys. So down to the lobby I went in my jeans, T-shirt and sock feet to stand among the smirking young hipster fashionistas while waiting to talk to the desk clerk about getting another key. And being grateful that I am so inhibited that I don’t pad around my hotel room in my jockey shorts, or less.
Then I really would have had a problem.
The people at the desk were very nice, cheerful and friendly as they assured me that This Happens All The Time and People Have Come Down Here Wearing Less and One Couple Was So Outrageous We Got Pictures. All of which I didn’t really need to hear, although I appreciated the effort. I just wanted a new key and to get out of the lobby.
And the kicker is, the lunch wasn’t even that good. I hardly touched it.
When I flew out later that day I ate two bowls of those first-class nuts. But I can’t say anything more about that.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.