The Hotel West Virginia (Pain it Forward)
You’ve heard the phrase “pay it forward?” This isn’t one of those stories. This is “pain it forward” story. Maybe after you read it, you can relate.
So, I’m checking into a hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia. After the usual presenting of the identification, dispensing of the keys, and whatnot, the person helping stepped from behind the counter to point out the elevator and amenities. When she got to the fitness facilities, things went off the rails. She went from “the elevators are over there to the left,” to saying, “and if you’re interested,” paused, glanced me up and down, “we have a fitness center.”
She didn’t even bother to tell me where it was! She was so sure I wouldn’t get anywhere near there, that she skipped the directions. Now, of course, I wasn’t planning to go, but she didn’t know that. And yes, I’m out of shape. But for all she knew, I could have been halfway to some spectacular weight loss goal (I’m not).
Now what honked me off even more was there was a woman in line next to me who got a completely different treatment. She looked like a fitness model. She was even wearing fitness apparel! The guy helping her practically offered to escort to the gym, hold the towel, and punch the buttons on the treadmill for her.
So, there I was, pondering my sad state of fitness, needing to go there for my health and my self-esteem. Yet, I have no clue where it is. But when Miss Fitness Model decides to go, I knew she would be serenaded by the staff.
I decided this could not stand. And I took action. When I got up to my room, I called room service using my best West Virginian accent. Here’s what I said:
Me: Y’all got any desserts down there?
RS: Yes we have Housemade Flourless Chocolate Cake, daily Housemade Cheesecake, Filthy Cherry Spoonbread, and…
Me: Yeah, buddy! Filthy Cherry Spoonbread? I don’t know what that is but the filthier the better. What else?
RS: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Me: Sounds good! I need you to send up 2 of each to room 210 right away.
RS: Sir, you’re calling from room 305.
Me: Darn right I am. Son, you ever seen a pregnant woman go crave crazy? My wife is pregnant and hangry!
RS: Yes, my wife and I have 2 kids.
Me: Then you know what I’m talking about! It’s about to be a full on Donner party up here if she doesn’t get something quick! I grabbed my son and headed up to the third floor to my buddy’s room. I left our teenager though. She’s been nothing but a steady stream of sass since the day she was born. I’ll miss her but I’ll appreciate the quiet if you know what I mean.
RS: I understand sir.
Me: So, that’s eight desserts asap. Room 210. Oh, and if she says she’s changed her mind or that this is all a mistake (and you know that could happen) just say you’ll have to go back to the kitchen and check the order. Leave them there no matter what she says.
RS: Shall I bill that room then?
Me: No my buddy in room 305 says he’s going to cover it because he can’t stop laughing. Don’t that beat all? Him taking enjoyment from my misery?
RS: Doesn’t sound like much of a friend.
Me: That’s what I said! Say, I appreciate you helping me out.
RS: My pleasure.
Now, you may be thinking that a fitness model is going to just tell that guy to turn right back around and take those desserts with him. Nope. She’s got nobody watching, no judgment, and by her appearance hasn’t tasted chocolate since Bill Clinton was President. I figured she would pace the floor of her room, weighing the pros and cons, while waiting for room service to come back. And finally, she would look around her room and think, “nobody will see me take just a little bite.” And then, the binge would begin.
Later that afternoon I saw her in the elevator. There was a drip of chocolate on the side of her neon pink leggings. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me or anyone else in the elevator. When the elevator opened, she quickly did her walk of shame to the fitness center. Wherever that is.
Carry on, Citizens!