I checked into my room here in Virginia, Minnesota yesterday and oh how I wish I had the cord to upload pictures to my laptop. We're staying in the "nice" hotel in town, yet my bed was constructed of two box springs and a mattress—stacked on the floor. There were stains on my carpet, mismatched plastic hangers in the closet and random furniture that looked like it was straight from the Goodwill. I immediately called my friends on the lower floor and said, "Is your room pretty ghetto?" They told me it wasn't so great, but not terrible. Hmmm...
When I called the front desk to ask for an iron, the concierge (a twenty-something with too much eyeliner) said, "Oh right, we don't have irons on that side. Let me see if I can find one somewhere for you." Odd, right?
I went downstairs to use my friends' steamer and upon seeing their room, I wanted to cry. It was nice! Ritzy, even, compared to my youth-hostel-down-the-creepy-closed-off-hallway! They had a hairdryer and wooden hangers and a mini-fridge! And real furniture!
I immediately rang the front desk again and asked if I could change my room. Nope. All booked. Sorry. Check back in the morning.
I told myself it would be like camping. And after two glasses of wine and a beer, it was fine. But first thing this morning I changed my room to the only other spot they had available...a smoking room. I didn't even know they made those anymore. I have the fan going and the window open, but it's still pretty smelly in here. However, there are real hangers and wallpaper and even a Guest Directory, so I'm not going to complain anymore.
On top of all the room nonsense, I'm feeling a little funny being here. Mr. Wonderful is at home, so I'm flying solo among many happy couples—which is fine—but I can't help but wonder if people are feeling sorry for me. Like, "Oh there's the ex-girlfriend. Poor thing, I bet she's heartbroken because she's still alone and he's getting married." It's totally not like that—I couldn't be happier for the bride and groom, and I wouldn't have missed the wedding for anything—but it does feel kinda weird to be all by myself.
It's also sort of sad to think about how much distance there is between The Boss and me now. I've experienced the same thing with other friends. That moment when you realize just how much you've drifted. And that the person you used to share secrets and dreams and laughter with just isn't very close to you anymore.
I know it's not possible to keep every friendship intact perfectly for eternity, but it always makes me a little blue when I see how different things have become. This is probably a byproduct of living near my hometown forever, hanging so easily onto the past. And maybe there are times when my friends feel it about me...while they're sitting in a smoke-infused room...wondering if the clouds are going to roll in off the lake again...looking forward to getting back home to the normalcy and security of their lives...with their own Mr. Wonderfuls.