Dear Mr. Best Western Guy

Phew! I am SO done with Fremont!

Travis was admitted to the hospital on Father's Day weekend with arrhythmia. Apparently his heart not only skips a beat when he looks at me, but it quivers and shakes like an earthquake.

Or it's stress...

Travis had an angiogram scheduled this week for 6am Monday morning and we figured the only sane thing to do was to get a hotel Sunday night since we live 1 1/2 hours from Fremont. As we approached the door of the main lobby, Travis said,

"I wonder if they'll remember you."

This is the hotel I stayed at when Travis was in the hospital. While I'd like to think that he was talking about my incredible charisma and general likability, there is...as you are expecting...more to the story.

Last June on an early Saturday morning, Travis was up getting ready to take his sister to her son's high school graduation. She'd come all the way from Montana. This was a really BIG deal. An incredibly special moment of her life that we were able to be a part of. When Travis laid back down on the bed, I knew something was wrong. He said he was lightheaded and his heart was pounding and not beating right.

To make a long story short, Travis decided he was still going to drive to Fremont, then go to urgent care. He wound up in the emergency room and after 28 hours of his heart beating erratically, it finally reverted back to a normal rhythm. If you want more of this story, see Travis' blog. Let it suffice to say that I was under a significant amount of stress!

A friend...a very true friend that is rare to find...found this hotel for me and told me they were coming. Coming from 2 1/2 hours away! She booked a room right next door and volunteered to take my kids. She did, I was told I could stay the night with Travis, new charge nurse came on duty and kicked me out, and at 10:30ish PM I left for the hotel.

I got settled, put my kids to bed, enjoyed a little quiet time alone once they fell asleep (which wasn't quickly!), then went to bed myself somewhere around midnight.

When I got up the next morning, I was tired and on edge. It's weird. You feel the stress, but you don't recognize how much it is affecting you. Much like when I was in labor with my son and thought it would be a good time to clean out the car. (Subscribe to read that story when it comes out. He was born in an ambulance. That's all the teaser you'll get.)

My daughter Rebecca got into the bathtub, as instructed. She is like her mother in some ways in that she is easily distracted. When she gets into the bathtub, she forgets that the water is still running and if I didn't tell her to shut it off, I'm not sure it would be turned off at all! And so when I notice that the water has been running for a good 10-15 minutes in a tiny, hotel bathroom, I figured I needed to tell her to turn it off. I go to the bathroom door, turn the handle, and...

...it's locked! All my children have been instructed NOT to EVER lock the door because if they get hurt or if there's an emergency, I need to get in.

*Knock, knock* "Rebecca..."

*Knock, knock* "Rebecca..."

*Knock, knock* "Rebecca!"

*Bang, bang* "REBECCA!"

*Bang, bang* "REBECCA! Open this door NOW!"

Rebecca is a compliant child. The fact that she locked the door surprised me a bit. Turns out, she was worried that my friend next door would walk in on her. But it's not like her to ignore me when I call her.

*BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG* "REBECCA!!! REBECCA!!! REEEEEEEEEEBBBBEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

And this time I got a faint *knock, knock* back.

"Rebecca! Open this door NOW!"

And again all I got was a faint *knock, knock* back.

Ok. So what are my options here? She likely has her head under water and can't hear me, especially since the water is still running. But now she has knocked back, which tells me she can hear something. Do I keep banging on the door? I'm not sure if this is a good idea since I'm sure I have woken up several of my neighbors and I'm guessing they weren't planning on waking up early in their hotel room on Sunday. Do I wait until she's done and spend the time coming up with creative ways to "discipline" her? But what if she's drowning? Ok, ok. She's 9. If her head was under the water, she could just sit up.  But then why was she knocking back and not acknowledging me? Maybe she was tied up in the shower curtain. Maybe it was wrapped all around her neck and she was stuck under the water and drowning. Maybe her little knocks back were faint because she didn't have enough strength to do anything else and it was her only way to call for me and she was waiting for me to save her.

Hey, you hear stories...

And so I decided there was only one thing I could do.

I began to kick the door down.

I know it's loud. I know it might be crazy. I know that I likely have nothing to worry about, but what if...

And the what if was taking hold of my mind and I kept kicking and kicking the door. Somewhere in there, my friend ran over from next door and after looking at me like I was from Mars, she said she would call security. Whether she was calling to get the door unlocked or to get me locked up, it's hard to say.

I kept kicking. By now the door had a nice hole around the door handle and at this point, I figure I have nothing to lose anymore, so I start REALLY kicking the door. I am in full freak-out mode!

Just as my friend turns to get security, Rebecca rises from the waters of doom and, in her sweet little 9 year old voice, says, "What Mom?"

I'm shaking. I'm relieved, but there is so much adrenaline running through my veins that I am neither calm nor relaxed.

"Open this door NOW!"

She does. "What do you want, Mom?"

"Why did you lock this door???"

"I didn't want Maria to walk in on me."

"Rebecca, I was knocking and knocking. Didn't you hear me??"

"Oh....I thought it was Hannah (her sister) playing a game with me. So I knocked back, but did it quietly."

"Rebecca! I thought you were drowning or something!"

She's looking at me, trying to figure out what in the world was going on. She has no clue why I'm in freak-out mode. I mean, she's NEVER, EVER, EVER seen me anything but completely calm and rational.

Ok, no.

I can't stop shaking and I want to give her a good scolding, but for what? The amount of scolding I felt like giving didn't measure up to the offense. At the same time, I just want to hold her and feel her arms around me. All this adrenaline was pumping through my veins and I just paced. A small pace, as it was in the hotel bathroom, but a pace, nonetheless.

Maria looked at me and said, "You're under a lot of stress."

Once Rebecca got out of the bathtub, I showed her the door. She broke into tears. She felt so bad that she locked the bathroom door and that it caused me that much grief. (She is such a sweet child.) Although I assured her that she did not need to feel THIS bad, it took a few days before she got over it completely.

Actually, it wasn't until I told her I'd pay her a dollar if she let me post it on my blog. She's totally good with it now!

I told the people at the desk what happened when I checked out and offered to pay for it. 2 months and $150 later, Travis and I arrive at the hotel and he is wondering if they'll remember me.

I really didn't think they would, but I did remember the guy at the counter. He went through his usual routine.

"Smoking or non?"

"Non."

"How many nights?"

"Just one."

"Have you ever stayed with us before?"

Travis and I broke out laughing. "Yeah," Travis says. "You might remember..."

And when Travis reminded them of the broken door, everything changed. Mr. Best Western Guy's eyes peered down at his computer and became expressionless. His answers to our questions became very short. No smiling. Stiff shoulders. No eye contact.

Oh, yes...he remembered me!

And so, I'd like to submit a little letter here on my blog in hopes that he might possibly understand the circumstances and hopefully get his sense of humor back.

And for those of you who think his reaction was perfectly normal, I'll just say it...you're the weird one! We all know I am the standard by which to judge normal by!

*clearing my throat*

Dear Mr. Best Western Guy,

I could not help but notice that when I stayed at your hotel last Sunday that you obviously remembered me, however it seemed to me that you weren't too happy about it. Have you ever heard the phrase, "His countenance was fallen?" You know, like when you tell someone that their dog died and their whole face seems to turn downward? Well Sir, your countenance did not fall, but instead it turned to stone.

I hope that you have read the above story and can understand just a bit of how someone as normal as I might be moved to kick a hole in your door.

Ok. I'm sure the door caused you some inconvenience, but I DID turn myself in and I DID pay the $150 without a single argument. Don't I get some credit for that? (A $150 credit on my bill would be nice. Kidding.)

Please know that I don't usually go around destroying hotel rooms. Gas pumps, well...ok. You've got me there. But I've never destroyed a hotel room before.

Mr. Best Western Guy, while I may not be your most favorite customer you've ever had, just know I was under a lot of stress and maybe...just maybe...you'll find some humor in this.

Respectfully,
Rachael

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