All beds are not created equal.
Expectations are dangerous creatures.
As much as I attempt to avoid having expectations to prevent disappointment, they are firmly built into my life in ways I typically never contemplate. For example, when I take a shower, I expect hot water. No hot water immediately inspires a mild tantrum ….
Something I have taken for granted in the past is the expectation of having a room in a house to call my own. And not just having a room but a comfortable bed within this space where I can rest (with the exception of a few restless nights now and again). I also expect my room to provide sanctuary from the world when it proves overwhelming and to be a place where it is OK to leave clothes on the floor like a rebel without a cause.
When I decide to wander from my “lived-in” haven, I also hold the expectation that my room will be as I left it upon my return — this is not something I ever contemplated in a conscious way until on one occasion this expectation was met with wild disappointment.
A brief background: I have been backpacking for 2 years and currently call Australia home. Anyone who has backpacked around the world knows youth hostels are a great way to stretch a small budget. Yet, this style of accommodation means sharing a room with anywhere from 2 to 20 people (depending on your preferences or luck) — all of whom with different ideas about being a “good roommate.” Further, the facilities often vary in cleanliness and the bedding can be about as comfy as sleeping on a board.
Alas, after two weeks away in Fiji, I arrived “home” in the early hours of the morning, exhausted from playing in a different paradise and fully ready to retreat to my quarters and climb into what I imagined to be the most comfortable bed in history — OK, so it was at least the bed I had missed while moving from hostel to hostel, fearing bed bug encounters as so many complaints were going ‘round.
I eagerly dashed into my room, dropped my suitcase on the floor and was about to belly flop into bed when something stopped me: a blanket of green fuzziness — MOLD — which had grown delicately all over my comforter, pillows and, upon further investigation, even most of my clothes. My “sanctuary” reeked of mildew.
The dismay of spoiled expectations swelled inside my gut until an inexplicable Hulk-like rage came over me.
I burned with questions but had no one to interrogate: Why did I have a forrest of mold taking over my room? Why, after a grueling day of flying, did I need to deal with this mess? What was I going do about finding a reasonable place to sleep at this hour of the night? Would my new feather pillows and winter duvet be saved? Why has the universe decided I must not only wash all the clothes I took traveling but now everything else I own?
With my new-found energy, I tossed my pillows on the floor and stripped the bed to the mattress, found the least offensive blanket-like item and toughed it out for the remainder of the night — resenting the f##k out of the invasive green fuzz with each mildew-filled inhale until I fell asleep.
And, of course, the next day lived up to the expectation of enduring a laundromat marathon.
(In hindsight it became clear this mildew terrorism was perpetuated by one grave error made before leaving for holiday: closing all the windows and doors to my room preventing ventilation during wet season!)