In Praise of America Generica when I’m Weary

I’m in heaven.  Or more accurately a generic chain motel along the Indiana/Ohio border.  

My daily life is very rich.  It’s flooded with options.  With variety.  With choice.  With people.  With ideas. With projects.  I have a busy brain and a full life.  

But I’m a closet introvert.  A talkative woman who loves people… but an introvert at heart.

So for the last month during which I’ve been to two weekend retreats and two weekend reunions with girlfriends (events rich in conversation, emotion, adventure and joy), I’ve been quietly and secretly looking forward to tonight, knowing I’d be totally alone, in my sweatpants and ancient James Taylor t-shirt, sitting on a motel bed with my books and watching election returns, invisible and “unfindable.” My son is visiting a college and staying with a host student.  I’m in my favorite retreat space — America Generica.

When I want to get away from it all, I despise resorts (a stressful array of activities and options, even in the mini-bar).  I eschew monasteries (the nuns make me nervous; I always feel that I am disappointing them somehow!).

So give me a solid chain motel anytime!  In America Generica motels, options disappear down the drain like slivers of the tiny bar of soap they supply here.  The room is predictably and blessedly sparse. The art is shower-curtain-lovely. There is enough shampoo, Hospitality Brand at best, for one night’s stay. Enough coffee to avoid caffeine withdrawal. No more, however.

The staff doesn’t know my preferences or call me “Mrs. Umhau” like they would at a precious boutique hotel at which I’d have no privacy due to dodging the politeness gridlock of front-desk inquiries as to how my stay is going. Here they want to be sure I won’t trash the room or eat more than my share of oddly-plastic-tasting muffins; that’s the level of expectation.  

Dinner options in this sort of place range from Ruby Tuesday’s to Red Lobster.  No injera or samosas or pupusas.  America Generica.

And actually I wouldn’t mind sleeping away the next few weeks in such a spot. Generica. I wouldn’t want to live here but it sure is nice to visit.



~ by Cary on November 4, 2008.

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