we ended up overseeing the admittance of Beloved's mother into the hospital. he feels a lot better about where she is, but still it was incredibly upsetting. her state and her behavior remind me so eerily of my grandmother - down to her meanness, her manipulations, and her passive deceits - that i understood why, every time i hesitated about accompanying Beloved, i heard the little Voice say, "you have to go."
and i understood so well, and saw so clearly, that when the time came, i was able to help Beloved make the call that, hopefully, will propell my mother-in-law into a much better quality of life.
we DID stay in a place that had such highly erotic murals on the walls of the lobby that a staid couple from some red state complained about it on the web site, but i found the images of women kissing and naked nymphs entwined with naked fauns entrancing enough that i totally missed the 20 foot statue of buddha - or maybe it's kuan yin - in the back of the lobby.
all in all, the hotel was...okay. the Dream Hotel is a boutique hotel founded in consultation with deepak chopra, and i certainly give Beloved an A++ for trying. the room was a bit too stark and sleek for my tastes - it was all straight lines and right angles. the weird blue light under the bed was okay at first, but when it woke me at three am with the unfamiliar brightness... not so much. i liked the rooftop bar with its spectacular view of sixth avenue at dusk, but i was too exhausted from the emotional and physical rollercoaster of the day (such as the three hour drive, the decision to call for an ambulance, the ride in the ambulance and the wait at the emergency room, plus my lobster, of course) to be able to swallow more than one drink.
but at best i can only grade the hotel experience as a C, and not because of the erotic murals. it's because as i was packing up, i noticed the bottom sheet had come off the mattress. when i went to examine the mattress itself, i saw that it was NOT encased in any kind of plastic protector. the mattress was simply
thus, although the place was spotless and not a bedbug was in sight, it was still quite possible for an infestation to occur.
i don't know if you, Gentle Reader, have ever had a first hand experience with a bed-bug infested bed, but let me assure you, it's not pleasant. the first thing i do when i check into any hotel is to ask Beloved to check the mattress and boxspring for bugs. (the reason WHY Beloved knows the signs of infestation so well is fodder for another blog, but suffice it to say that Beloved's experience of bedbugs is copious and up close.) he checked this mattress and pronounced it clean, but failed to note that the mattress wasn't encased in plastic.
this is a huge detractor for me, especially given the outbreak of chemical-resistant bedbugs new york city has experienced in recent years. i would reiterate that there were no signs of infestation, and that the place appeared to be spotlessly, faultlessly, immaculately clean. however, sleeping without a plastic mastress protector in a place like a new york city hotel* - especially one with erotic murals on the lobby walls - feels a little bit like engaging in very unsafe sex.
and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.
*note - in the last two years, Beloved and i have stayed at the pierre, the lucerne, the warwick and the waldorf-astoria. ALL these hotels had mattresses encased in such protectors, which were completely undiscernible when we slept on them.