I had some relatives who came to town recently and because I work in hospitality I pulled in some favours and got them a deal and did all the arranging, reservations, phone calls, for accommodations, food, and spa. When the weekend came though, the last thing I wanted to do was go out to a restaurant, a hotel or spa. Why? What was my problem? Had I become a curmudgeon? (‘An ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions’, thank you online dictionary) Yes. Yes I had.
Because these were the very same establishments I do business with during the week (thus the connections) and so you can’t be your fun-time weekend self which I came to realize much too late as I walked through the doors and wondered, why am I not at home in my Zellers pajamas with an over-sized glass of Gwertz in my hand watching ‘What Not to Wear’ on television?
While we waited for food I kept noticing details: the menus were too heavy, the floor too slippery for heels, the server too distracted, the music too loud. Was I being inhospitable because I was in hospitality? My guests, on the other hand, were thrilled with everything, round smiling faces that were blissfully unaware of these niggling details that consumed me. The downside of my ‘years of experience’ was suddenly apparent to me.
Yet, later, after a heavenly martini at the Bengal room, (check it out if you haven’t been or are visiting Victoria and no I can’t get you a deal there) I escorted them up to their room to say goodbye and there on the table was a confection of chocolate, a masterpiece of two orca’s cascading over one another, a filament of culinary design, arching over truffles, and dipped-tuxedo designed strawberries. My relatives squealed in delight and grabbed their cameras. So sweet. Then I saw the hand-written note from the Sales Director to me and my ‘entourage’ and thought, well, that is pretty wonderful.
I can still be wooed! Thank heavens. I was worried there for a moment that the magic of this industry had worn off, like the looming disappointment that awaits all children when they first see the Disney ‘castle’.
I have an inkling though, that as I get old, and truly curmudgeonly, that it will take a lot to woo me. Lucky I’ve got some years yet till then.