Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When Business Travel Hits Home


Since I’ve been off the road for a few weeks, we’re hip deep in a major home redecorating project triggered by my business travel. Although there are many drawbacks to life on the road, one of the perks is my own bed and the luxury of eating in it, control of the remote, and the ability to switch sides of the bed at will while hogging all seventy nine pillows hoteliers pile on the beds these days..

So, keeping in mind that while on the road I’ve become used to a space of my own, our kids are grown and gone, and due to grossly different sleeping patterns (including the fact my husband and I take turns snoring,) we sleep in separate bedrooms when I’m home. Shortly after the first time I publicly (in print) mentioned our separate bedrooms --yes, I had his approval--I learned, via volumes of e-mail and whispered admissions from our friends, that Separate Marital Bedrooms is more universal than most people think.

And here’s another fact: nearly every bed in every hotel is more comfortable than my circa 70s waterbed. Since my back doesn’t usually bother me on the road but always gets my attention after a night at home, at long last, I ordered myself a new frame, mattress and box springs. What better time to get the hardwood floor (waaaaay past needing attention) in my bedroom refinished than after the waterbed is disassembled (notice how easy that sounds?) but before the new bed arrives.

We decided that while we’re at it, why not also refinish George’s bedroom floor, plus the upstairs landing, plus maybe the stairs, which, following the trail, led us to the reality that our downstairs carpet has had it, which made us realize we also need to replace those old window coverings to match new … what? Carpet? Or maybe we should, after 38 years of burying it, refinish the hardwood floors downstairs, too. Which led to a frenzied bout of ripping up the yucky carpet, and three days of my husband slithering around on his belly ripping up carpet tack strips.

Of course we’ll also need to repaint everything, and get an area rug, and …. It’s like the time we needed to replace our built-in oven, and the next thing my husband knew, workmen were gutting the kitchen.

But back to the project at hand. Before the floor refinishing crew arrives, we must move nearly everything out of our house, which includes not only the furniture, but thousands of books (mine) that are stacked everywhere. This, of course, has hurled us into a giant bout of “Rather than move all this stuff here and there, why not get rid of a bunch of it!” Yeah, baby. This includes my first portable computer I found tucked in the back of my closet behind the teensy clothes, which I obviously haven’t worn since I tucked the portable computer behind them.

Which brings me back to business travel.

Notice I commented on a portable computer, not a laptop. The difference between it and the sexy little Sony I tuck into my handbag today? That old Hewlett Packard Portable Vectra CS weighs in at nineteen pounds, not including the giant chord, monster traveling case and all the 3.25” program and file disks you need to run the thing. My Sony? Barely 3 pounds, plus the chord. What a difference eighteen years makes in true portability, decorating and hip size.

A recent headline read, "Mighty little laptop takes over PC market". From desktops to portable computers to laptops, carpets to hardwood floors, waterbeds to euro-top mattresses, teensy clothes to midlife reality we go. Out with the old, in with the new! But after seven straight days of outing stuff, right now a business trip (oooo, all those pillows) sounds restful.

Man, I never thought I’d hear myself say that!

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PS Anyone out there need a 20-pound doorstop? Have I got a deal for YOU!
PSS Do you find the comfort of the hotel bed vs. your home bed relatable?

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