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NOtelAfter I finished my cheesecake and brownie thing I didn’t have much else to do. It was time to relax. At last. Alone. No one to bother me. Just what I’ve been dreaming about. So now I can relax. Ready? Here I go! I’m going to relax now. Don’t try to stop me! Ready? I’m… relaxing! Look at me. Don’t I look relaxed? Laying here all… relaxed. Ok this isn’t working.

Maybe I need a countdown. Yeah, that makes sense.

On the count of three. One, two, three, GO! RELAX!

Ok. This is good.

I’m ok. I’m. Fine.

Um.

I wonder what’s going on on Facebook? Where’s my phone?

OH HA HA HA, that’s a funny photo!

Aw, Dan put his grandma’s little Christmas tree up in his house, that’s so nice!

I wonder how old Nelly Furtado’s daughter Nevis is now? Let me google it. Eleven?! She’s 11-years old? That’s crazy! It seems like yesterday that Nelly Furtado was pregnant! Wait, who is she married to now? Let me google that.

I turned on the TV. Inception was just starting. I’d seen it twice before but there was nothing else on.

I began to feel uncomfortable. Which is the opposite of what I was shooting for this evening. I was alone, just like I wanted. And I didn’t really like it.

I’ve never been very good at being alone. I’ve never gone to a movie alone. I’ve only gone to dinner alone a couple times. Both times were work-related and both times I ended up talking to other people there. “Excuse me, what is that you’re eating? It looks really good and I’m trying to decide. Oh, really? OH HA HA HA THAT’S FUNNY! Why don’t I just join you OH GOD PLEASE BE MY FRIEND, I AM SO ALONE.” Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but it felt like it for a few minutes. I had that same feeling, watching Inception for the third time. What was my problem?? Kiddo is sleeping and fine. I’d be doing the same thing if I were home. Lying around watching TV. So what’s the big deal?

I couldn’t relax. I went to the window and looked out to the building across from me. From the 37th floor I could see into quite a few windows. A couple sat on their couch and watched TV. In another window, four men and two women sat around a table playing what looked like cards. I watched them for a while until I noticed something moving on the floor a few feet away. It was a baby, happily sitting on a blanket, playing with some toys around him. Jamming one of them in his mouth. I stared. Eventually one of the women got up to check on him, kiss his head, then go back to the table and the game. In yet another window, what looked like a young Indian couple sat at their kitchen table while an older woman in a sari opened the refrigerator and took bowls out. Was this the wife’s mother? How did the guy feel about his mother-in-law visiting? Or did she live with them? Or was she his mother? Was his wife cool with this? I’d be irritated. Or would I? Maybe I’d be ok with it if she was nice. Or maybe they’re siblings visiting their parents? Because their dad was some super rich business owner, always traveling? Maybe they were worried about her being so alone all these years, what with the kids now grown and gone, still unmarried, still childless. What a disappointment they had turned out to be. Worse than the man she had married, so many years ago. What with the constant traveling. The affairs. Oh, she knew about the affairs. She never let on that she knew, but that didn’t mean she was ignorant. Dignified, she preferred. A single tear traced its way down her cheek; she wiped it quickly before her son and his wife could notice and served the gajar halwa to help erase some of the bitterness she felt inside.

Woah. That was intense. Even my fantasies need a Xanax.

I stood at the window watching others for a very long time. I wondered about everyone, what their stories were. Inventing stories for them. It made me forget that I was alone in a hotel room while my Kiddo slept an hour away. While everyone else was somewhere else. I felt sad. This is stupid, I thought. I can be alone for one night! What is wrong with me? And then I began to feel guilty for not being able to be alone. Guilty and stupid and unrelaxed.

Jesus, get a grip. I laid back down in the bed and took a deep breath, a deep sip of my Old Fashioned and tried to relax.

Tried. To relax.

I was up until 1:30 AM. I am never up until 1:30 AM. The movie ended and the new Facebook posts slowed and finally stopped and I needed to sleep. I turned off the lights and tossed and turned for a bit. At some point, I must have slept.

The next thing I knew I opened my eyes and shot up straight in the bed. What time was it?? 7:03 AM? I slept until 7:03 AM?? That was late for me, but luckily not too late. I had told my parents I would be home in the morning to be with Kiddo so they could do their Sunday Things. I had a very yucky feeling inside that I can’t quite explain? Guilt? Not really. Unsettled? Maybe. I know one thing; I definitely did not feel well-rested. I took a shower and got dressed in a rush.

I noticed the bill slipped under the door. $9 for each dessert, $15 for the Bourbon Old Fashioned, $4 delivery charge, $3.66 tax and $6.60 for 20% included gratuity. All together, $47.26 for two desserts and a drink. Woah. I’m all for Treat Yo’ Self, but I could have gotten a pretty good dinner with my fancy dinner club friends for $47.26. Overnight hotel parking came to $58.00. Priceline cost of the room was $100, a deal. So the grand total for the night (about 8:30 PM – 8:30 AM) was $205.26.

Was it worth it?

No, I decided. It was not worth it. I could have bought some new clothes and earrings at Target, met a friend out for dinner, filled my car up with gas and bought a whole bottle of bourbon to make myself a drink and take a bubble bath at home for that price.

When I am home and Kiddo goes to bed, I enjoy my free time immensely. I enjoy my bubble bath, I enjoy my one beer of the night; my bowl of ice cream is eaten slowly and savored. Here, having a whole night to myself, perhaps there was too much pressure put on relaxing. It wasn’t natural.

Would it have been worth it if I had brought a friend? If my friend had come with me and we got to lie in bed together and catch up? Talk about our kiddos and our jobs and venting and laughing? Yes. That would have been worth it. So the issue wasn’t the money per se, it was the being alone. It’s just not in my nature.

Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll bring a friend. Or maybe I’ll just stay home, take a bubble bath, drink a Chocolate Boch and watch some DVRed Real Housewives of Atlanta.

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