Yes, We CAN All Just Get Along!

October/November is a time for debates and differences. Whether it is which baseball team you want to win the World Series or which side of the political fence you sit on, there is always someone to debate your views with. At the inn this weekend it seemed as if there was every side of the fence to debate your views with.

First off, this weekend determined which teams would go into battle with each other in the World Series. Being in NY there seemed to be many Yankee fans. All of which would come into breakfast Saturday morning without their pennants waving in the air. But I was surprised at the tone of some of these people. "It is nice for Texas. They've never won a post season series." Huh?? And then the other fans at the inn, the Phillies fans, solemnly entered the breakfast room on Sunday morning; but they too had a similar thought of sharing the World Series love. One couple was even wearing opposing sweatshirts - (wife) Phillies/(husband) Yankees.

The other major debate this time of year is the mid-term elections. Getting closer to November 2nd, it seems as if every commercial on TV is a negative campaign ad. So it was not surprising when politics came up at breakfast. But surprisingly, a liberal, a republican, a democrat and two conservatives can sit at one table and have a very serious, very calm discussion for 1 1/2 hours and not one voice is raised. With every mention of Bill O'Reilly or Christine O'Donnell, I was just sure that something would get heated. But no! To my shock everyone seemed to enjoy the conversation. The conservative couple even commented when they left, "We want to find out when that other group is coming back. We really enjoyed talking with them." What? Really? Phew! I let out the breath I was holding all morning!

How could this be? Did George put something "funny" in the coffee? We've had more heated discussions in the past about who's going to win Dancing With The Stars. With our last weekend of the season rapidly approaching, it was nice to see so many guests enjoying one another. Now if I could just figure out that perfect harmonious concoction of breakfast items, I could send a basket of them to Washington.


For those of you who read my last blog, this is Part II of that story...

That 90 year old woman and her family had stayed with us two years in a row. Yep, there were two years worth of guests that she inflicted her pain on! Last year they arrived having just bought a 4-family home that they were going to fix up. This year when they checked in they informed me that they were still working on it and that they were making it a big one-family home. Ok.....

Fast forward to Day Two of their stay... That morning they walked in asking me what do my cleaning girls use in the rooms? "It was sooo clean.... It smelled sooo fresh...." Ok.... They acted so sweet and complimentary.... A good act!...

Fast forward to the Morning Of Checkout... After they left breakfast (after being oh so friendly to me and George), they went directly over to our cleaning girls. "Do you have any business cards? We are opening up an inn next summer..." Wait, wait, WHAT???? The HOUSE that they are renovating is going to be an inn in the area?? AND they tried to STEAL my cleaning staff. I love my cleaning girls! Do Not mess with them!!

The last words this family said to me when they checked out - "See you next year." I think not! Between grandma and the attempted stealing of my cleaning staff, I can pretty much guarantee you that I will not be seeing them next year. Turns out they don't plan to live at their inn. While living in NYC, they will hire someone to run their inn and there won't be enough room for them to actually stay there when they come up. So they'll need someplace to stay. Not here! Not again! Not ever! At least 2011 Columbus Day Weekend guests can now be assured of a Eunice-free weekend!

A nasty guest I can deal with. A backstabbing lying guest.... that's a whole different story!

Be Kind To Your Elders!

DISCLAIMER: I have never done this before! So for all those who may not see me in the lobby, I am not hiding. Really! I am just doing other things. Really!!

Normally, I love to talk to all of my guests. You meet so many different types of people from all over the place. It is a very interesting life. But on this particular weekend. Well, not so much. She checked in and having been here once before I remembered her immediately! The conversation started like this, "Where's George? I want to see George. You, I don't remember your name!" Oh, it was going to be a long weekend!

I was sitting at the front desk with a mound of paperwork, and in walks Eunice, wanting to know how my year has been. Actually not really wanting to hear anything from me, but just wanting to talk and talk and talk. After 10 minutes of her talking/me listening, she picked up our guest comment book and decided to read me the comments, out loud, for the next 10 minutes. I've read them all before. All of them. If my attention swayed, at all, she asked if I was listening. I felt my body starting to shake. She stopped for a second, put down the book and said she was just going to get a drink and be right back. She walked around the corner to the water cooler and I did it...

I grabbed my stuff,
Opened the cellar door and ran down the stairs,
and then out the basement door to the outside.
Ahh!! The fresh air, the blue sky... the ocean.
Well, there's not really an ocean there, but that's what it felt like anyhow!
I then went in the back door and
up to my apartment where I finished my paperwork.

Almost 90 years old and very opinionated. That would have been ok, if every other one of our guests didn't think she was my mother and that she lived here. She was the first one in for breakfast and the last to leave. She greeted every one of our guests and then stood at their table talking to them. Not your average, "Where are you from, what are you doing today" talk, but ..... abortion, religion, politics... all the taboo subjects that we normally don't bring up with our guests at breakfast!

When things were rearranged in our lobby, I knew exactly how they got there. We were told if plants needed to be watered and when tt (toilet tissue) was running low. (These two things were both told to George in the middle of waffle making. Fully expecting him to stop everything and attend to what she felt was important. And stop he did! To show her how much water WAS in the vase with the plant. "Oh, I thought it needed more!.") When I didn't water a plant quick enough, it ended up front and center on the lobby desk. This morning I woke up and found one of my outside plants sitting on the front desk. For 1/10 of a second I actually said, "How did this get here?" How the hell did I think it got here!!!!!! When the coffee cups got low, she told our guests (unbeknownst to me) that she was going to have me fired for letting things run low.

She asked a family with a 1 year old if she could hold their baby (1 minute after they entered the lobby). She called a 12 year old a "bum" for wearing his baseball cap into breakfast. She listened to other people's conversations and then proceeded to give her opinions on each and every subject. This after she told me she was forced to come with her family and that she didn't even want to be here. First, who would ever force her to come with them anywhere? Second, this gave her a chance to spew her judgements on many people in the course of three days. By the way, has anyone ever seen that movie Throw Mamma From The Train? That was random. Don't know why that came to mind.

Her favorite subject. Jesus. She loved to tell religious jokes. Thought they were the funniest things ever. She was a devout stand-up comedian. I'll bet she really knocked their socks off in church, but in our lobby, not so much. And you better laugh! If you didn't, you heard, "What don't you understand? (long drawn out explanation of joke), you have no sense of humor! What is wrong with you." Yep, that's exactly what she said. To me. And hopefully no one else!

I can only assume that her family knows exactly what she does. Her son asked a teenager, "Is she bothering you?" And the kid said, unabashedly, "Yes, she sort of is." Kids and old people. They say what they want without hesitation.

DISCLAIMER #2: All statements in this blog are true. Any normal human being would have had the same "fight or flight" response. And given that fight was definitely not an option....

Hollywood Comes to Cooperstown

Not a whole lot of exciting stuff happens in these parts, but this weekend was the annual Baseball Film Festival at the Hall of Fame. Now normally this isn't something that I would rush out and get tickets to, but Billy Crystal was kicking it off with a reception and the viewing of his film 61*. This sounded fun, so we quickly got our tickets. First, there was a reception with food, drinks and Billy. Everyone stood in line for photos with him, but we were told - no autographs. Crap! Aidan brought a photo that he wanted signed. Oh well, I told him, just ask him if you could show him the photo and maybe he'll offer to sign it. He didn't. But he went one step further.

This particular photo is of George and Billy. Back in the day, when we were first married, George was pursuing an acting career. And he was damn good at it too! Just wasn't in the right place at the right time! Well, back to the photo. It is a still shot from the movie City Slickers. Billy is walking down a NYC street and you can see George in the background. (Maybe not one of George's more earth shattering performances, but still exciting, nonetheless!) Aidan shows it to Billy, he looks at it and then looks up at George and says "Wait a minute, let's reinact this photo." So he stops everything and positions George in the background and has us take a photo to simulate the first one. It was so funny but the other people in line must have thought we were all crazy. Very cool. But still no autograph on it. Oh well.

After the reception we all moved to the Grandstand, where they show movies, for a discussion of the film. Billy is so funny and so was the star, Thomas Jane, who played Mickey Mantle. Then after that, Billy, Thomas, the screenwriter and the producer came and sat in the audience with us and we all watched the movie together. Great movie. If you haven't seen it, rent it.

Then on Sunday keeping with the "Hollywood" Theme of the weekend, we went to the Woodstock Film Festival. After we had cleaned up breakfast and everyone had checked out, we closed the inn and set out for Woodstock. It is a very cool little town that's claim to fame is having lent it's name to the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. "Woodstock Ventures" originally wanted to hold the festival in Wallkill, NY (actually almost an hour away from Woodstock) and then settled on Bethel for the 3 day concert. But after 5 minutes of arriving in this quaint little town, you would swear that the concert had been held here. There are old hippies and "Woodstock" memorabilia everywhere you turn. Two such hippies were Grandfather & Mrs. Woodstock. Looking to be around 100 years old (with matching grey beards, wtf?) and doing no more than the occasional peace sign, these 2 fixtures drive along on their bike/home with their dog taking photos with people.

Well, back to the reason that we actually came to this town - film. We had tickets to the 4:45 movie, "Norman." So we decided to have some lunch, walk and browse around. Around 4:00 we asked a man who owned one of the stores where the Bearsville Theatre was. "A couple blocks up on the left." Ok, so off we went. We walked for about 1/2 hour and still no theater. WTF! A couple blocks up! We should have realized! This man owned a store with organic coffee and tea and incense and other enlightenment items. As George was paying for his coffee, this guy started complaining about the bullshit of organic products and recycling and other crap he seemed to deem as fact. George told him maybe he was in the wrong business and thanks for making us feel depressingly enlightened! So back to our walk. After about 1/2 hour and still no Theater in sight, I was beginning to think we would actually miss the movie! We got to town 3 hours early and now we can't even find the $%&#ing theater! This is so typical of us!

George starts to walk backwards and puts out his thumb pretending to hitch. I start complaining, telling him to put his hand down. All of a sudden a small bus stops, the door opens and the driver says, "Want a ride to the Theater?" WHAT??? REALLY??? I felt as if I was in a dream as I floated onto that bus. Did someone put some Woodstock Kool-Aid in our coffee?? It was a free shuttle straight from heaven that takes you back and forth from town to all the Theaters! We weren't going to have to walk back to the car later!!!! YAY! (This was pretty much all I could think about on the walk down there - the walk back!) After boarding the bus we drove for another mile or so. Yep! I've already emailed that depressing storeowner to tell him to STOP giving people directions and to en-lighten up a little! He lives in Woodstock for god's sake! The home of peace and love and harmony, with a touch of craziness added in just for fun!