A good friend of mine (we’ll call her Ms. Host) had some overflow in her AirBnB reservations and so she asked me if I was interested in hosting one of her travelers. Thus, I decided to join the hospitality industry, which as it turns out, is arguably more entertaining than dating and the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Ms. Host gave me Mr. K’s contact information and I reached out via text. He and I exchanged a few texts and a couple phone calls to coordinate his imminent arrival and stay which was to last for three nights. Finally, he texted me that he was 10 minutes away.
I nervously walked down to the lobby. What would be my fate with this house guest? Would he murder me? Would he want to be my bff? Worse yet, would he leave urine on the toilet seat?
I entered my building lobby in search of this character. I spied two guys sitting there, one with two suitcases and one suitcase-less. That couldn’t be him, I thought. I stepped outside the building, but saw no sole guy. So, I called Mr. K and he said, “I’m in your lobby; you walked past me.” What?? I walked back in and approached the two sitting guys. I said, “There’re two of you?” I had only uttered those words one other time in my life. What had happened was…I had gotten pulled over and was politicking with the officer that made the stop. Then, I noticed a flashlight shining into my passenger side window and I said, “There’re two of you?” Luckily, I didn’t die during that interaction.
Back to the current story: Mr. K said, “No, just him.” Now I was confused. Why didn’t Mr. K mention in the booking and in my several texts and calls with him that he was not the traveler slated to stay?
The suitcase guy (ultimately, Mr. Traveler) didn’t speak a word. The three of us walked to the elevator. Mr. K was very conversational. He asked about my profession and told me about his. I then looked at Mr. Traveler and asked his name. He stated his name. And, I said, “Oh, I thought maybe you didn’t speak English.” I thought that because I couldn’t figure out why else he was being mute and chaperoned.
Mr. K, Mr. Traveler, and I made it to my condo. Noticeably jittery, I started explaining where things, like cups and knives, are stored. Mr. K then departed.
I realized that I needed to get some items for the shower Mr. Traveler would be using (shower liner, curtain rod, curtain clips, hand-held shower head etc.). Note, I had only moved in a week and half earlier. I asked Mr. Traveler if he’d like to join me on a trip to Home Depot and/or if he’d like to go anywhere else.
He agreed to come and said he needed to get some dress pants because one of his bags did not make it to the airport where he landed.
We went on our little shopping excursion and he got to witness authentic grade A New Jersey road rage and I got to check him out. Not that a temporary tenant’s appearance should matter, but it certainly didn’t hurt that he was easy on the eyes. Mr. Traveler hailed from North Dakota (is that part of the US?). He was starting a new job the following day. Mr. K is a co-founder for the company for which Mr. Traveler would be working — hence why he had booked the trip on Mr. Traveler’s behalf. As luck would have it, Mr. Traveler and I were each other’s AirBnB firsts. So, if anyone ever asks how we met (aside from giving them the link to this post), I’ll say, “He showed up at my door step with two suitcases and came to live with me for 3 days.” That’s the stuff movies are made of…
We started our trip selecting the clothing he needed. I let him do his thing, until I saw him select the most boring tie in all of tie-land. I questioned his choice. He challenged me to pick a better one — which, of course, I did. Next, we went to the awful orange square of concrete dread known as Home Depot and picked up the domestic necessities. He told me he’d set up the shower when he got back from meeting his colleagues for dinner. He left. I decided to install the shower parts myself.
Around 10 pm, I locked my bedroom door and began counting zebras in an effort to fall asleep. My mind wandered regarding other information I should provide to my guest who had traveled from the far, far away land of North Dakota (that’s part of Canada, right?). I texted him where the light switch is, about the toilet handle in his bathroom, the gym, a steamer, and I even got up and left him a cup of water on the counter. He texted me around 10:30 pm that the key I had given him didn’t work. I let him in and tested the key I had given him. It worked.
He said he was going to go for a walk. It wasn’t humid as fuck out that night so I joined him. I gave him a walking tour to the two closest train stations. I suggested he download the app Citymapper because it is a Godsend in terms of figuring out public transportation and best routes in the City. (Note, if you call anything other than NYC “the City” in proper noun form, immediately cease and desist doing that because you’re wrong — especially if “the city” you’re referring to is Philly.) We chatted about politics and other things like the fact that he’ll be coming to Jersey fairly often for work (which turned out to be a vicious lie!). Well, then what an excellent hosting opportunity. If he opted to return to my place for recurring, longer periods of time, it would decrease the odds of ratchet hos with a picture of herself posing on a toilet bowl or serial killer travelers disgracing me with their presence in my living space.
We returned home and continued our chat on the balcony. We then said good night and went into our respective rooms.
TO BE CONTINUED…