Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
This year, the biggest tattletales of aging wiped their feet all over me. My hair thinned, my genetic wrinkles appeared, and I retired. Some younger people started talking around me, as though my wrinkles drained my intellect and made me irrelevant. I wasn’t thrilled, but such is life.
My husband and I didn’t pay much attention to our new status until we arrived for our room reservations at a city hotel. Guests crowded the common spaces. Apparently, more than one bridal party was staying on site. We had to wait for the young woman at the reservation desk to assist us.
“Would you mind taking a room designed for the disabled?” she asked. “It has a king-sized bed and is very convenient to the parking lot.”
We thought of another hotel when we had accepted a room with handhold aids in the shower and by the toilet. As long as we weren’t taking a space away from someone who needed the aids, we didn’t really care. “That would be fine,” we said.
The room had a low rack for clothing in place of a closet. So what. We dressed for our evening—dinner out and then a concert. We spent time walking around town, enjoying the nightlife. By the time we returned to our hotel room hours later, we were more than ready to go to bed. I climbed in first.
“David,” I called to my husband as he brushed his teeth in the bathroom. “There’s something odd about these sheets. I’ve never seen anything like them. They have an odd texture and they make noise.” Indeed, the sheets made a crinkling sound.
David came to climb in beside me. “You’re right,” he agreed. “What the heck??”
We looked at each other. “I think they’re rubberized,” I told him. “The assumption is that anyone who needs a room with aids may be incontinent.”
We started laughing. “Do we look that decrepit?” I asked. “Or did the huge wet spot in your pants give us away?”
David chortled. “Maybe it’s your urine-scented perfume. Look on the bright side, we can probably get Jello and Metamucil from room service.”
Problems such as incontinence are most easily tolerated with laughter, although unflattering assumptions made about seniors or people with physical differences can certainly be annoying when the assumptions don’t fit. We all want to be treated as valuable individuals, not generic populations. Rubberized sheets could be a discreet option. We could have been forewarned of the accommodation by the reservation clerk. But instead of being offended, we might as well laugh; it’s good for the heart.