The Procedures


Tuesday SOL


“I’ve got to start my detox procedures,” she says the minute we get into the room.

She proceeds to pull out the Lysol Disinfectant Wipes and goes to town.

The T.V. remote.  Check!

The telephone.  Check!

The alarm clock.  Check!

All door handles.  Check, check, check!

Toilet handle.  Check!

Light switches. Check, check, check, check!

Next comes the phone call to the front desk.  “Hello, how are you today?”  She’s always so nice and pleasant to them.  Wait till they hear what she’s got to say next!  “I have a list of things I need from housekeeping, please.”

Depending on how long the stay, the numbers requested will vary.  The items asked for are always the same.

Extra pillow cases (to put on top of the existing cases)

Extra sheets (to put on top of the bed, once the bed spread and blanket are taken off)

Extra bath towels (there are just never enough)

Her procedures are complete.  Germs are eradicated.  Exterminated.  Destroyed.

Why such complicated and painstaking procedures, you ask?

What may not cause trouble for one person can cause a whole heap of it for Kathy.  The slightest bacteria can get in through a paper cut on her finger and BAM!  Infection.  From there her lymphedema kicks into high gear and her right arm swells up like a balloon and turns a bright cherry red.

Cue the “procedures”, which are meant to try and avoid all of these troubles in any hotel room in any city or state…..

“This would annoy some people”, she says to me.

Not me.  I expect it.  I document it.  I would worry if it didn’t happen.

I hope it works.


9 thoughts on “The Procedures

  1. It made me smile seeing that I’m creeped out by hotels myself. Obviously this routine is a must for Kathy, but it gave me some great ideas! I really liked the list and the checks – so procedural. “Next comes the phone call to the front desk…” That whole conversation is hilarious…perhaps necessary, but hilarious! Cute slice! Just part of your life!

  2. Carrie, I love this. Most of the way through, I thought it was just some weirdo thing Kathy did because she was particular. I love how you hit the reader with the unexpected…. nope, this is for medical reasons. And the ending, “I expect it. I document it. I would worry if it didn’t happen.” It was like this heartfelt expression of friendship when I wasn’t expecting it! Well done! I really like this piece!

  3. I, too, was thinking that Kathy was just a bit too OCD about germs…but at the end realized how important all of this was. Great post…light and humorous…but with a strong message.

  4. I don’t blame her…Lymphedema or not, have you seen those bedspreads?! I always pull the sheets off and check the mattress seams for bed bugs…Yuck! Keep up the good work Kathy!

  5. You really did take Stacey’s quote to heart. You didn’t wait for the “right” inspiration; you created your inspiration through your noticings. You brought me right into that room with you, observing a necessary routine that has become so normal for you.

  6. This is great! It makes me think that maybe I should be doing this on hotels too! I love that you are always on the lookout for inspiration and that it can come at the strangest times!

  7. I think your title is the best here – The Procedures. It’s both a little ominous and silly when it comes down to cleaning what’s supposed to be clean (it’s never clean enough though). Then the reasons behind it aren’t OCD but something more meaningful. The last part, ““This would annoy some people”, she says to me…Not me. I expect it. I document it. I would worry if it didn’t happen.” is just perfect. Totally accepting and hopeful. I’m hopeful for her too.

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