A Dichotomy of Sorts

The breakfast dining area in the Portland Marriott, in Oregon, dining tables with chairs and a wall with a coffee machine and cereals for guests to eat

The Interesting Dichotomy of Living for an Extended Period in a Luxury Hotel

It represents a strange phenomenon in my head.

As a child I loved to go on vacations because it meant new scenery, perhaps a swimming pool, feeling like a mermaid under water, or experience new foods I had not tasted, like my first kiwi when I was nine years old.

Now being married with children, it means not having to do laundry, clean up our dishes or making beds, a wonderful break from the daily drudgery, and again that chance to explore the new environments.

But for the first time in my life I am *literally stuck* in a hotel, in my own city, for over a month now!

And let there be no mistake, I know this is a #firstworldproblem of mine.

The definition by Merriam-Webster reads like an opposition of concepts. Here a screenshot:

This is where the dichotomy starts: in my head.

I feel like I should be feeling spoiled, but instead I feel displaced. I can walk to my home, yet I cannot live there. Why? Because it caught on fire and now needs to be rebuilt. Like I said, first world problems. We have insurance, and people are being understanding and helpful where they can.

Yet something is missing.

My animals are scattered, with the cats having to be moved to a cat hotel because they freaked and hurt the furniture at the animal-friendly hotel.

When I go to visit my cats, they seem distant and a bit displeased with me, not wanting to sit on my lap or be held. I am told by the cat hotel that visiting them makes my cats stop eating because it confuses them. I so miss their languid movements around me, and the soft purring noises when I used to sit on my own couch and read: it just hurts deep inside.

The only companion I have left is my dog. And he is displaced, too, I see it in the manner in which he sniffs everywhere and growls softly from his throat at all the new dogs in this different neighborhood.

I try to tell myself to enjoy the eating out, the learning to recognize a new neighborhood, the getting to know the other dog owners, to see the people experiencing placelessness who have staked out their regular locations around here.

Still I feel out of sorts, all the while getting to know the hotel staff and valet personnel. I read to bolster my moods which are flightly and insignificant, especially when considering #BlackLivesMatter and other world events. I force myself to learn to go with the flow and to teach myself to enjoy the differences.

Because I am lucky we all got out without anyone getting hurt.

Because positivity has to help me.

Because I am grateful for the support system to have a place to live.

Because life is a learning process.

Why am I so spoiled as to not be jumping for joy and treat this like one big vacation?


P.S. A few months later one of my cats died as a result of the inhalation of smoke — they had to stay inside because the fire fighters would not let me go back in to get their cages and take them out.

And another interesting fact to know when you’re choosing home insurance: in Oregon, apparently, cats are considered a different form of property and are therefore not insured for veterinary visits and bills, though the stay at the cat hotel was.

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