Too Close for Comfort... Inn
By Lauren Huffman
Over a glass of vino, my best friend, Erin caught me up on the latest with her boyfriend, Dan.
Dan was a graduate of the University of Illinois’ engineering school. He had a successful job, a nice apartment in Logan Square and a fantastic literature collection. Erin found it hard to keep up with his academic nature, but it was a welcomed challenge. Dan was the type who would read the dictionary on a Friday night; Erin was the type to binge watch reruns of The Real Housewives of Orange County on a Friday night. Erin was open to expanding her mind from poorly written reality shows to well constructed novels. She noticed herself becoming more intellectual and was happy with her growth. Six months into the relationship, Dan proposed something that forever changed the course of their relationship.
He invited her to Las Vegas.
Erin was ecstatic. She loved Vegas and had yet to go with a romantic partner. She fantasized walking hand in hand down the Strip, shopping at the high-end malls and drinking in Paris. Wild, exciting nights in the casino that would translate to wild, exciting nights in between the high thread count sheets. Michelin-rated steak dinners before Cirque Du Soilel. And of course, tanning by the lavish pools.
Her hopes and dreams came crashing down the moment she received his itinerary.
Dan had them staying at the Comfort Inn. Yes, you read that right. The Comfort Inn. Disappointed, Erin didn’t want to be a snob so she kept quiet on his ill advised hotel choice. Maybe he had some fantastic surprises up his sleeve and this was to throw her off. Surely, he was not going to have her stay at a hotel whose pool emitted traces of hepatitis.
A fashionista, Erin made sure she packed her luggage according to Las Vegas’ standards. Designer dresses, shoes and handbags were a must. On their first night, Dan had planned dinner. Erin put on a fancy ensemble, spritzed herself with Chanel No. 5 and slid into the cab. As they drove, the lights on the strip started to fade and eventually were completely out of sight.
Soon, she saw a sign for Welcome to Henderson, Nevada.
Erin finally asked, “Where are we going?”
“A&W. It’s just so expensive to eat in Vegas,” Dan replied.
The rest of the trip was much of the same. Dan allowed himself a half hour in total to gamble. He spent the entire 30 minutes on the penny slots at the Cannery Hotel and Casino, the closest casino to their ghastly hotel. He won $3.41.
After they got back to Chicago, Erin got to thinking. She thought Dan was an intellectual who enjoyed discovering literary masterpieces and new words, but she realized he was just a cheapskate who enjoyed free entertainment.
Erin was supposed to meet his family for Thanksgiving but instead told him she needed time to reevaluate things. She ended it shortly thereafter. She simply could not marry someone who forces her to stay in substandard conditions. Well, at least not before four kids and a house in the suburbs.